Our Parent Partnership initiatives reflect our attention to the challenges our current generation of Mustangs are facing—from those children now at the ELC through our seniors who are nearing their graduation.
ASIJ has been The American School in Japan for over 100 years, and our ability to remain relevant over time is grounded in our willingness to negotiate the challenges of each generation. Our longevity speaks to the school’s reputation for excellence, stability, and capacity to continuously evolve our programs in response to what students need.
We now turn our attention to the challenges our current generation of Mustangs are facing, and invite parents to a variety of presentations, workshops, and town halls. These events address the future of education at ASIJ, challenges our students face, and questions of our parent community.
What does the future of education look like at ASIJ, and how are we preparing our students to thrive in uncertain times?
Our ASIJ 2030 Series is designed to build understanding of our Strategic Design Framework, how ASIJ’s N–12 Portrait of a Learner redefines rigor, and what this reimagined vision of learning looks like in practice across our divisions.
ASIJ’s Strategic Design Framework (SDF) was created in 2018 and refined to its current iteration in 2021. ASIJ’s SDF has been meticulously researched, aligned to emerging research on how students learn as well as the skills and competencies their future employers need, and calibrated carefully against trends in college admissions. Among the major influences on ASIJ’s SDF is Michael Fullan, who writes, “If we want learners who can thrive in a turbulent, complex times, apply thinking to new situations, and change the world, we must reimagine learning: what’s important to be learned, how learning is fostered, where learning happens, and how we can measure it. This means creating environments that challenge, provoke, stimulate, and celebrate learning” (2018).
The ASIJ 2030 Series includes virtual interactions with recognized thought leaders on the changing landscape of education. It includes facilitated conversations with ASIJ’s faculty and school leaders on the strategies we are designing to evolve our own systems and programs and helps parents of students of all ages understand our priorities, the pace of change at ASIJ over the next few years, and how the ASIJ experience in the future should look different from today.
What challenges and threats are ASIJ students facing today, and how can we work together to help our children and adolescents navigate these challenges?
The Know, Value, Care Partners Series emerges from ASIJ’s Commitment to Know, Value, and Care (KVC) and is designed to strengthen our home-school partnership. This series of events focus on a variety of topics from Parenting in a Digital Age to addressing substance abuse and social-emotional wellness.
ASIJ’s obligation to its students does not end with their academic studies and admission to college. The pandemic has disrupted life as we knew it, creating an altogether different reality for our children that is complicated by a confluence of other pressures and uncertainties. Anxiety levels among children and adolescents are rising at alarming levels. Ubiquitous access to technology makes our lives better in many ways, but far more complicated in myriad other ways. Helping children or adolescents navigate social media and balance their technology use is an enormous challenge for most parents. Further, while students experience many of the same adolescent decisions their parents once faced (e.g. alcohol, cigarettes/vaping, drugs), these dangers, too, have evolved.
The Know, Value, Care Partners Series includes workshops, presentations, book studies, and other discussions designed to help parents unpack the complex challenges their children may be experiencing. We will not always have the answers. We hope to engage parents in a meaningful partnership where every child who attends ASIJ is known, valued, and cared for, which includes protecting them from harm.
What questions or concerns do parents presently have and how can division leaders and faculty help parents understand how to support their children at home?
Finally, beyond our ASIJ 2030 Series and our KVC Partners Series, we know parents have division-specific questions grounded in the present day! In an effort to ensure a dialogue with parents about issues they want to understand, we offer routinely-scheduled virtual town halls by division. We will call this series of events Mustang Connections.
Mustang Connections provides routine interactions between parents and the leaders, counselors, and others who work in your children’s divisions. Our aim with these interactions is to ensure meaningful two-way conversations, which help parents support their children with practical or logistical matters, as well as discussions about division-specific programs and needs.