About A-JIS - FAQ

What kind of person will your child become? Choosing an appropriate school for children is one of the biggest and most difficult decisions that parents face. There are many considerations to make, and many questions to ask.

Why should A-JIS be your choice? Here we provide some of the most common questions and answers here to help make your decision-making process easier.

Please click on any category below to view questions and answers.

Admission
Q:
Can students start school in April?
A:

Aoba accepts new students all year round. Since the new school year in Japanese schools starts in April, A-JIS of course accepts students in April. They join the class appropriate to their age, and they spend the first three months in the same grade level as their previous school. They advance to the new grade in August. This “grade extension” of 3 months allows them time to settle with their new classmates and in the new learning situation without a loss of learning, and perhaps with better preparation for the new school year.

Q:
When is the application deadline?
A:

To accommodate the needs of families who must relocate either globally or locally at any time of the year, we accept applications all year round.

Q:
What documents are required for enrolment into A-JIS?
A:

As well as the application form, we require a physical health check form, medical history form, passport or birth certificate, student recommendation and two years of school reports and/or transcripts. When there are good reasons why not all required documents can be provided, we will help identify equivalencies to satisfy our admissions requirements.

Q:
What is the admission process?
A:

The admission process generally consists of the following stages:

  • Initial contact, inquiries, and school visits with an Admissions Officer
  • Application documentation (see the Registration Procedures in the Admissions section of this website)
  • Interview with Principal
  • Placement and Language Skills Assessments
Q:
What happens during the interview?
A:

The interview is designed to learn from the student what they enjoy about school and what they expect from A-JIS: it is also designed to learn from parents why they wish their child to receive an international education. It is also the opportunity for parents’ or students’ questions to be answered.

Q:
How do the admissions assessments work?
A:

The admissions assessments have two main purposes:

  • Assessment of the students previous learning and understanding, and
  • Identification of any learning and/or language support needs the student might have.

All assessments are age-appropriate, and they are designed to be straightforward and non-stressful: we want the students to show their capabilities.

Q:
Can we have a tour of your campus?
A:

Yes! Any time you like. First however, you are encouraged to make an appointment so that our staff can show you around the campus.

Q:
Can Japanese students enrol as students at A-JIS?
A:

Yes, we welcome students from all cultural and national backgrounds, including Japanese, so long as they have a clear need to be educated in English (e.g. among other reasons, becoming global citizens, they have returned from stays abroad or their families are planning to move overseas etc.).

Q:
What if my child doesn’t speak English?
A:

Students at A-JIS are immersed in English. Our curriculum is structured specifically to allow them, through their dedicated studies, to be brought up to a high level of English proficiency, and even fluency, by the time they graduate.

Q:
Is student financial aid available?
A:

Currently there is no financial aid available for newly enrolled students.

Q:
I’d like information about the entrance examinations.
A:

An English and Math proficiency test is given to all students during the admissions process. Please see the Registration Procedures on our website.

Q:
Do all students and parents have to speak English before enrolling at Aoba?
A:

While it is helpful for both the student and at least one parent to speak some English, this is not essential. A-JIS has an integrated Intensive English Preparation program designed to help students upgrade their English skills to mainstream Grade language requirements. This support is provided until the 8th Grade. Regarding communication with parents and guardians, people in the school – teachers and office staff – speak Japanese and it is always possible to assist parents whose English is weaker.

About Aoba
Q:
What is the purpose of the school?
A:

The school was originally intended to offer an International style education to Japanese children returning to Japan (who have been to other International Schools abroad), or to dual nationality and foreign children.

Q:
What kind of cultural demographics are represented in the A-JIS community?
A:

Over half of our students are from Japan or neighboring Asian countries. Recently, we have seen more American, Indian, Korean and mixed nationals due to international marriages. We aim for teacher demographics that represent a variety of backgrounds, nationalities, and cultural diversity.

Q:
Is A-JIS affiliated with a particular religion?
A:

No, we are a secular school and we welcome students from all races, religions, and cultures.

Q:
What education standards bodies accredit the programs at A-JIS?
A:

A-JIS is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). It is a candidate school for both the IB-PYP (Primary Years Program) from Kindergarten to Grade 5 and the IB-DP (Diploma Programme) authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization, IBO, in Geneva, Switzerland. The Japanese Ministry of Education also recognizes the school. This allows our graduates to apply to Japanese universities.

Q:
Is Aoba an English conversation school?
A:

No, we are not an English conversation school. We offer a complete curriculum for full-time pre-school to high school students (Kindergarten to Grade 12). All core classes are taught in English.

Q:
What is the difference between the April intake and the regular intake?
A:

The A-JIS school year runs from August to June. Students enrolling from April to June are given a chance to study in the Intensive English Program before starting the school year in August. In Japan, public schools run from April to March, so parents sometimes want their children to begin studying at our school from April rather than from September. Accepting children in April provides us with a way to accommodate this need.

Q:
I am Japanese and I just returned from a stay overseas with my family. I would like my children to continue their education in English. Can A-JIS help?
A:

We welcome all Japanese students whose parents want them to pursue an English-language education on a full-time basis.

