On April 29-30, ISAK hosted its first annual Parents’ Weekend and, by all accounts, the event was a huge success! For those parents who were unable to attend, here are some highlights:
DAY 1 – Friday, April 29
Parents were greeted upon arrival and enjoyed a welcome reception which was followed by lunch with their sons/daughters. The nice weather enabled many guests to enjoy their meal (and the beautiful view!) outside on the terrace.
Following lunch, an optional tour gave parents a look inside two new buildings under construction, Residence Hall #4 and the Kamiyama Academic Center. Both buildings are on track for completion this summer and will be ready for use in the 2016-2017 school year. (Read more about our Phase 2 construction project here.)
The afternoon also included classroom visits and CAS / Project Week presentations. As many of you know, ISAK students have created an array of complex service and volunteer projects that are making a difference here in Karuizawa and around the world. International student-led projects include helping earthquake victims in Nepal by rebuilding schools, collecting books to start rural libraries in Vietnam, and hosting an English language camp to help Burmese refugee children in Thailand. Closer to campus, students have been visiting elderly people in Karuizawa, promoting a campus wide recycling program, and volunteering at a local elementary school. In all, there are over a dozen major service projects underway by ISAK students.
These student-led projects are something that sets ISAK apart from most other high schools and the presentations were one of the highlights of Parents’ Weekend. It was exciting for parents to learn more about these efforts and how ISAK students are making a difference in the local community and beyond!
After enjoying a reception in the Asama Commons with ISAK faculty, staff and administrators, parents held their own meeting to get to know each other and to learn more about the newly formed ISAK Parent Association. The event-filled day wrapped up with a reception for faculty and parents at the home of ISAK Head of School, Mr. Jemison. This was a wonderful opportunity for parents to chat with the Head of School, engage with other parents in a more social setting, and start planning for upcoming events such as the first ISAK graduation.
DAY 2 – Saturday, April 30
On Saturday, current parents returned to campus and were joined by some of ISAK’s newly accepted students and their parents. Saturday’s events included presentations on topics such as Academics at ISAK, how ISAK is different from others schools (and what to expect), the ISAK Leadership Program, and University Counseling. After lunch, new families joined current families at a reception where they got to meet new friends, exchange contact information, and get answers to many questions about what to expect next year.
At the end of the action-packed weekend, parents headed home with a better understanding of life at ISAK and the many ways their sons and daughters are being empowered to grow, learn, explore, and work for positive change.
All in all, the weekend was a success! Many parents left excited and ready to start planning for the 2017 Parents’ Weekend.