Policies & Related Documents

ADMISSIONS POLICY

Introduction

Aoba-Japan International School is an environment that provides a challenging and rigorous standard of education with English as the language of instruction. Students who are proficient in English and are familiar with international education systems, in particular the International Baccalaureate, will experience a smooth transition into Aoba-Japan International School (Aoba), however, we accept applications from students with various cultural and educational backgrounds.  All students from families with an international mindset, who share the same belief in our core values will be a great fit.   Students who are not fluent in the English language will be supported, and will benefit from the education Aoba offers equally. 

Aoba offers a rigorous and challenging educational program, but at the same time we accommodate students with a range of academic abilities, provided they are able to adequately access and benefit from our curriculum. We make this determination primarily by reviewing students’ school records and teacher recommendations.

Any changes to the process outlined below will require the authorization of the leadership team, including the Head of School.  This policy will be reviewed and the information updated annually in August of each year.

The Application Process is in place to ensure that students can successfully access the curriculum within a reasonable time and to thrive in our English-language learning environment.  

English is the language of instruction at Aoba.  Every class starting from G1 will have a 70/30 ratio, which means up to 30% of the students will be receiving formally enrolled EAL support of all ranges.  All students entering and applying into G9 will need to be proficient enough to access the curriculum with no EAL support.  

English is also the primary language for communicating with parents. Although not required, it is recommended that at least one parent or guardian is able to communicate comfortably with school personnel in English. In addition, parents must be able to access electronic communications from the school (email and web-based platforms including the school’s parent portal).

Please refer to our Language Policy for more details on eligibility requirements around the English language.  The Language Policy and Assessment Policy must be read and understood, and parents will need to acknowledge their understanding by signing the designated area in the application form.  

Our Programmes

Our IB Primary Years Programme learning is designed to encourage curiosity in an integrative way. A balance is sought between the acquisition of essential knowledge and skills, development of conceptual understanding, demonstration of positive attitudes, and taking responsible action.

In the development of our learners, we emphasize the characteristics of:

  • Global leaders
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Innovators
  • Effective communicators
  • Wise risk-takers

In our IB Middle Years Programme, we emphasize the core values of global leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation. We also emphasize the teaching of effective communication skills, problem solving, and wise risk-taking.

We concentrate on developing independent and interdependent learners who are able to draw upon strong academic skills of inquiry, critical thinking and analysis to discover and apply new knowledge.

We future-proof our middle school learners, helping them be ready to excel along multiple pathways that, in high school, mean a variety of options such as self-designed courses (that learners and teachers develop together) and the internationally recognized Diploma Programme. Our focus is to refine their communication, problem-solving, and risk-taking skills by providing relevant, engaging, meaningful, challenging learning opportunities and possibilities for action.

Choosing the right pathway

In the Senior School, we offer challenging academic programs (IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) and the Global Leadership Diploma(GLD) Program) geared toward students who are planning to go on to college or university in all areas of the world. Students entering at this level must have a fairly high degree of competency in English.  Moreover, in order to obtain an Aoba graduation diploma, students must have credits equivalent to four full years of high school English. 

Students going into G11 will be required to decide on the DP path or the GLD path.  

In the process, we encourage all students applying for admission to G9 – G12 to visit the school and meet with an Admissions Rep or the Secondary Principal for an informal interview.  This will also help ensure that candidates will be able to meet academic requirements for graduation from Aoba. 

IB DP

For students applying for G11 during the school year who have not yet embarked on the IBDP: the IBDP coordinator will speak to the students and the parents to explain that the students hold a chance of obtaining the IB Diploma, given that the students are capable and there is enough time left in the year to catch up on the months that the students have missed.  If the IB Diploma does not sound reasonable given the circumstances, then the students may choose to sit for individual exams to obtain certificates, or aim for the GLD.  

For students applying for G11 during the school year, who have started the IBDP at their previous school: the IBDP coordinator will speak to the students and the parents to examine what courses they had been taking, and if the courses offered at Aoba will enable the students to continue with the IBDP.  If not, but the students still wish to enroll, then they will be able to sit for individual exams to obtain certificates.

For students applying for G12 who have not yet embarked on the IBDP: the IBDP coordinator will speak to the students and the parents to explain that the students will not be able to obtain the IBDP.  However, provided that the students have acquired the necessary credits up until that point, the students can obtain a high school diploma if they successfully complete G12.  

For students applying for G12 who have already embarked on the IBDP at their previous school: the IBDP coordinator will speak to the students and the parents to examine what courses they had been taking, and if the courses offered at Aoba will be able to have the students prepare for the final year for the IBDP.  The IBDP coordinator will also examine how far they have gone with the Extended Essay, CAS and TOK and how Aoba-Japan International School can assist with the completion of those.

We will not accept any students applying for G12 after the start of the school year.

GLD

For students applying for G11 and G12: the GLD coordinator will speak to the students and parents to examine which courses and projects will match the students’ interests, strengths, and career aspirations at the same time meeting the graduation requirements.  

We will not accept any students applying for G12 after the start of the school year.

Application Process

  1. Inquiry
  • Phone
  • E-mail
  • Open House
  • Visit
  1. Preparation
  • Application Forms
  • Supplementary Documents
  1. Application Fee
  2. Interview & Assessment

Inquiry

When a family inquires about Aoba, the Admissions Office first answers all questions they may have about the school, and then encourages them to visit the school.  School visits are the best opportunities for families to meet the Admissions team and to see the facilities and classrooms in session.  

When a family is not able to come in for a school tour, the Admissions Office provides as much information as possible over the phone or email.  

Application Forms and Supplementary Documents

Applicants are encouraged to apply through our website.  If families experience technical difficulties, they can contact the Admissions team to be provided with assistance and further guidance. 

All students must submit the following:

    • Completed Application Form (online)
    • One confidential recommendation Form – filled out by the Homeroom teacher, sent directly to the Director of Admissions at Aoba
    • School records for the past 2 years (including current school year) 
      • Report cards: Copies of the report cards of the past two years, including the current year are required. The final report for the current school year is required and can be emailed or posted when it becomes available if the student is accepted.
      • Students for Kindergarten who may not have report cards but attend a pre-school, nursery, or daycare are asked to submit a recommendation from the class teacher.
      • If report cards are in a language other than English or Japanese, it must be translated into English by an official translator.
    • Health forms (to be completed by a physician and parent) 
      • Health forms must be completed before the student can begin school. 
      • Required immunization information.
    • Photocopy of birth certificate or passport, and proper visa for non-Japanese citizens
    • One passport size photo for each student and their parents/guardians 
    • Additional reports, including from specialists if applicable
      • A report of testing if the student has received or is receiving any supplementary school services or outside of school support. These may include: learning resources support, speech and language therapy, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) support, counseling, behavior modification, etc. 
      • Others included are: psycho-educational evaluation, Individual Educational Plan (IEP), speech language assessment, etc.
  • An exit report and recommendations for future learning if the student is no longer receiving these services

Additional Documents required for Students applying for MYP, DP & GLD:

  • Two Recommendation forms – in addition to the recommendation form from the Homeroom teacher, one from the current English teacher and one from the current Maths teacher is required (three in total). 
  • Standardized test results (ITBS, MAP, ISA, Stanford, PSAT, SAT, TOFEL, etc.) should be submitted for any tests taken.   

Additional Documents required for Students applying for DP & GLD:

  • Official Transcript
  • All high school students applying for G11&G12 are required to include an official transcript from their current school. They should post or bring with them an official transcript which includes the year just completed. Transcripts are required from all high schools attended by the student
    • If official transcripts are in a language other than English or Japanese, it must be translated into English by an official translator

Age of students:

  • The cut off date for age placements is September 1
  • The age of the student is considered in placements for Kindergarten to G1
  • Age requirements for the lower grades are as follows
    • K2: 1.5 years old
    • K3: 3 years old (must be toilet trained)
    • K4: 4 years old
    • K5: 5 years old
    • G1: 6 years old
    • All students for G2 and up are placed according to their completed or current grade level or at the principal’s discretion in consultation with the parents.  

Application Fee

  • The application fee for all grade levels is 23,000 yen and is subject to change annually based on the Board approved fees.
  • This fee is applicable for only one attempt unless the student’s matriculation is affected by space availability for that academic year or an inadvertent mistake on the part of the admissions office.
  • A new fee is required on all subsequent submissions of applications 
  • The application fee covers the processing of the application, testing and interviews.
  • An application fee is required with each student
  • The fee is non-refundable

Appointments for interviews and assessments

  • Upon reviewing the application, student’s school records and recommendation(s), we invite the student and his/her parents for an assessment and interview. 
  • All students and their parent/guardian from schools within Japan will be invited to come in for an interview before they can be accepted into Aoba.  The Admissions office contacts the students’ parents/guardians to set up an interview & testing appointment.  If for any reason, the family requests for an online interview, we will do our best to accommodate.
  • Students from overseas schools are asked to participate in an online interview or other form of virtual interview/assessment.

