At Tsukuba International School, we have decided to close all sections of our school in response to the recommendation from Prime Minister Abe about closing schools temporarily in order to minimize the spread of infection.
Here is the guiding statement that we are working under for this situation.
One of our primary concerns as a school is to do as much as we can to protect the health and welfare of the people in our community.
We are closing the school to minimize the risk of infection (to people within our community, and beyond) caused by large groups of people gathering together in enclosed spaces for a long period of time.
As the government of Japan has indicated that closing schools is one way to decrease the risk of infection, we decided to do what is best for both our community, and the greater communities around us, and close the school.
- Although cases around the world are showing that the virus presents limited danger to small children, there is evidence that they can still be carriers and may spread the virus to older people or people with existing medical concerns who are more at risk. Therefore, acting in the interest of reducing spread in the wider community, it makes sense for preschools to be closed where possible.
- While we are currently working under the assumption that there are no cases in Tsukuba or Ibaraki, we have many people in our school community who travel daily from other areas, such as Chiba and Tokyo, where there are recorded cases.
- Many of our families, including both students/parents and staff, travelled overseas during the Spring Break.
- Our school has fifteen grades in total, unlike the Japanese education system where preschools are usually completely separate from elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. We chose to close the whole school, because we would like to protect the health and welfare of all the people in our community, not just some.
- The international schools that belong to the Japan Council of International Schools (JCIS) discussed this particular issue in detail in order to come to a consensus around what international schools should do in response to Prime Minister Abe’s recommendations. All of the schools in JCIS have closed all of their sections, including their preschools and kindergartens. The reason given for this is that a decision to close a school is a decision that applies to all the sections of the school.
We do, of course, understand that this decision has an impact on all of our families, and that is why we are trying our best to work with the families in our community to find workable solutions.
Thank you for your understanding.