Haddonfield High ends exchange relationship with Japanese school

HMHS, Kasukabe parting ways over administrative decisions

The Haddonfield Japan Exchange committee has decided to end its student exchange program with Kasukabe Girls High School after an 11-year run.

Over the course of the entire program, the number of male students taking part from Haddonfield High School varied each year, controlled by administrative decisions in Kasukabe. During its 2018 visit, the HJE was limited to bringing just four boys along for the trip, and Kasukabe has determined that they will only accept female visitors going forward.

“This decision has forced the HJE Committee to end our relationship with Kasukabe and seek an alternate school. While this decision was difficult, the HJE is looking forward to a sister school that will be a better match for Haddonfield’s students,” said HJE director Bill Brown in a statement.

In 2006, an ad hoc committee was formed to explore the possibility of an exchange program with a high school in Japan. The committee selected the Kasukabe Girls High School to partner with Haddonfield High School. The next year, Haddonfield host families warmly welcomed our first visitors. With the support and financial aid of local organizations, the committee was able to ensure immediate success of the program.

During even-numbered years, HMHS students, including male students, visited Kasukabe. Across 11 years of student exchanges, hundreds of students and their families, both in the borough as well as in Japan, benefited from this cross-cultural relationship.

“Haddonfield host families have been the backbone of the exchanges. Without them, there is no exchange. The committee members have changed as students graduated and moved on to universities, taking with them an education that could not have been gained in a classroom, or through books,” Brown added.

“We have a very strong committee, that will do everything possible to continue this program, for the enrichment of our students, and the Blue Ribbon town of Haddonfield.”