Kindergarten/G1

Students entering Kindergarten and/or G1 are asked to come to school for an informal play session and interview before a formal acceptance can be offered.  While the student is taken into the relevant classrooms, the Admissions Director interviews the parents. 

G1-G8

In addition to the above, an English level assessment using the MAP Test or equivalent is conducted, along with an interview of the student by the Admissions Director.  The MAP Test is conducted to ascertain the level of English proficiency of the student.  If the student is accepted, but the assessment results show that the student requires EAL support, the class/grade in which the student will be placed in, must be examined.  If the class has already reached 30% of EAL students, that student will be placed on the waiting list until there is an opening.  The school does not disclose the MAP Test, or any other application test results.  The acceptance may be dependent on the results of the MAP Test for the upper grades, as the English proficiency is necessary to access the IB Programmes.

The EAL Support is only available until the end of G9.  Students applying to G6 and above with a need for the EAL support must demonstrate that he/she will exit the support program before the end of G9.  

While the student is being tested, the Admissions Director may interview the parents/guardians. 

For students applying to G9, the application forms and supplementary documents will have proven the student’s English proficiency, and will only be invited in for an interview if the above is true.  

Acceptance Decisions 

The Admissions Director, with input from the Principal of the school section for which the candidate is applying for, reviews all applications.  The Admissions Director, with input from the relevant Principal, makes the final admissions decisions.  In the case of G11 and G12, the Secondary Principal and the IBDP/GLD Coordinator, at times in addition to consultation with the Head of School, makes the decision.  

Other school personnel, such as Support staff, may also be involved in the review process.  

No student may be denied admission due to nationality, race, or religion; all students who meet the academic and behavioral expectations of our school are accepted. The admissions office denies a student only when it believes that it is not in the best interest of the student to join Aoba and/or when it believes that the school is unable to serve the specific learning or behavioral needs of the student. 

Conditional and probationary acceptances 

  • For future acceptances, Aoba uses conditional acceptances.
  • All letters of conditional acceptance must offer clear and precise conditions upon which the student has been accepted.
  • All letters of conditional acceptance must offer a time frame by which the condition(s) must be met.
  • All letters of conditional acceptance must offer clear suggestions as to how the conditions can be met by the student. 
  • All letters of conditional acceptance must offer clear suggestions as to how the school can support the student in meeting the condition(s).
  • All letters of conditional acceptance must state who determines whether or not the condition has or has not been met within the given time frame.
  • The principals are responsible for following up with conditional acceptances to see if the student has met the conditions of acceptance such that the student’s acceptance becomes a regular acceptance.
  • The principal of each school determines the consequences and next steps when conditions of acceptance have not been met.

Deadlines and timeline

The Admissions Timeline

  • Applications are accepted for the following school year, every year from November 1 until December 31, for consideration for interviews in February.  Thereafter, rolling admissions applies to all students up to G10 – please refer back to the Introduction for details for students applying to G11 & G12 (IBDP & GLD)
  • If a student is accepted, but the class is a full capacity, the student will be waitlisted

Notifications

  • Decisions are made by the Admissions Director, with the input of the Principal of each respective school
  • Families who have been accepted are sent a confirmation letter by the Director of Admissions
  • The school does not respond to any inquiries around acceptance decisions over the telephone
  • The Admissions Director informs families of students whose applications have not been accepted with an email
  • Letter to announce the student has been put on the Waiting List (if the class is full or disrupts gender ratio), is prepared and sent to the family, by the Admissions Director
  • An invoice (Registration Fee and/or Tuition and all other relevant Fees) prepared by the Accounting Department is also be sent with the Letter of Acceptance

Enrollment agreement 

  • If an accepted student decides to enroll, the student’s parents/guardians are expected to sign the Letter of Acceptance and return it to the Admissions Office 
  • The enrollment is final when the signed Letter of Acceptance has been received by the Admissions Office and when the Registration Fee has been received

Upon accepting an Offer of Admission from Aoba, the family will accept and consent to all Aoba policies, terms, and conditions of enrollment. Parent/guardian/student non-agreement or non-compliance with the Aoba enrollment policy may result in withdrawal, admission, or exclusion from enrollment.  All families will consent and sign to the below: 

Disclosure, Consent, and Permissions:

  • I confirm that I am this student’s parent or legal guardian, that I have full authority to enter into this contract, and that by consenting to these policies, terms, and conditions, consent by all other legal guardians of this student is implicit.
  • I understand and agree that failure to fully disclose any and all information as requested on the Aoba requested forms may result in incorrect grade or program placement, nullified acceptance, or withdrawal of enrollment.
  • I give permission for Aoba to receive and release information from or to any of my/our child’s past, current or future schools, educational institutions, or student support providers.
  • I understand that continued enrollment at Aoba is conditional on my child remaining in good academic, behavioral, and financial standing.

By enrolling my child at Aoba, I commit to:

  • Accepting and supporting my child’s grade level placement, class list placement, EAL placement, and Learning Support placement and service model.
  • Supporting the school’s mission, vision, values, strategic objectives.
  • Ensuring my child’s regular attendance at school.
  • Ensuring that my child will be living with a parent, or a legal guardian acknowledged by the school for the duration of his/her enrollment at Aoba.
  • Reading, understanding, and following academic and behavior policies.
  • Working in partnership with the school to support my child at home in order to help him/her meet the school’s academic and behavioral expectations.
  • Reading notifications sent from the school to ensure knowledge and understanding of the school’s academic programs, curriculum, and co-curricular activities.
  • Using the channels of communication established by the school when seeking a resolution to a problem or concern.
  • Paying school fees and all other fees invoiced by Aoba in accordance with and adherence to the School Fee Schedule.
  • Accepting the school’s decision to temporarily close and/or temporarily move to online learning due to immediate or imminent threat to the health or safety of students, staff or community members. This may be due to an emergency, critical incident, extreme weather, pandemic, power failure and the like. There will be no reimbursement of school fees for unexpected temporary school closure.
  • Enabling my child to participate in the mandatory Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Program. As a blended learning school, it is a requirement that all students in G1-G12 are part of the BYOD program. G1 – G3 students need their own iPad, while G4 – G12 students need their own MacBook. Students should bring their charged devices to and from school daily. Device specifications will be provided upon student registration.
  • Enabling my child to participate in the mandatory Residential Trips (for MYP students, G7-G9). MYP students are expected to attend the annual residential trips as part of the MYP framework. The inquiry-driven trips, to various locations within domestic Japan, are directly linked to the MYP curriculum; failure to attend may result in failure of the related unit. In the event of an unavoidable or exceptional circumstance that may prevent participation in a residential trip, we request the parents contact the school as soon as possible to discuss.
  • Understanding that Aoba is an IB school that implements the PYP, MYP and DP curriculums. I agree to read and understand the relevant International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) Regulations before enrolling my child in each respective IB program at Aoba.
    PYP: https://www.ibo.org/globalassets/publications/become-an-ib-school/general-regulations-pyp-en.pdf
    MYP: https://www.ibo.org/globalassets/publications/become-an-ib-school/myp-general-regulations-2015-en.pdf
    DP: https://www.ibo.org/globalassets/publications/become-an-ib-school/dp-general-regulations-en.pdf
  • Understanding, agreeing to, and following all other Aoba Policies.’

Orientation

  • New students and their parents starting at the beginning of the school year have a group orientation session on the weekday afternoon before the first day of school
  • All students who enroll in the middle of the school year have an individual orientation either before or on their first day of school 

Payment and Refund of Fees and Payments

It is the family or guardian’s duty to ensure the financial obligations to the school are discharged promptly, even in the case where their employer may be paying the fees on their behalf. Even though a student has been accepted by or is enrolled in A-JIS, if financial obligations are not met by documented dates, the student’s enrollment will be cancelled.  

Tuition, EAL Support, Learning Support Fee

Tuition and Support Fees are payable by semesters.

One Payment Option Due by 20 June

(or payable at the time of registration for new students)

Two Payment Option Due by 20 June and 20 November

(or payable at the time of registration for new students) 

 

Building Maintenance and Family Community Membership Fees

Building Maintenance Fees and Family Community Membership Fees are billed in full with the first tuition invoice and are not divided for mid-year entry. 

School Trip Fee

The School Trip Fee is a mandatory payment for all students to participate in compulsory school trips as part of the curriculum.

Enrollment after the School Year Commences

For students entering school after the Autumn Break or the Spring Break, tuition is calculated based on the school’s four quarters. A student’s attendance for any portion of a quarter requires payment of the entire quarter. Full payment of the Building Maintenance Fee and Family Community Membership Fee is also required, regardless of the length of attendance.

