Mon., Oct.16@Countryside High School

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School Visiting began in our second week in the USA. The chartered bus took us to our first school to visit 'Countryside High School,' through Interstate #275 and the State #19 road. As soon as we arrived at the school, many students walked out of the school building. We were embarrassed to see them, since we thought if they came out to say hello to us ! But it was just a fire drill. How we were relaxed to hear that ! (^o^;)

The faculty of this school treated us lunch. I talked about Japanese education and so on, with our driver that day. He helped me a lot next day.

Outline of the School (from my notes)

This is a huge school which has 2,000 students ranging 9-12th grade students. There are a lot of special services or programs for handicapped students, ESOL students, preventing drop-outs, and even a day nursery care.

The compulsory subjects include English, math, science, social studies, and Spanish. The students take six 60-minutes classes a day, having 5 minutes break. They have to go to their next class within 5 minutes ! Buzzars telling them the beginning and ending of each class sound only 3 seconds or so. In Japanese schools, musical chimes usually ring for 20 seconds, because the students usually takes their classes in their own classroom (except P.E., science, music, industrial arts or fine arts), having 10 minutes break.

The school buildings were 1-storied, maybe because the price of the land is cheap or because they think about the convenience for wheel chairs of the handicapped. Whereas in Japan, we usually have 3-storied school buildings.

To the web page of Countryside High School

As soon as we entered the entrance, we saw a broad hall. I noticed a board for PTCA (Parents-Community-Teachers-Association ?).

This is an ESOL class. When I talked to some of them in English, they spoke pretty good English already. This kind of class in Japanese schools are rare, maybe because there are still very few foreign students there.

This is the iMac that I saw for the first time in the US. I was moved to see it until I saw a lot more of them in the library ! I asked Mr. McIntosh who works there to visit my web page written in English, and he kindly did so, so that I could check how my web pages appear in English-only systems.

I think this class was a Language Arts class. Two teachers were team-teaching. We noticed lots of students' works on the wall.

In public schools in the US, the students are free to wear their own clothes to go to school, as well as making up, wearing pierces or necklaces are OK. In Japanese schools they are usually supposed to wear school uniforms. Many Japanese schools prohibit decorating things such as pierces. What I noticed in this class was students' high concentration for their study.

This is a science class for maybe 9th graders. The students were sketching the cells of onions and potatoes, using microscopes. They wore aprons which students at my school don't.

There is a TV production class as a selective class, and there are many TV cameras, editing equipments, computers with video-editing softwares, and even a nice studio. The students use them to make TV programs to broadcast in their classrooms or even join broadcasting contests.

The girls were dancing cheerfully watching an aerobics video on TV.

I forgot what class these were, but I was surprised to see the small amount of students.

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