Clarinda High School

(Clarinda) – Clarinda’s cultural relationship with a Japanese community continues through high school students.

Two Clarinda High School seniors reviewed their 2019 stay in Tamana, Japan during a joint Clarinda City Council-School Board meeting late Wednesday afternoon. Kari Van Nostrand and Anna DeGroot stayed with six different host families between the two while attending Tamana Girls’ High School for two months last year. The high school’s marching band has performed at Clarinda’s Glenn Miller Festivals as part of the sister city relationship between the two communities. Van Nostrand says living in Japan meant an adjustment at first.

“Our first week in Tamana was a little bit of a culture shock,” said Van Nostrand. “But, it didn’t take us very long to get used to the lifestyle. We started our trip by attending school with our host sisters, and got to feel what it was like to live and go to school in Japan.”

Students at Tamana High School attend classes from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. But, the girls stay at school well into the evening hours. In fact, Van Nostrand says the students have some important afterschool duties.

“At the end of each school day, the girls are required to clean the school,” she said. “Scrubbing and sweeping the floors, and cleaning the bathrooms, and even washing the school buses were some of their daily tasks.”

Van Nostrand and DeGroot recalled differences in how Japanese students are taught, versus American education.

“For the majority of classes, students stayed in the same room,” said Van Nostrand, “and their teachers were sent to them. Classes had chalkboards instead of white boards, and cubbies along the back wall for students to put their bags in. During lunch, students would eat in their homerooms. The part of the school that had wifi and air conditioning was the library.”

The girls also reflected on some of their cultural experiences while in Japan, such as visiting the Nagasaki Memorial.

Clarinda’s board met in regular session after meeting with the council. Among other things, the board approved a joint effort with the city to resurface the city’s tennis courts. Costs of the project will be split between the city and school district. The city received a grant from the Clarinda Foundation, bringing the project’s total cost to $38,000.

In other business, the board….

---approved a resolution to consider continued participation in the Instructional Support Program. The district’s Instructional Support Levy expires in June, 2021. School officials are hoping to renew the levy another five years. A hearing on the proposed extension is set for the board’s regular meeting November 11th.

---approved the hiring of a floating substitute for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

---approved the TLC operational sharing with the South Page School District for the 2021-22 school year.

---approved the Coronavirus Relief Fund Earn and Learn Grant Opportunity through Iowa Workforce Development.

---approved filling the Title 1 Reading Position.

---approved the contracts of Logan Wood as high school instructor, Andy Johnson as middle school boys basketball coach, and Sage Lloyd as high school boys assistant track coach.

---approved the resignations of Karlee Barlow as associate and Jane Mayer as high school wrestling cheer coach.

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