Re-entry

For re-entry of students who have left the school, the Building Development Fee will be billed in full and Registration Fee as follows:

Re-entry in the same school year as withdrawal  JPY 100,000
Re-entry in the next school year after withdrawal  JPY 150,000
Re-entry in the second school year after withdrawal  JPY 200,000
Re-entry after two years have elapsed Full Charge

 

In the event of cancellation of re-entry, the fees will be refunded accordingly to the Refund Policy.

Leave of Absence

Students may apply to take a leave of absence by submitting an official notification by 31 July for the 1st semester and by 8 January for the 2nd semester. Leave of Absence is applicable only by semesters. Upon the approval by the Principal,  50% of Tuition will be waived during the leave of absence.  Any other fees will not be billed for the term of the leave of absence. Building Maintenance and Family Community Membership Fees will not be refunded for Leave of Absence taken in the 2nd semester.

Delinquent Payment Policy

An arrears charge of 1.20% per month, compounded monthly, will be applied to all overdue accounts. In the case of serious financial delinquency, the school will prohibit class attendance and/or the release of report cards and transcripts.

*This regulation shall be governed by, and construed and interpreted under the laws of Japan. The lawsuits hereunder shall be exclusively brought in the Tokyo District Court of Japan.

Refund Policy

In the case of cancellation of enrollment, the Admissions Office will refund fees as follows, following receipt of the enrollment cancellation (for new students) or Notification of Withdrawal (for current students).

Application Fee, Registration Fee & Building Development Fee 

Non-refundable.

Building Maintenance Fee and Family Community Membership Fee

For the coming school year, enrolled students who withdraw by 31 July will receive a full refund. The enrollment cancellation (for new students) or Notification of Withdrawal (for current students) must be submitted. No refunds will be given to students who submit the notice after 31 July.

First Semester of Tuition & Support Fees

Enrolled students who withdraw by 31 July will receive a full refund of the first semester’s tuition (remaining balance after deduction of administration fee for continuing students including those enrolled after April of the year), EAL Support and Learning Support Fee. The enrollment cancellation for new students or Notification of Withdrawal for current students must be submitted. No refunds will be given to students who submit the notice after 31 July. Attendance of 6 days or more, at any time in the semester, will constitute attendance for the full semester and will not be entitled to a refund.

Second Semester of Tuition & Support Fees

New students who submit the enrollment cancellation notice, or enrolled students who submit notification of withdrawal by 8 January will receive a full refund of the second semester’s tuition, EAL Support and Learning Support Fee. No refunds will be given to students who submit the notice after 8 January.

Re-enrollment (Continuing Students Only)

A deposit of JPY 250,000 is required by the due date in order to reserve a place for the next school year. This deposit will be deducted from the Tuition Fee. Re-enrollment without payment of deposit by the due date will result in a JPY 150,000 Reinstatement Fee. The Reinstatement Fee is non-refundable. In the event of cancellation of re-enrollment, following administration fee will be deducted from the deposit for refund after Notification of Withdrawal is submitted.

Administration Fee Deposit Refundable
Up to May 31 100,000 yen 150,000 yen
Up to June 30 150,000 yen 100,000 yen
Up to July 31 200,000 yen 50,000 yen
On or after August 1 No Refund

 

Graduation Fee

Students who withdraw before Mid-Winter Break in February will receive a full refund of the Graduation Fee by submitting a Notification of Withdrawal. No refunds will be given to students who withdraw after the last day of the first semester. 

School Lunch Fee, Bus Fee

Students who withdraw by 31 July will receive a full refund of the School Lunch Fee and Bus Fee.

New students who submit the enrollment cancellation notice, or enrolled students who submit notification of withdrawal by 8 January will receive a full refund of the second semester’s School Lunch Fee and Bus Fee. No refunds will be given to students who submit the notice after 8 January.

In the event of school lunch cancellation, a notification will be required two weeks before the first day of the new semester.  Refunds will be provided for the semester the student will not eat school lunch.  No refunds will be given if the notification is not received two weeks before the first day of the semester.  Bus Fee is non-refundable for cancellation.

Other Fees

All other fees (Summer School, After School Program Fees and School Trip Fee) are non-refundable. Parents/guardians will consent to the following: 

‘As the parent/guardian of an enrolled A-JIS student, I understand that:

    • By making, or authorizing, a full or partial payment of A-JIS Registration, Tuition and other fees, I give my consent to all A-JIS Payment and Refund of Fees and Payments section in this document. 
    • It is my duty to ensure that my financial obligations to the school are discharged promptly (even if I am sponsored by our employer).
    • Late payment of fees will result in penalty interest and may result in the withholding of enrollment, reports, and annual transcripts.
    • Failure to respond to requests for settlement of late fees may result in a student’s suspension.’

RECORDS MANAGEMENT POLICY

I understand and agree that the school maintains cumulative records of all student files including application documents, school records, and confidential documents.  Paper records are kept in locked file cabinets on campus.  Digital records are stored in a secure, private, in-house server.  Only certain staff and faculty have access to student records including, School Administrators, Student Support Team members, Admission Office personnel, and Campus Registrars.  Teachers can access these records on request if need be.  Parents have a right to request access to their child’s records, except those for which they have waived rights of access (e.g. Admission test results, confidential references).

I understand and agree that upon a student’s withdrawal or graduation from Aoba, the school will only forward documentation accrued during the student’s enrollment at Aoba. The school will obtain written consent from the parent before forwarding confidential records.

I understand and agree that the school will keep student files for 20 years after withdrawal of enrollment or graduation after which student records will be destroyed and/or permanently deleted from the server.  High School transcripts and report cards will be kept indefinitely and securely as both digital and hardcopy documents.

SHARING POLICY / USE of PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGE and CONTENT

Aoba is committed to the security and privacy of our school community, including students, faculty, staff, and parents. Students photographs, images, quotations, and work products may be used in accordance with the Aoba Sharing policy. Aoba cannot be held responsible for unauthorized sharing of digital data by a member of the Aoba community.

Regarding the use images and content, I understand and accept that: 

  • Aoba will take photographic and video footage of the Aoba community for the purpose of informative and promotional materials of the learning, events, and activities of Aoba, including pamphlets, websites, reference materials, year books and the like. The intended audience will be for current and prospective students, alumni, parents/guardians, and the like. Student work may be reproduced for this same purpose; sometimes modified, translated or otherwise changed to meet the Aoba purpose. Full names and other information will not be used, to minimize the possibility of revealing the identity of the person. 
  • As an IB World School, Aoba is required at times to submit student work and images to the IBO (International Baccalaureate Organization). The IBO will have a non-exclusive worldwide license to use student work that has been submitted to them by Aoba. These materials may be modified, translated or otherwise changed to meet the IBO’s purposes and names will be removed along with information that may lead to the identification of the child or of Aoba. Photographic and video images, taken in the course of approved Aoba activities and in circumstances under the control of Aoba, may also be reproduced by the IBO with an understanding that the identity of the person will not be revealed. 

Sharing Guidelines:

The below Sharing Guidelines are designed to set expectations for online contributions in accordance with Aoba values. The below guidelines have been created to balance participation with privacy, contribution with caution, and action with accountability. This policy applies to all members of the Aoba community – faculty, students, staff, parents and alumni.

All community members are expected to understand and adhere to the following guidelines regarding the sharing of content:

  • Only share such content when there is a reasonable assumption that the content owner or subjects would approve.
  • Provide proper attribution to the original content owner or creator when sharing the work of others.
  • Not require creation of accounts on sites with age restrictions by students who are underage, asking parents to create the accounts instead.
  • Enable content owners or subjects who are personally identifiable in the content to request the removal of shared content from publicly shared locations and have said content removed whenever possible and within reason.
  • Not reshare content beyond the audience intended by the original sharer.
  • Respect copyright in using materials in any context.
  • Respect user choice about account creation for sites or tools other than those that are part of official Aoba digital resources.
  • Not share information or promote content that is confidential or damaging to the school, its operations, or to other community members.
  • Notify leadership if content posted online raises concerns about student welfare.

ICT ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY

The Internet is a powerful educational resource that can significantly enhance teaching and learning, when used appropriately

Aoba-Japan International School is committed to providing access to Internet facilities on campus in order to enhance student learning. Vigilance by all members of our school community is required to ensure that students use the internet and digital education resources safely. It is the responsibility of the staff and faculty of Aoba to protect students from harm while at school, including digital environments. It is also the responsibility of Aoba to comply with Japanese Legislation in these areas: 

  • Protection of Personal Information Act 2017
  • Law Banning Child Prostitution and Pornography 2005  
  • Law on Communications Interception During Criminal Investigations 1999
  • Portrait Rights 2005  

This policy governs access to and use of the Internet by students of Aoba as well as details, practices, and procedures implemented and carried out by the school and intended to provide maximum protection for users from potential risks associated with the use of the Internet. 

The aim of this Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is to ensure that students will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s resources in a safe and effective manner. Internet use and access is considered an Aoba resource and privilege. Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to, this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate measures – as outlined in the AUP – will be taken.

