Let’s aim high with the Higashiko Spirit

Principal Kenji Okuyama  

 Chiba Prefectural Chiba Higashi Senior High School is a school with an 80-year tradition as of April, 2020. Our students exert themselves to the utmost in their studies, club activities and school events. Graduates from our school call it “the Higashiko spirit” and it acts as psychological support for them. It is true that they have a busy life every day, but the graduates I questioned replied that they had been able to enter their school of choice because of it. Everyone, I look forward to your entering Chiba Higashi Senior High School, where “you can live the fullest high school life” in order to lead a satisfying high school life and “realize your dream.”

1  Try to promote the “revival of education”
 Our school was designated as a “special academic-track school” by the Chiba Prefectural Board of Education in 2004. We introduced a two-semester system in 2007. Also, we began having seven forty-five-minute classes a day, that is, thirty-five classes a week when we adopted the  credit system in 2008. Since 2012, our balanced curriculum has allowed students to take six math classes a week both in the 10th and the 11th grade; study basic science in the 10th grade and basic physics as well as choosing basic biology or basic earth science in the 11th grade. I believe that the curriculum helps students have a broad and profound education, in which our school promotes the “revival of education.”

2  “More practical” cooperation with universities
 Also, we are actively working in cooperation with universities as follows:
①A fundamental education course by the Chiba University Faculty of Education is held every Saturday in our school.
②Courses called HOC(High School On Campus), which enable our students to attend classes together with Chiba University students; a course for the cultivation of the science-related fundamentals at the same university; a course for advanced science and mathematics at Toho University.
③Cooperative courses with The University of Tokyo and Tokyo Institute of Technology.
Quite a few students participate in the courses above. We also make exchanges between Chiba University foreign students and our science club students. They assemble at our school and share mutual studies with each other.

3  “Fruitful” daily school life
 It goes without saying that Chiba Higashi is not a school where its students do nothing but study. Education requires not only abundant knowledge but also richness of spirit and empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others.
Accordingly, our students concentrate not just on studies but also on club activities and school events. According to the club participation rate, the sports clubs account for 58% of students and the culture clubs 45%, which amount to 103% in total as of May, 2019(Some students are involved in multiple clubs). Recently, some sports clubs won prizes at interscholastic athletic meets or captured the championship in a prefectural athletic meet. I think it is marvelous for our students to make time to apply themselves to training, regardless of the results. The activities of the cultural clubs are varied from music clubs that hold regular concerts and take part in competitions to clubs and associations that contribute to local communities by participating in neighborhood events.
 Concerning one of the school events, our school festival called “Shinonomesai” is held in the beginning of July. The customary musicals performed by senior students are as popular as ever. The total number of visitors last year exceeded 6,500. Being able to accommodate this number makes it possible for not merely students from other schools but also graduates and neighboring citizens to gather together as before.

4  International Exchange Program “with a long history”
 Moreover, we have international exchange programs. Our students have a chance to do a homestay and attend a local high school in Clarkston, Michigan, USA. Beginning in 1973, the USA Study Tour Program has a long history. The cultural exchange with Clarkston has lasted since 2000. The Australia Study Tour Program began in 1996, and has resumed in New South Wales in 2014.
 *In March of 2020, the USA Study Tour Program and the Australia Study Tour Program were canceled due to the COVID-19 corona virus. We believed this was the safest option for our students and host families.
 Meanwhile, we have plenty of visitors from abroad. Clarkston students stayed in our students’ homes in 2019. We also hosted Malaysian high school students, who came to Japan on a school excursion in 2015.

5  University entrance examination results
 Our students’ efforts have chalked up an outstanding record. According to the university results in the 2019 academic year, 112 students passed entrance exams for national universities and 764 students passed entrance exams for private universities during their last year of high school. The percentage of successful examinees was 77%. The results were due to the academic and career counseling with a three-year plan, daily classes and consistent home study. Our students are very occupied with daily study, but they learn how to persevere and nurture their mental strength.