PFA Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Compiled by the Parent-Faculty Advisory Group

What channels are available to parents for communicating with the school?

We at St. Mary’s are committed to maintaining effective lines of communication to ensure a healthy school environment for our school community.

For informational questions, parents should contact the appropriate people listed below in the Specific contacts for communicating with the school section. For specific classroom concerns, it is suggested that parents follow this procedure:

  1. Voice the concern directly to the teacher.
  2. If this does not solve the problem/concern, then see the principal and/or one of the counselors.
  3. Unresolved issues can be discussed with the Headmaster.
  4. School-wide topics can be submitted for discussion at PFA meetings.

Specific contacts for communicating with the school

Telephone (03) 3709-3411 to ask for any of the contacts listed below. Alternatively, see our contact form.

Questions Concerning
Contact
Position
Absences
Main Office
Activities
 
Fine Arts
Coaches (specific to the activity)
 
Randy Stenson
Fine Arts Coordinator
Sports / After School
Coaches (specific to the sport)
See listing on the Athletics page.


Tom Molina
Athletic Director
Bus
 
Route information
Taichiro Kodama
Bus Coordinator
Behavior
Joe Liggayu
Bus Supervisor
Calendar / Dates for Events
See the Calendar
Corporate Contribution Plan
Yumi Shimokawa
Curriculum
 
 
Dan Sharp
Director of Teaching and Learning
International Baccalaureate Program
Cris Copping
IB Coordinator
Elementary School
Michael DiMuzio
Principal
Stephen Tierney
Assistant Principal
Julie Gordon
Counselor
Linda Faulkner
Learning Support Coordinator
ESL
Cecilia Herath
Grade RP–1 ESL
Adorada Kim
Grade 2–3 ESL
Mitos Molina
Grade 4–5 ESL
ES Teachers
Your son’s teacher(s)
Middle School
Jim Langholz
Principal
Kris Thiesen
Counselor, Learning Support
Deborah Kobayashi
ESL
MS Teachers
Your son’s teacher(s)
High School
Simon Faulkner
Principal
Dan Sharp
Assistant Principal
College Guidance
Marie Kobayashi
Guidance Counselor
Janel Callon
Guidance Counselor
 
Silke Conrad
Learning Support
Geoff Chan
ELL Support
HS Teachers
Your son’s teacher(s)
Donations
Yumi Shimokawa
 
Education
 
College Guidance
Marie Kobayashi
HS Guidance Counselor
Janel Callon
HS Guidance Counselor
High School Profile
International Baccalaureate Program
Cris Copping
IB Coordinator
RP (Kindergarten)–12 Curriculum
Dan Sharp
Director of Teaching and Learning
Class/Course Teacher
 
Facilities Use
Ayako Tanaka
Facilities Coordinator
Health
Jennifer McCoy
School Nurse
Pastoral Care
Homeroom Teacher, Advisory Teacher
 
Julie Gordon
ES Counselor
Kris Thiesen
MS Counselor
Marie Kobayashi
HS Guidance Counselor
Janel Callon
HS Guidance Counselor
Student Support Services
Linda Faulkner
ES Learning Support
Kris Thiesen
MS Learning Support
Silke Conrad
HS Learning Support
Geoff Chan
HS ELL Support
Cecilia Herath
Grade RP–1 ESL
Adorada Kim
Grade 2–3 ESL
Mitos Molina
Grade 4–5 ESL
Deborah Kobayashi
MS ESL
Technology
Doug Sirkka
Educational Technology Coordinator
Doug Sirkka
PowerSchool
Charles Myers
Elementary School Tech Integrationist
DJ Feldmeyer
IT Program Manager
External Assessment
Dan Sharp
Measure of Academic Progress Administrator
High School (PSAT, SAT, TOEFL)
Marie Kobayashi
HS Guidance Counselor
Janel Callon
HS Guidance Counselor
Parent Faculty Advisory Group (PFA)
Jeff Behr
PFA President
 
St. Mary’s Alumni Association (SMAA)
Paul Kuo
SMAA President
 
St. Mary’s Association (SMA)
Cristina Platzer
SMA President
 
Tuition
 
Eriko Kitano
Accounting Staff
Yumi Shimokawa
Accounting Staff
Sachiko Tarumi
Accounting Staff
Volunteering
Website
DJ Feldmeyer
IT Program Manager

Please also refer to the Contact Us page.

What are the school’s objectives regarding education and the methodologies for achieving those objectives?

Information regarding all curricular subject areas can be found on the school website on the Curriculum pages for each school. A click on any Middle or High School subject area will lead to the philosophy, beliefs, essential teaching agreements and course descriptions developed by the St. Mary’s teachers. Links to elementary school grade levels lead to descriptions of each curriculum.

What are the school’s expectations of student behavior and responsibility?

The school expects all St. Mary’s students to exhibit proper behavior at all times and not only when they are on the school grounds. Our students should be proud of St. Mary’s, and the message they themselves convey by their behavior should not tarnish the school’s image.

What are the school closure procedures?

The school website will run an announcement in case of emergency school closure. Please check the home page for emergency announcements. Announcements will also be sent through the Families Mailing List.

What measures does the school take to provide for the safety and security of the students (for earthquakes, fires, crimes, transportation, etc.)?

Security

St. Mary’s employs three full-time guards to provide 24-hour coverage of the school buildings and grounds. The school has an excellent relationship with the local police as well as with the U.S. Embassy Overseas Security Advisory Council.

Personal Safety

Student ID Cards

Student Emergency ID Cards are sent with re-registration forms and we request that students or parents complete them and that students be required to carry this card at all times. It should be placed in a protective plastic covering in the student’s schoolbag or wallet. Students are also advised to carry a wallet-sized photo, a parent’s business card and ¥10 coins or a phone card.

Stranger Danger

Teachers discuss and remind students about the need for personal safety regularly, and we ask parents to reinforce these ideas at home. Talk to your son about the kinds of tactics that may be used by strangers. Teach him not to speak with a stranger or allow himself to be videotaped or photographed. Teach him that, if approached, he should move away from the person and seek help in a police box, public building, store, train station, etc.

Also, remind your son to travel home from school at an acceptable time daily. Our school grounds close at 4:30 and all students should return home soon after that unless they are in a designated, adult-supervised after-school activity that is scheduled to last after 4:30. Students should also travel with a friend or sibling whenever possible.

Traffic Safety

One of the biggest dangers for your son is the way he walks to and from the school to the station and vice versa. Teachers frequently remind students to walk with traffic safety in mind. Playing while walking along the street is dangerous. Another danger is when groups of students spread across the lines into the traffic lanes and ignore traffic signals. Please reinforce the importance of safety while commuting.

Train Safety/Behavior

St. Mary’s students are expected to obey all train rules and etiquette, which include the following:

  • No eating on the train.
  • No loud or boisterous behavior.
  • No games or running at stations or on trains.

Emergency Preparedness and Procedures

St. Mary’s is located on one of the highest points in Tokyo, on stable bedrock at an elevation that prevents flooding and landslides. The school is also located near one of the main Setagaya-ku emergency evacuation areas, the Tama River.

The school holds emergency drills for students, faculty, and staff. A full-time school nurse is employed. Training in first aid, the Heimlich maneuver, and CPR is provided for various bus drivers, faculty, students, and staff. Disaster supply sheds on the school grounds contain enough supplies to care for our students and staff for up to three days if necessary (food, medicine, water, shelter, aluminum pocket blankets, toilets, etc.). All buses have wireless radios; all drivers have mobile phones.

Further information regarding emergency procedures can be found here and in the Disaster Emergency Measures brochure.