Content Filtering, Web Browsing & Downloading

Aoba allows access to millions of websites including games and YouTube, and other similar types of websites, such as blogs but blocks access to websites belonging to categories such as: alcohol, adult content, gambling, and violence

Students will not intentionally visit internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials. 

Students will report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials in the classroom to their teacher. 

Students are encouraged to report accidental access of inappropriate materials in school but outside the classroom to their homeroom teacher. 

Students will not copy information from the internet without acknowledging the creator and referencing the source of the content. 

In principle, students will use the Aoba internet connection only for educational and career development activities. 

E-mail & Messaging

Online communication through a student’s assigned email account is mandatory. The use of personal email accounts on campus is not acceptable.

Students should not under any circumstances share their email account login details with other students. 

Students will not send any material that is illegal, obscene, and defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person. 

Students should avoid opening emails that appear suspicious. 

If in doubt, students should ask their teacher before opening emails from unknown senders.

Social Media

School Social Media Tags: @aobajapan  #aobajapan

Overview

Aoba-Japan International School (Aoba) recognizes that there are many legitimate professional and personal reasons for using social media.  Taking advantage of social media sites to promote our school is encouraged. Because all social media postings may have unintended audiences and consequences, we request that all employees represent themselves and the school in a manner that is respectful of the entire school community. This is to safeguard your professional and personal reputation, the reputation of your colleagues, and the entire school community.  When  engaged in social media, particularly related to Aoba, consider your activity in accordance with both the Faculty Work Regulations and Staff Work Regulations, Articles 13 (Work Rules) No. 15 that underpin our contractual conditions.   

What is Social Media?

Social media includes any website that enables publishing of content to a larger group. Examples of such sites include, but are not limited to, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tik Tok,  blogs, special interest forums, and user communities.

Social Media Content

Posting of content about the school on social media is permitted for all employees. Our school trusts all employees to consider the reputational implications of all posting they do. For advice on posting content please discuss with your supervisor  or the Marketing Department.

Content Publishing and Confidentiality Policy

Consider the policy guidelines below when engaging in social media activity. Employees are personally responsible for any content they publish.

  • Be professional. As a representative of  Aoba your personal web footprint and related content reflects how you wish to present yourself to colleagues, students, parents, and others.
  • Seek approval to publish or report on private conversations or confidential information from the people involved.
  • When you make a reference to research, a customer, school partner or supplier link your posting to the source.
  • Anticipate the impact of the content might have on others before posting. If in doubt discuss with your colleagues, supervisor or the marketing department.
  • Post photos and commentary you think are appropriate and beneficial to promoting the reputation of all within Aoba.
  • Consider the impact personal opinions about Aoba may have on your peers, colleague, students and families before posting on social media 
  • Ask your own account to be “tagged” by  the Marketing Department.
  • Always check confidentiality agreements we have with individual students related to social media exposure and privacy. 

Malware and Online Crime Prevention

Social media is used by criminals to deliver malware and schemes to damage property or steal confidential information. To reduce risk, follow the guidelines below. Note, they do not cover all possible threats and are not a substitute for good judgment.

  • Avoid using the same passwords for social media that you use to access AJIS computing resources.
  • Avoid following links or download software on social media pages posted by individuals or organizations that you do not know.
  • If any content you find on any social media Web page looks suspicious in any way, close your browser and do not return to that page. 
  • Inform the IT department of any unusual problems you encounter on social media.

BYOD & Mobile Phones

The bring your own device (BYOD) program allows students to bring their own Apple laptop or iPad to school to support teaching and learning activities. 

  1. Students take responsibility for appropriate use of their personal device at all times. The school is not responsible in any way for personal devices or for its use.
  2. Students/parents/guardians are responsible for their devices, including any breakages, costs of repair, or replacement.
  3. The school reserves the right to inspect devices during school hours.
  4. Violations of any school policies or rules involving a student device may result in a student not being allowed to continue using the device during school hours and/or disciplinary action, for a period to be determined by the school.
  5. During school hours, students are allowed to use their device for learning related activities only.
  6. Students must comply with teachers’ requests regarding use of devices during school hours, and classes.
  7. Students may not use the devices to record, transmit or post photos or video of other teachers or students. No images or video recorded at school can be transmitted or posted at any time without their teacher’s permission.
  8. Students may use the school wireless network and content filtered broadband. Use of other ‘unfiltered’ public wireless connections, such as mobile networks, is not allowed during school hours.
  9. Each user is responsible for her/his own device and should use it responsibly and appropriately. Aoba takes no responsibility for stolen, lost, or damaged devices, including lost or corrupted data on those devices. While school employees will help students identify how to keep personal devices secure, students will have the final responsibility for securing their personal devices.
  10. Aoba is not responsible for any possible device charges to their account that might be incurred during approved school-related use.

Images & Video

The development of digital imaging technologies has created significant benefits to learning, allowing staff and pupils instant use of images that they have recorded themselves or downloaded from the internet. 

However, staff, parents / carers and pupils need to be aware of the risks associated with publishing digital images on the internet. Such images may provide opportunities for harassment or breaches of privacy to take place. Digital images may remain available on the internet forever and may cause harm to individuals in the short or longer term. 

Care should be taken when taking photographic or video images that students are appropriately dressed and are not participating in activities that might bring the individuals or the school into disrepute. 

At Aoba, students must not take, use, share, publish or distribute images of others without their permission. 

Taking photos or videos on the grounds of Aoba or when participating in school activities is only allowed with express permission from staff. 

Students must not share images, videos or other content online with the intention to harm another member of the Aoba community regardless of whether this happens in school or outside. Sharing explicit images and in particular explicit images of students and/or minors is an unacceptable (illegal) and absolutely prohibited behavior, with serious consequences for those involved. Sharing explicit images of other students automatically incurs suspension as a consequence. 

Cyberbullying

This type of bullying is increasingly common and is continuously evolving. It is bullying carried out through the use of information and communication technologies such as text, social networking sites, e-mail, instant messaging, apps, gaming sites, chat-rooms and other online technologies

Being the target of inappropriate or hurtful messages is the most common form of online bullying. As cyberbullying uses technology to perpetrate bullying behavior and does not require face to face contact, cyberbullying can occur at any time (day or night). 

Many forms of bullying can be facilitated through cyberbullying. For example, a target may be sent homophobic text messages or pictures may be posted with negative comments about a person sexuality, appearance, ethnicity, etc. 

Students are increasingly communicating in ways that are often unknown to adults and free from supervision. The nature of these technologies means digital content can be shared and seen by a very wide audience almost instantly and is almost impossible to delete permanently. While cyberbullying often takes place at home and at night, the impact can also be felt in school. 

Cyberbullying is defined as repeatedly engaging in online activities with the intent to harm, harass, or embarrass another student or member of staff. It is an unacceptable and absolutely prohibited behavior, with serious consequences for those involved. 

Predominantly drawn from: https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/client-castleknockcc/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/AUP-2017-2020.pdf

Other examples:

https://www.k12blueprint.com/sites/default/files/Acceptable-Use-Policies.pdf

http://mercyinchicore.ie/drupal-7.15/node/47

How does Aoba ensure a safe digital learning environment?

At  Aoba-Japan International School, the digital safety and security of our students is of utmost importance.  Using modern network infrastructure and filtering solutions, our ICT Engineers ensure the safety of the school’s internal network.  Additionally, all of our staff and faculty are trained in safe, responsible internet usage and put these skills into practice during educational activities.  Many of our teachers are also Google Certified Educators and Apple Distinguished Educators, recognised as global leaders in Digital Literacy and Educational Technology.

Important points:

  1. Aoba ICT does not control what content students access at an individual level.
  2. Aoba ICT does not install software and configure parental controls on student devices.
  3. Aoba Faculty are expected to monitor device and internet usage within the classroom.
  4. Parents are expected to monitor device and internet usage outside of school.
  5. Our filtering policies are reviewed and approved by school Leadership. We can schedule a review and adjustment of our filtering policies at any time.

