Welcome Back!

As students arrived to campus for the first day of school, the 30 buses themselves, of which 15 are brand-new, served as a reminder that the beginning of the year means some fresh and some familiar.

Every year, bus monitor training begins the week before school. Overseen by Greg Krauth, the Director of Transportation, bus monitors learned about first aid, emergency procedures and how to ensure a happy and safe ride to and from school. New to the buses this year,  students will soon “check-in” using their school IDs and a touchpad when boarding. This new system offers a higher level of safety for our bus riders.

Parents of our over 1600 students once again saw their children off at home, the station and the bus stop, with heart-felt “sayonaras” and first-day photos.

For many students, the first bus ride of the year is a highly-anticipated opportunity to catch up with friends, or make new ones.

Once students arrived to campus, they soon discovered plenty had changed over the summer—including some fresh faces. Standing out front, Jim Hardin, the new head of school, welcomed students back. Jim is joined this year by three new members of our administration—Christy Carrilo (early learning center director), Pip Curtis (middle school principal) and Bhupesh Upadhyay (CFO/COO). We also welcomed 22 new faculty members and 14 new staff members this year. Monica Clear and Ryoko Takano also join us as child safeguarding coordinator and human resources director.


Upon exiting the school’s main lobby, students saw, for the first time, the recently-finished courtyard, complete with the re-introduction of our historic ASIJ Gate and class stepping stones, dating back to 1959. The new courtyard provides 500m2of covered space, an additional 230 spectator seats for watching activities on the field as well as outdoor WiFi. If you would like to learn more about the courtyard renovation project, check out our previous post, “Building for the Future: The High School Courtyard” or check back for a detailed upcoming post.

More modest renovations around campus include a new paint for the pool and an updated middle school commons, which received new furniture, carpet, color-scheme and a new display.

We wish everyone an exciting and productive year. Go Mustangs!