Well, it’s official! The world knows about the Pacific Rim Exchange Island project. Now that this has been officially announced I can start to identify my school district and our sister school in Kyoto, Japan. My name is Stan Trevena and I am from Modesto City Schools in Modesto, California. I am the Director of Information and Technology Services for the District. Our sister school in this project, and in our student exchange program, is Kyoto Gakuen High School in Kyoto, Japan. We have had a foreign exchange program with Kyoto Gakuen for the past 16 years.
Kyoto Gakuen High School is a private school that offers English learning and International Studies. Students in Japan are in high school for three years. In their second year of high school the students in the program travel to England. During their third year they come to the Unitied States. My counterpart in Kyoto is Chris Flesuras III. Chris teaches, of all things, English at Kyoto Gakuen. Chris is originally from Modesto, and was a teacher in our district before going to Japan.
On Friday December 8th I participated in a video conference with Kyoto Gakuen during their annual Open House (it was actually the morning of Saturday December 9th in Kyoto). The Open House is intended to promote the school’s various programs to prospective new students for their International program and college prep courses. Students who want to attend Kyoto Gakuen must take entrance exams and file an application to be considered for acceptance into the Kyoto Gakuen High School. This was a big event for Kyoto Gakuen. It was at this Open House that they announced the new Pacific Rim Exchange project.
In the screenshot above I am being interviewed via video conference by Yasuaki Kuromiya, the International Affairs Manager, in front of an auditorium of approximately 400 people. We did a short interview about the project, and then Chris and I did about a 15 minute live demo. All of this was projected on a large screen for the audience to see. It was the official unveiling of the island to the public in Kyoto. Our official unveiling of the project here in the United States will be this next Monday, December 18th, at our School Board Meeting.
We are now entering our next phase of development. We are adding several new accounts to our island to continue the development and training. We are hopeful that our first students will be coming online with the island by February. Keep an eye on this blog for regular updates as we move forward with this exciting project.