Network Access and Security

Aoba campuses utilise powerful Firewall devices which allow specific control over anti-virus, threat protection, and filtering on the school network.

https://www.cyberoam.com/webfiltering.html

Our Firewall prevents access to inappropriate or potentially harmful content related to drugs, firearms, adult content and more.  Furthermore, students only have access to the internet at school via the Aoba Student network. This network falls under the security and filtering protections provided by our Firewall devices.  Students must be enrolled into our MDM (mobile device management) system in order to use this.  If they are not, they can not access the internet at Aoba.

https://meraki.cisco.com/solutions/mobile-device-management

Parental Controls

Parental controls are not mandated by the school.  We encourage parents to carefully consider what protections and restrictions should be placed on their child’s device based on their child’s age and their own family values.  There are several options for applying Parental Controls to a student’s device:

macOS Parental Controls / ペアレンタルコントロール

English: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH25799?locale=en_US

日本語: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH25799?locale=en_US&viewlocale=ja_JP

macOS Monitor Computer Usage / コンピュータの使用を監視する

English: https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/monitor-childrens-computer-usage-mchlp2911/mac

日本語: https://support.apple.com/ja-jp/guide/mac-help/monitor-childrens-computer-usage-mchlp2911/mac

iOS Parental Controls / 機能制限を使う

English: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201304

日本語: https://support.apple.com/ja-jp/HT201304

Third-party apps and software solutions for parental control:

Apple以外のソリューション:

https://screentimelabs.com/

https://kidslox.com/en/

http://ourpact.com/

For questions, comments or concerns relating to the Aoba-Japan International School ICT Acceptable Use Policy please contact the Aoba Department at ict@aobajapan.jp

CHILD PROTECTION POLICY

Introduction

This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990), Children Abuse Prevention Act 2000 (Act No. 82 of 2000) and Child Welfare Act 1947 (Act No. 164 of 1947) in Japan, and also the guidelines provided by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology-Japan (MEXT), the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Social Welfare and Public Health and the Center for Child Abuse Prevention (CCAP), and the CIS Code of Ethics. This procedure will be reviewed and updated as needed.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines child abuse and child maltreatment as “all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.”

Types of Abuse

Abuse can be:

  • physical abuse, for example, beating or punching;
  • emotional abuse, for example, rejection and denial of affection;
  • sexual abuse, for example, sexual assault or encouraging a child or young person to view pornographic material;
  • neglect, for example, failure to provide appropriate care including emotional or medical attention

Students harming themselves, for example through cutting, burning, or misuse of substances as well as forms of self-harm related to anorexia and bulimia, need to be supported. The school will follow the steps outlined in the A-JIS Student Protection Flowchart to notify the appropriate parties.

Signs of Abuse

Possible signs of abuse include (but are not limited to):

  • The student says she/he has been abused or asks a question which gives rise to that inference.
  • There is no reasonable or consistent explanation for a student’s injury; the injury is unusual in kind or location; there have been a number of injuries; there is a pattern to the injuries.
  • The student’s behaviour stands out from the group as either being extreme model behaviour or extremely challenging behaviour, or there is a sudden change in the student’s behaviour.
  • The student asks to drop subjects with a particular teacher and seems reluctant to discuss the reasons.
  • The student’s development is delayed.
  • The student loses or gains weight rapidly.
  • The student appears neglected, e.g. dirty, hungry, inadequately clothed.
  • The student is reluctant to go home or has been openly rejected by his/her parents or carers.

Duty of Employees

Every employee and director/trustee of the School is under a general legal duty to:

  • Protect students from abuse
  • Be aware of the School’s child protection procedures and to follow them
  • Know how to access and implement the procedures, independently if necessary
  • Keep a sufficient record of any significant complaint, conversation or event
  • Report any matters of concern to the school nurse who will then inform the Head of School (HoS) and Principals as soon as possible.
  • Collaborate with the School Nurse to complete documentation of any incident as required

Teacher-Student Interactions  

A member of staff suspecting or hearing a complaint of abuse:

  • If you suspect abuse, inform the school nurse.
  • If the student approaches you, listen carefully and keep an open mind. Staff should not make a decision as to whether or not the abuse has taken place.
  • Staff must not ask leading questions, that is, a question which suggests its own answer.
  • Must reassure the student but not give a guarantee of absolute confidentiality. The member of staff should explain that they need to pass the information to the school nurse and/or counselor, who will ensure that the correct action is taken.
  • Must keep a sufficient written record of any teacher-student conversations, on the current SIS platform at the time.
  • The record should include the date, time and place of the conversation and the essence of what was said and done by whom and in whose presence. The record must be kept confidential on the SIS platform.

Preserving Evidence

All evidence, (for example, scribbled notes, photos, mobile phones containing text messages, clothing, and computers), must be safeguarded and preserved to the best of the school’s ability, within the limits of the law.

Reporting

Central to this aspect of the school is the role of the Child Protection Officer. In short, the CPO:

  • Implements child protection policy and procedures in collaboration with the PLT.
  • Encourages good practice by promoting and championing the child protection policy and procedures.
  • Monitors and reviews the child protection policy and procedures to ensure they remain current and fit for purpose.
  • Regularly reports to the PLT.
  • Keeps abreast of developments in the field of child protection in Japan and in international schools by attending relevant training or events and reading all governmental guidelines.
  • Organise/signpost appropriate training with the PLT for all adults working/volunteering with children at the school.
  • Establish and maintain contact with local statutory agencies including the police and social services.
  • Respond appropriately to disclosures or concerns which relate to the well-being of a child.
  • Maintain confidential records of reported cases and action taken.
  • Where required liaises with the PLT and/or statutory agencies and ensure they have access to all necessary information.

All suspicion or complaints of abuse must be reported to the CPO who will ensure that the HoS and/or the principals are aware.

Action by the HoS (or on behalf of the HoS):

The action to be taken will take into account:

  • The local inter-agency procedures of the Child, Family Support Center or/and Child guidance Office.
  • The nature and seriousness of the suspicion or complaint. 
  • A complaint involving a serious criminal offense will always be referred to the police without further investigation within the School.
  • The wishes of the student who has complained, provided that the student is of sufficient understanding and maturity and properly informed. However, there may be times when the situation is so serious that decisions may need to be taken, after all appropriate consultation, that override a student’s wishes.
  • The wishes of the complainant’s parents, provided they have no interest which is in conflict with the student’s best interests and that they are properly informed. Again, it may be necessary, after all appropriate consultation, to override parental wishes in some circumstances. If the HoS is concerned that disclosing information to parents would put a young person at risk, or it is against the student’s wishes, he or she will take further advice from the relevant professionals before making a decision to disclose.
  • Duties of confidentiality, so far as applicable.
  • The lawful rights and interests of the School community as a whole, including its employees and its trustees.
  • If there is room for doubt as to whether a referral should be made, the HoS may consult with external agencies. However, as soon as sufficient concern exists that a student may be at risk of significant harm, a referral will be made without delay. If required, the HoS will confirm the referral in writing to the relevant Social Services within 24 hours.

Confidentiality and information sharing

The School will keep all child protection records confidential in the current SIS platform, allowing disclosure only to those who need the information in order to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The School will cooperate with police and social services to ensure that all relevant information is shared for the purposes of child protection investigations under Article 25 of the Child Welfare Act 1947, Article 6 of the Child Abuse Prevention Act 2000.

Prevention of student abuse

The school will not hire staff who have a record of abuse. Background checks will be part of the hiring process for employees. Applicants for A-JIS positions will agree in writing with the terms of this policy as part of the contracting process.

Abuse prevention and awareness training will be provided for faculty and staff

A-JIS will develop and maintain guidelines for faculty and staff to address the prevention, reporting, and investigation of student abuse.

Safeguarding Agreement with Employees

Employees are to read, agree and understand the below, and sign their Full Legal Name, Date, and Position every year.

  1. I will treat everyone with respect, patience, integrity, courtesy, dignity, and consideration.
  2. I will exercise due diligence and professional judgement at all times.
  3. I have read, understood, and agree to abide by the Aoba-Japan International School Student Protection Guidelines. I understand that any violation of the guidelines  may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from A-JIS and/or legal action if warranted.

UNIFORM POLICY

Supplier

Lands’ End and Top of the Class will continue to be our main supplier of uniforms.   

Order Process

Top of the Class : www.schooluniform.jp/how-to-order/

Please contact them directly for any questions.

Lands’ End : www.landsend.com

School Number is 900160342. Please contact them directly for any questions.

Uniform Items

Items for each grade level are detailed in the Uniform Guide. Please do not substitute with alternative items, unless advised by the school, even if the alternative is from our suppliers. Certain items require the school logo – these are noted in this Uniform Guide and already come with the logo applied. All uniforms must be clearly named. All students may choose to wear skirts or pants in any grade level.

*Polo Dresses can also be worn for K-G3 students, available at Lands’ End.

Sizing

Top of the Class provides sizes by age or height (cm).

Lands’ End provides charts to ensure accurate sizing. Trousers, shorts, and skirts come with adjustable elastic inner waistbands. Trousers can be hemmed to preferred length.

Summer/Winter

Summer uniforms are to be worn from May 1 – September 30, and winter uniforms are to be worn from October 1 – April 30. These dates are to serve as guidelines.

K3 – G6

Uniforms are to be worn everyday unless directed by the school otherwise.  

*The Polo Dress is only available at Lands’ End

School PE clothes are REQUIRED for all of the students of Hikarigaoka Campus*.  Required PE items are ONLY AVAILABLE from Top of the Class. Please purchase PE items from them.

* Meguro students do not need the school PE clothes.