Q:
Why should I send my child to an international school?
A:

For international families, one of the primary advantages of sending children to an international school is the ability to communicate in English with the teachers and staff of the school. Our small class sizes and international curriculum offer an environment conducive to developing their creativity and critical thinking skills. Whenever parents have concerns about their children keeping up with their cohorts back home, an international school like Aoba can be a good option.

Curriculum
Q:
A-JIS is an IB World School. What does that mean?
A:

A-JIS provides the IB curriculum at all levels: the PYP, MYP, and DP: Our core values that are reflected throughout the curriculum are:

Q:
What are the unique characteristics of the A-JIS curriculum?
A:

We focus on creating the mindset that will allow our students to participate with confidence at the international level. We have designed our approach to learning that encourages the development of 5 core characteristics: global leadership, entrepreneurship and the ability to innovate, effective communication, wise risk taking, and effective problem solving.

Q:
What is the International Baccalaureate?
A:

The International Baccalaureate is a Geneva-based non-profit educational foundation that runs four educational programmes for students aged 3 to 19, with the aim of helping develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn, and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Founded in 1968, the IB currently works with 3,462 schools in 143 countries to develop and offer its four programmes to over 1,049,000 students aged 3 to 19 years.

Q:
What language are lessons taught in?
A:

All lessons, with the exception of Japanese Studies, are taught solely in English by native English class teachers. Children are screened before entry to ensure their English is at a level that allows them to access the curriculum at the school. If their English is not immediately sufficient for the core program, they are placed into the Intensive English Program where their English skills are improved to the point they will be successful within the mainstream grades.

Classes
Q:
What is the breakdown of nationalities at Aoba?
A:

Approximately 35% of students at A-JIS have two Japanese parents, another 30% have one Japanese and one non-Japanese parent. The remaining 20% are expatriate, coming from some 20 nationalities. The teaching staff comes from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, the USA, Japan, Canada and Australia.

Q:
What are the class sizes?
A:

On average, the student to teacher ratio at A-JIS is 15:1. In the pre-school and Kindergarten years we have no more than 16 children with two adults. In the Primary classes, student numbers are capped at 24; and in the Middle School and High School class sizes are capped at 24.

Q:
What nationality are the teachers?
A:

All class teachers are native English speaking teachers, in almost all cases hired from abroad. Among other things these teachers are:

  • Trained, qualified, and committed to excellence.
  • Dedicated to the profession who love children and educating children.
  • Flexible team players who wish to continue learning as well as teaching.
  • Looking to constantly improve what we offer the children as well as their own skills as teachers.
Q:
Are your teachers licensed to teach?
A:

Yes, all of our teachers trained, certified, and licensed to teach at all levels.

Q:
How long is the school day?
A:

The school day starts at 8:45am and finishes at 3:25 pm.

School Life
Q:
Does Aoba have a bus service?
A:

Yes, we currently run eight bus routes throughout the city. The bus routes are designed according to the needs of students at the start of each school year.

Q:
Are there any after-school activities offered?
A:

We offer many after school clubs: art, sports, drama, music, and more. Clubs are run at the school by staff, instructors, and outside experts.

Q:
Do you offer summer school programs?
A:

Yes, we offer Summer School to current children. We also offer a full 5-week summer camp that is open to everyone in the community.

Q:
Are Aoba students required to wear a school uniform?
A:

Yes, students in all grades wear the A-JIS school uniform.

Q:
Can I volunteer at Aoba?
A:

Yes. We welcome the participation of our community.  While there are often opportunities for volunteer experiences at A-JIS, we particularly welcome volunteers as International Ambassadors during our July-August summer camps.

Q:
Does A-JIS offer accommodations to international students?
A:

A-JIS offers homestay services for international students.  If you are considering to enrol as a student at A-JIS and require guardianship and a safe place to live, A-JIS will arrange homestay accommodation for you.  Please contact the Admissions Department for more information.

Q:
What safety and security measures are taken at Aoba?
A:

The school is surrounded by fences and steel gates for external security. Internally, fire, earthquake, and lockdown drills are held regularly throughout the year. The low student-teacher ratio contributes to close care and quick response during accidents.

Q:
What do you do when a child suddenly get sick while at the school?
A:

We have a school nurse that is available all day everyday for both emergency and non-emergency situations.

Q:
What events do you have for parents and children during the year?
A:

Our school offers a variety of family activities that coincide with special occasions such as Halloween, Christmas, and other Japanese and international holidays. We host our Spring Carnival each year in April to which everyone including the surrounding community is invited. We also host the Nerima Ward Disaster Preparedness Day, the Choose Japan Education Fair, and multiple other events and performances to which families are welcome. Please see our calendar for specific dates and opportunities. All events showcase the achievements and progress of the children to our entire community.

Q:
What about potty training? My child still wears a diaper.
A:

We have potty training and diaper service, but only at the Meguro Campus. All students enrolling at the Hikarigaoka Campus must already be potty trained in order to enrol. We have experienced female teachers who help train the children and will change their diapers until they have learned to use toilet facilities properly.

Q:
Does your school have insurance?
A:

Yes, we do. Please contact us for more information.