Thu., Oct.19@Palm Harbor University High School

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This day was our last day of school visit. We visited Palm Harbor University High School in the morning.

Before we start....

Information about the traffic, weather forecast, interview about Bush, US Cole attack, information about football game and so on were on TV that morning.

Outline of the school

This is a pretty new school that was established in 1996, because the population has been rapidly increasing in this district. This school is huge since it has about 2,300 students ranging 9-12th grade and about 180 faculties. There are 102 classrooms as well as 4 special classrooms. As this school was built for 1,600 students, about 30 portable classrooms are being used. But the building was broad and there are many palm trees all over the school site.

The compulsory subjects include English, math, science, social studies, foreign languages and P.E.. The selective classes are art, music and technology. The students take six 50-minutes classes a day, having more time(6 minutes) for break, probably because there are a lot of portable classrooms scattering all over. There was also a Japanese course until two years ago, too, but not any more since grant from the state was cut out.

There are some special services or programs such as IB(International Baccalaureate), Center for Wellness and Medical, and programs for handicapped students.

The students that day were waring very showy clothes, because a football game was going to be held in the afternoon.

To the web page of Palm Harbor University High School

This is the school site of this school. It is well-designed and makes you feel like being in a warm place, Florida. Next to the school buildings, some cars were moving slowly. I heard that some students were practicing how to drive a car to get a driver's license. They cannot live without cars in the US, because the size of the land is as 25 times large as Japan. Also, rapid transportation such as Shinkansen in Japan does not exist, excepting airplanes.

When we walked into the school building, we saw a big cafeteria, as well as a lot of trophies this new school got within five years. Also, there were many computers there, moreover, iMac Special Edition which strongly made me feel like touching them !

The students in this class were working for what seems very similar to 'Comprehensive Study,' which Japanese schools just began a couple of years ago. Each students has a theme, and do the webbing, researching many things through internet, and make some files to have a presentation using PowerPoint. As I know the machines and softwares pretty well, I felt like working with my Macintosh in Japan.

Although I forgot what class it was, the students were talking about a theme to solve. Every student seemed to have his/her own opinions, and were speaking aloud. While watching them, I felt a big difference from Japanese students who tend to be quiet but only listen to their teachers.

As one of the special programs, Center for Wellness and Medical exists in this school. This course requires excellent scores including the ones of middle school. The amount of the students for this program are limited to 100 students, and I heard about 300 students are still waiting. There some mannequin dolls of old people, so the students can practice practically. In addition, this program is just the place to get the least knowledge. A 100-hour training in a hospital or homes for the aged for four years is required to take the national examination. The picture on the right is inside of the classroom to learn to be a dentist or a dental technician.

This is a picture of beginning of a P.E. class. It was pity that we had no time to see them running or jumping around.

This is a CAD class. The students were practicing buildings or parts of a machine, using a special software.

They are the excellent students who guided us. Especially the girl next to me is very intelligent who takes IB program. She took me to one of her teachers to show the various pictures I took with me.

The last morning class ended about 11:30, and many students began to eat lunch outside the building as well as in the cafeteria. The sunshine was very strong in spite of mid October, so the eating-out students were eating in the shadow. This school seemed to have a peaceful, and relaxing atomosphere.

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