G7-G9

Daily: 

Students in the middle years may wear clothing items of their choice, being mindful that they are representing the school at all times, and should be dressed in appropriate attire for learning. It is important that they are culturally, religiously, socially, politically, and historically respectful at all times. 

Formal Occasions: 

All students must wear an Aoba polo shirt with proper bottoms and shoes for field trips, performances, etc. The Aoba polo shirt may be purchased from Top of the Class

Physical Education: 

Students are recommended to be in proper PE uniform for PE classes, to be purchased from Top of the Class. All students are required to have proper indoor athletic shoes for the gym. 

G10 – G12

As our senior students head towards adulthood, we support them in becoming increasingly responsible and accountable for the decisions they make. Thus, we have made changes to our uniform guidelines to enable students to understand the implications of how they present themselves in different contexts. At the beginning of each year the senior school student cohort from Grade 10 and 12 will discuss what it means to belong to Aoba and the importance of being culturally, religiously, socially, politically, and historically respectful at all times in terms of how they present themselves as an Aoba student. 

Daily: 

Students in the senior school may wear clothing items of their choice, being mindful that they are representing the school at all times, and should be dressed in appropriate attire for learning. 

Formal Occasions: 

All students are required to purchase the school tie and pin badge, to be worn on formal occasions. In these occasions students will be asked to ensure when representing the school they present as a unified group. Formal occasion attire includes a blazer, a white collared shirt, formal pants/skirt and dress shoes of their choice, and the school tie and pin badge. 

*The above is a sample image of the tie and pin.  

Physical Education: 

Students are recommended to be in proper PE uniform for PE classes, to be purchased from Top of the Class. All students are required to have proper indoor athletic shoes for the gym. 

*Note: All students may continue to wear the school uniforms, if they wish.

COMMUTE POLICY

Hikarigaoka Campus

Commute route from Hikarigaoka Station

Areas painted grey on the map below is private property of apartment complexes.  Please use public roads, roads next to the park, or use the recommended route as outlined in Blue.


Commuting to and from school

Any family members who come to the school, such as pick-up and drop-off, must also check their temperature before coming to school. Families are not allowed to enter the school building in principle. Doors open for 8.20 to 8.30 and 15.30 – 15.50. You cannot enter the school building earlier than 8:20 am. For safety reasons, students must use the Main gate (Bus gate) for entering and leaving the school property at all times. If they are accompanied by guardian(s), they also must use the main gate.

Students are expected to walk, ride their bicycle, or take public transportation to commute to school. Other means of transportation are not allowed unless individual arrangements are made and pre approved by the school. Please refer below “Coming to school by car” in cases for bringing your children by private vehicles.

School bus

Aoba puts high priority on the safety of all the children. For a smooth and safe bus operation, the following rules apply to all Aoba students riding the buses. 

School Bus Rules and Guidelines (Hikarigaoka)

Morning Bus 

  • 8:10  Branch manager and operation manager of the bus company open the bus gate and stand outside of the gate to guide buses, passerby, and the passage of vehicles until all the school buses arrive at school.
  • 8:10-8:20  Eight school buses arrive at school and park at designated areas. 
  • The drivers who arrive early lead the way while other drivers park their bus at their designated area or/and stand outside of the bus gate to confirm safety.
  • 8:10-8:25  After parking the school bus, the bus attendant makes sure the bus area is safe to get off. If other buses are arriving into the bus area, the attendant has the bus riders stay inside the bus until the other buses are parked. G1 and above bus riders enter the school building by themselves. Kindergarten students will be accompanied by the bus attendant to their classroom. (If the bus arrives before 8:10, bus riders will stay inside the school bus with the bus attendant until 8:10 the entrance doors of the school building open.)
  • 8:30  Branch manager and operation manager of the bus company close the bus gate.

Afternoon Bus

  • 15:25   The Transportation Coordinator opens the bus gate to welcome the parents picking up their child(ren) and monitors all students until the last bus departs the school.
  • 15:25   Bus attendant stands outside of the bus doorway with the daily bus list.
  • 15:30  Drivers turn on the engine and adjust the temperature inside the buses. Drivers and operation manager of Bus company checks if the basic functions such as lights and indicators work well and checks under the bus to make sure that nothing is under it.
  • Office staff and teachers who are on duty stands at the bus area to help the students board.
  • 15:30 – 15:45  G1 and above bus riders get on their assigned bus by themselves and Kindergarten bus riders will be accompanied by their teachers to the doorway of the school bus. The bus attendant helps the Kindergarten students to their child seat and fasten their seat belts. While bus riders get on the bus, the bus attendant confirms their name with the daily bus list to make sure all bus riders board.
  • After all bus riders get on the bus, the bus attendant counts the number of the students on the bus to make sure they are all on board and checks if their seatbelt is fastened.
  • 15:40  Operation manager will stand outside of the bus gate to lead the way to the general road and an office staff will be there for students and the parents  going home on foot, passerby and people riding their bicycle.
  • 15:40-15:45  All buses depart school.
  • 15:45  Office staff will close the bus gate.

Coming to school by car

If you intend to bring your child to school by car, please use parking spaces nearby the school or near Hikarigaoka train station, and walk your child into the school grounds.

Please do not stop outside of the front gate to drop off. Also, please do not park at Family Mart or A-Colle store (opposite the school).

The following are examples of the nearby parking lots.

Hikarigaoka IMA Parking: http://www.ima-hikarigaoka.jp/access/

Hotel Cadenza: https://h-cadenza.jp/en/access/

Coming to school by bicycle

Students may ride their bicycles to school. We require that all students wear a helmet and recommend that they wear protective gloves. Please ensure that your child’s bicycle is registered and has insurance. There is a bicycle form that we will ask you to complete, so please contact us. Parents of younger children may ride their child to school by bicycle. They can enter through the main gate.

*As of April 1, 2020, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government requires all bicycle riders to enrol in insurance (such as bicycle casualty insurance) to ensure that they can pay for any damage or injury to others if the rider is involved in a cycling accident.

When a student is late

If your child is unavoidably late for school, please let the school reception know. Students who are late will have their temperature check at the reception desk, and a late pass will be issued if there is no problem with the health observation sheet. Those students cannot enter the classroom without a late pass.

Families visiting the school

Parents are restricted from entering the school building. The family will have access to the front door of the school lobby. If you have special circumstances and need to enter the school, please make reservations and registration by emailing at attendance@aobajapan.jp, and follow the instructions. Families without reservations/registrations may not be permitted to enter the school building.

The school office will not receive or keep your child’s forgotten items at the reception. Please be sure to check your child’s items for school use. We can receive lunch, water bottle and medicine for your child at the infirmary. Please email attendance@aobajapan.jp in advance and follow the instructions.

Meguro Campus

Commute route from Naka-Meguro Station and Shinsen Station

Please follow the red line from/to Toyoko line Nakameguro station. From Keio Inokashira line Shinsen station, please follow the blue line.

Commuting to and from school

Any family members who come to the school, such as pick-up and drop-off, must also check the temperature before coming to school. Families are not allowed to enter the school building in principle. Doors open for 8.40 to 9.00 and 15.00 to 15.20. You cannot enter the school building earlier than 8:40 am.

School Bus

Aoba puts high priority on the safety of all the children. For a smooth and safe bus operation, the following rules apply to all Aoba students riding the buses. 

School Bus Rules and Guidelines (Meguro)

If your child is registered to ride the bus, he/she may ride the bus from the first day of school. Parents must check the student’s temperature before getting on the bus. If the temperature is 37.4°C or above, the student will need to stay home. Please sanitize the hands prior to getting on the bus and wear a mask (for children from K3 onwards) on the bus.

*Parents must be with their child(ren) while waiting for the bus.

Morning Bus 

  • 8:40-8:50 Three staff members will wait outside the main building for the bus to arrive.
  • 8:50-9:00 After parking the school bus, the bus attendant will make sure the bus area is safe to get off. Two staff members will help K2 and K3 students to walk up the stairs into the building. One staff member will stay with the K4 and K5 children in the garage. Once the bus leaves and it is safe, K4 and K5 students will be accompanied by one staff member into the K4/K5 building.
  • Bus attendant will check the bus to ensure no belongings are left behind before leaving the school premises.

Afternoon Bus

  • Before 14:30 Before the bus leaves for Meguro campus, the driver will turn on the engine and adjust the temperature inside the buses. Drivers and operation manager of Bus company checks if the basic functions such as lights and indicators work well and checks under the bus to make sure that nothing is under it.
  • 14:30 Bus arrives at Meguro campus. The bus attendant will speak to the office staff to identify who will be on the bus in the afternoon.
  • Office staff and teachers who are on duty will stand at the bus area to help the students board.
  • 14:45-14:50 All bus riders will get on the bus accompanied by staff members to the doorway of the school bus. The bus attendant will help the students to their seat and fasten their seat belts. While bus riders get on the bus, the bus attendant confirms their name with the daily bus list to make sure all bus riders have boarded.
  • After all bus riders get on the bus, the bus attendant counts the number of the students on the bus to make sure they are all on board and checks if their seatbelt is fastened.
  • 14:50  The bus departs from the school.

Coming to school by car

If you intend to bring your child to school by car, please use parking spaces nearby the school and walk your child into the school grounds. The school does not provide parking for pick-ups and drop-offs.

Please do not park your car on the road of our school or in front of anyone’s house.  

Coming to school by bicycle

Parents of younger children may ride their child to school by bicycle. They can park their bicycles in the garage. 

*As of April 1, 2020, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government requires all bicycle riders to enrol in insurance (such as bicycle casualty insurance) to ensure that they can pay for any damage or injury to others if the rider is involved in a cycling accident.

When the student is late

If your child is unavoidably late for school, please let the office know. Students who are late will have their temperature check at the office, and a late pass will be issued if there is no problem with the health observation sheet. Those students cannot enter the classroom without a late pass.

Families visiting the school  Families are restricted from entering the school building but will have access to the office. If you have special circumstances and need to enter the school, please make reservations and registration by emailing at meguro@aobajapan.jp, and follow the instructions. Families without reservations/registrations may not be permitted to enter the school building.

INSURANCE POLICY

Aoba provides medical coverage for all students for injuries or accidents during curricular, co-curricular or extracurricular activities on campus, off-campus locally and off-campus abroad. This insurance also covers food poisoning.  Non-students, parents and visitors who participate in any Aoba event are covered for injuries on campus.

LANGUAGE POLICY

Policy Statement

The Aoba language policy is a working document developed by staff and administration and input for the Aoba community.  The policy is consistent with the stipulated principles and practices of the IB. This policy is intended to provide an overview and guiding principles for language learning at Aoba which permeates the entire school curriculum through authentic contexts in a culturally rich and diverse environment. Our policy is a statement of agreement—one to which the staff and the Aoba community are asked to commit to so our school can achieve its mission of developing globally-minded, compassionate, collaborative students inspired to learn, take risks, and lead change in the world.

Language Philosophy

At Aoba we share these common beliefs about language acquisition and learning.

  • Language is an important focus because it is integral to effective learning in all curriculum areas and across all phases of learning.
  • Language is essential for students’ lifelong learning and for their active participation in a highly complex and networked world.
  • We value the importance of learning the host country’s culture and language. This is reflected through the teaching of Japanese language and culture from beginner to native level throughout the school.
  • All teachers are teachers of language and, as such, need to teach their students explicitly how to engage with the language conventions and vocabulary of their subject area.
  • At Aoba we believe that language is central to all learning, is used to construct meaning and deepen our understanding of the world. We believe that language is best learned in an authentic context
  • The acquisition of more than one language and maintenance of the mother tongue enrich personal growth and help facilitate international understanding. 
  • Whilst English is the language of instruction, the language policy allows students to inquire in their mother tongue to assist with understanding, inclusion, and multilingualism.
  • Students learn best when they are actively involved in listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  At Aoba we approach language through a variety of methods and strategies with a focus on inquiry and team-based learning. As all teachers are teachers of language where the conventions of communication are unique in a given subject, the appropriate scaffolding and teacher modeling must be in place to encourage students to succeed (i.e., lab report, literary essay, letter).
  • Differentiation of tasks and expectations to suit students’ language levels assists students’ ability to access the curriculum.
  • The use of language must be assessed using a balance of authentic assessments, both written and oral. Continuous feedback and student self-assessment support student learning.

The Aoba Language Environment

Aoba students consist of a high percentage of host country nationals and a minority population consisting of many different languages and cultures. This has guided our choices in languages offered to our students. We acknowledge that many of our students speak English as an additional language. There is a range of proficiency in English, both spoken and written across the school. Results from externally moderated and internal assessment tools such as ISA, PAT, DRA and WIDA may be used to determine the effectiveness of our language programme, and provide feedback and focus for student learning needs.

Admissions

To support students and inform teachers, an English language proficiency screener test in all four domains of literacy, reading, writing, speaking and listening is administered to incoming students entering Grade 1 and above to ascertain the level of English proficiency of the student.

Children in Grades 6 and 7 with limited English will have to demonstrate their capacity to acquire and engage the language of instruction to ensure success in accessing the curriculum.

Our high school academic programme (for grades 6-12) is geared toward preparing students who are planning to go to college or university, so students need to have academic English proficiency commensurate with the grade level for which they are applying.

Language of instruction

To meet the language and communication needs of everyone at Aoba, English is promoted as the language of inclusion as it is the language of instruction and therefore the common language within the community. To this end, students, teachers, administrators, and parents are encouraged to converse in English whenever possible to ensure a sense of community and belonging.

Beliefs about Bilingualism

As an IB world school, Aoba offers students the opportunity to learn more than one language and for some, the opportunity to be proficient bilinguals, with fluency in two languages. We believe that exposure to more than one language and bilingualism offers multiple perspectives, not only linguistically, but in all areas of life and learning.

Beliefs about Mother Tongue

In keeping with the IB philosophy, appropriate use of the mother tongue is encouraged, valued, and supported at Aoba.

We recognize that a solid foundation and continued development of the mother tongue language is essential in the development of all other languages and is crucial for maintaining identity, cultural understanding, and empathy. 

Japanese Culture and Language Studies support the host country students in the development of their mother tongue, these classes are offered throughout all grade levels.

The programmes have been developed with guidance from the Japanese Ministry of education standards. Aoba recognizes the need for students to use their mother tongue language to translate and clarify when the language of instruction is not clearly understood. The continued promotion of mother tongue languages is encouraged in the home environment; parents are informed of the necessity to continue the development of their native language(s). Supporting mother tongue languages provides an emotional component as the child maintains links to their own culture and their native language is valued. Academic benefits include the transference of linguistic structures and thinking skills from one language to another providing essential links and scaffolds for language proficiency.

Beliefs about additional language learning and exposure

The JSL (Japanese as a Second Language) programme promotes cultural awareness and language acquisition of the host country for the non-fluent Japanese speaking school population. We believe that the acquisition of more than one language enriches personal growth and promotes global mindedness as highlighted in the Aoba Mission Statement.   

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

Aoba will provide an inclusive programme to support EAL students in becoming proficient in English for social interaction and academic success and to enable them to fully access the IB curriculum with confidence and understanding.

In Kindergarten, complete beginners in English will be accepted. Children from Grade 1 – 5 with limited English will be provided with assistance to support them in their English acquisition.   

Inclusive EAL students in Grades 1 – 5 will have their needs met through including modifications in specific subjects as necessary, along with having language objective goals that are modified from the WIDA Can Do descriptors for students (based upon grade level and proficiency levels). These students will receive in-class support at key junctures in the day from our EAL support team.

We will employ a two-stage EAL to grade level assessment cycle for the 2020-2021 academic year, which we employ school-wide in November, February, and May. As an exit criterion, we utilize the widely used WIDA Model assessment to benchmark eligible students in the language domains of speaking, listening, writing, reading, oral language, and literacy to produce a composite, weighted score of each student’s overall English proficiency level.  Teachers use these scores, along with their own formative and summative assessments, to place the students in the appropriate phases.

All faculty are enrolled in a vertically aligned programme in order to ensure the highest of professional standards, undergoing professional development in both the IB and other leading educational programmes, such as the “Teaching ESL Students in Mainstream Classrooms” certification programme from the Australian government.

English in the MYP

EAL students in Grades 6-8 are enrolled in MYP Language Acquisition classes whilst being immersed in mainstream classes for social inclusion and contextual enhancement of language acquisition, divided into Phases. We employ the MYP curriculum to support these students to progress through IB Phases 1-6, but we use the WIDA assessment as an additional assessment tool. The students are taught according to the MYP Language Acquisition guide and are assessed against the related criteria by qualified teachers who have completed IB-sanctioned training. Students who exit Language Acquisition enter the standard English Language & Literature course, along with the mainstream students who take Language & Literature as their English course. 

Japanese in the MYP

Beginning Japanese language learners are enrolled in MYP Japanese Language Acquisition class; this is organised into Phases 1-6 as with English. At the end of MYP, students may be enrolled in a Japanese language DP class according to their fluency level based on their instructors’ recommendation. There are Japanese A Language & Literature, Japanese B Language  acquisition and Japanese Ab initio options available. 

Roles and responsibilities

It is recognized throughout the language policy that each facet of the community holds responsibilities in the development and use of language and in the support of student learning. 

To support the Aoba language policy:

Students will

  • Take an active role in language learning that is outlined in the Aoba language policy.
  • Be encouraged to seek a wide range of language opportunities.
  • Do their best to develop a second language if appropriate.
  • Have an opportunity to learn the language of the host country.
  • Be responsible for using the language of inclusion.

Teachers will

  • Be aware of the Aoba language policy.
  • Provide a safe and supportive learning environment.
  • Model effective communication.
  • Help students find appropriate language resources.
  • Differentiate between student’s language needs in planning, teaching and assessing student work.
  • Provide timely and effective feedback about language development to the students and their parents.
  • Students who are not developing the requisite language skills need to be referred to the appropriate department.
  • Use a range of assessments and teaching strategies.
  • Understand their role that all teachers are teachers of language.
  • Engage in active communication between students and their family.

Parents will

  • Be aware of the Aoba language policy and support it.
  • Encourage, provide and support opportunities for their child to maintain their mother tongue.
  • Provide resources and support for all areas of language learning both at school and at home.
  • Monitor their child’s progress and communicate concerns initially through the classroom teacher.

Administration will

  • Ensure all parents have access to the Aoba policy and practices
  • Provide adequate resources and staffing for the school’s language programmes.
  • Ensure consistency across all sections of the school in the delivery of language instruction, assessment and reporting.
  • Instigate a regular review of the language policy.
  • Ensure that teachers are supported with professional development opportunities to keep abreast of current practices in the teaching of English as an additional language.

References:

Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma programme: Guidelines For Developing a School Language Policy. IB Language Policy

ASSESSMENT POLICY

Aoba Assessment Policy 

Assessment is integral to all teaching and learning. All IB schools are expected to develop assessment procedures and methods of reporting that reflect the philosophy and objectives of the programme. 

The purpose of this document is to present: 

  1. our school philosophy on assessment, evaluation and reporting.
  2. a common definition for the terms assessment, evaluation and reporting.
  3. guidelines and procedures for assessment, evaluation and reporting.

This document is based on current educational research, best practice and assessment principles as outlined by the International Baccalaureate organization. This document provides Aoba with models of effective assessment and reporting practices. In addition it fulfills the standards, principles and practices prescribed by the International Baccalaureate (IB). This document is binding to all members of Aoba faculty and administration.

Principles of Assessment at Aoba 

The key principles of the IB assessment, which apply to all programmes (PYP, MYP,  DP, and GLD) are outlined below and form the principles of assessment at Aoba. 

  • Assessment is integral to planning, teaching and learning. 
  • The assessment system and assessment practices are made clear to students and parents. 
  • There is a balance between formative and summative assessment. 
  • Opportunities for peer and self-assessment are planned for. 
  • Opportunities for students to reflect on their own learning are planned for. 
  • Students’ current knowledge and experience are assessed before embarking on new learning. 
  • Students are provided with feedback as a basis for future learning. 
  • Reporting to families is meaningful. 
  • Assessment data is analysed to provide information about the teaching and learning, and the  needs of individual students. 
  • Assessment is used to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum. 

Assessment at Aoba

Assessment is the measurement of what students know and can do. How and when we evaluate students directly informs planning, teaching, and learning. Effective assessment places students at the center of their learning by allowing teachers to monitor student progress and adjust instruction to improve achievement. Teachers should provide a balanced variety of assessment tasks as well as conducting teacher-led assessments. Students should be involved in meaningful self and peer assessment, and should be aware of all assessment practices and expectations before embarking on evaluative tasks. Students are also expected to take ownership of their learning and be involved in designing their assessments by being supported by the teacher in feedback sessions and self-reflection activities to support their own learning needs. 

Reporting to parents should be meaningful. Parents should be kept informed of student progress, the assessment and evaluation systems and their role in supporting student learning. Accurate assessment records and documentation are kept on each student to inform all stakeholders of student progress and to guide future academic goals. Assessment is managed through an active partnership among students, teachers, and parents/guardians. Clarity of expectations and good communication are shared responsibilities. The assessment component in our school’s curriculum is subdivided into three closely related areas. 

Assessing – how do we discover what the students know and have learned. 

Recording – how we choose to collect, store and analyze data 

Reporting – how we choose to communicate levels of performance and progress 

Assessment Data

The Aoba assessment framework consists of internal and external assessment tools. The external assessment tools provide data yearly showing holistic trends based on generic, externally designed assessment. The internal assessment tools provide sequential and iterative point in time data showing student progress specific to the school’s curriculum.

Aoba uses the externally designed International Schools Assessment (ISA) tool and Progressive Achievement Test in Reading and Mathematics (PAT-R & M) instruments. This external data provides information showing whole-school progress or otherwise. While the external data is comparable to other schools, its strength lies in its capacity to affirm the quality of our programs or to indicate the need for changes to our programs. It informs whole-school or sectional (Grades 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12) interventions designed by the school.

Aoba uses internally designed assessment tools that inform our day to day teaching practices. We apply three school-wide internal assessment tools. These tools are:

  • Core Assessment that measures student progress in the domains
    • Learning Process
    • Critical and Creative Thinking
    • Communication
    • Teamwork
  • Curriculum that includes the IB programs, the GLD, and the Grade 10 transition. 
  • Literacy and Numeracy

Assessment Tools

External assessment tools

ISA

The International Schools Assessment (ISA) is an annual assessment programme specially developed to measure skills in mathematical literacy, reading and writing of students in international schools. The ISA is an internationally endorsed reading and mathematical literacy framework of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The ISA reports provide descriptive information about what students know and can do. The results are equated from year to year to track changes over time at the individual and school level.

PAT-M

The Progressive Achievement Test in Mathematics (PAT-M) provides information to teachers about the level of student achievement attained in the skills and conceptual understandings of mathematics. PAT-M addresses the proficiencies of fluency, understanding, problem-solving and reasoning. Measures mathematical ability across three content strands:

  • Number and Algebra
  • Measurement and Geometry
  • Statistics and Probability

PAT-R

The Progressive Achievement Tests in Reading (PAT-R) assess reading comprehension and word knowledge. Test results provide information for monitoring progress over time and interventions. PAT-R assess reading comprehension by covering the processes of:

  • Retrieving information
  • Implicit and explicit interpretation 
  • Reflection

Internal Assessment Tools

Core Assessment

The structure of the Aoba Core Assessment provides a framework for evaluating the depth of understanding and application in four domains from Kindergarten to Grade 12:

  • Learning Process 
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Communication
  • Teamwork

Curriculum Assessment 

In daily practice, we apply the assessment protocols of the curriculum being delivered at the time:

  • IB (K-12)
  • Grade 10 Transition
  • GLD Diploma (Grades 11-12)
  • Literacy and Numeracy Assessment 

Literacy and numeracy data is systematically generated and shared monthly with students, teachers and parents. 

Summative and Formative Assessment 

Aligned with both current research into best practices and IB’s own guidelines, teachers use a range of formative and summative tasks.

Formative Assessment

Formative assessment represents the process of gathering, analyzing, interpreting and using evidence to improve student learning. Ongoing formative assessment is used to inform the teacher’s understanding of the student’s knowledge, conceptual understandings, Approaches to Learning (ATL) and learner profile.  Formative assessment is integrated into the curriculum and woven into the daily learning process and is an integral part of instruction. It provides teachers and students with information about how learning is progressing. It helps the teacher to plan the next stage of learning. Formative assessments occur continuously and include structured and spur-of-the-moment observations that are recorded and filed; anecdotal records; formal and informal interviews; collections of work samples; use of extended projects, performances, and exhibitions; performance exams; various forms of short-answer testing, etc. This evidence of learning can be kept in grade books, files or portfolios, which in turn can be used by students and teachers to reflect on, summarize, and evaluate student progress.

Formative assessment promotes deep understanding of knowledge and skills by careful consideration of the types of assignment given. Students are involved in the process of goal-setting throughout the year, for example, at the beginning of each Unit of Inquiry. Students are involved in the formative assessment of their own learning and that of their peers through feedback forms and formal and informal conferences and discussions. Peer assessment requires a very safe and collaborative learning environment and should only be attempted sparingly and after a period of training and discussion with the class. 

Formative assessment involves providing students with descriptive feedback as they learn. This provides students with an understanding of what they are doing well, links to classroom learning, and gives specific input on how to reach the next step in the learning progression. Teachers will provide students frequent and descriptive feedback on formative tasks that aim to improve performance. 

The feedback given should provide incentives for improvement and should be positive in tone, providing encouragement, positive feedback as well as constructive critique. It is expected that prior to summative assessments being conducted teachers conduct formative assessment at least once for each criteria that will be summatively assessed and that this be documented in the unit planners as applicable, depending upon programme requirements. 

Generally this feedback will not include a grade, though occasionally a level or mark will be given as a diagnostic tool and as an incentive for improvement. Formative assessments usually do not support the determination of a grade level, though they may in situations when summative assessment data is lacking. It is far more important that formative assessment correctly identifies the knowledge, skills and understanding that students should develop. 

Summative Assessment

Summative assessment is used to assess the knowledge, conceptual understandings, Approaches to Learning (ATL) and learner profile. Summative assessment occurs at appropriate times during a teaching and learning cycle when students are given the opportunity to demonstrate what they know and can do by applying their knowledge in new and authentic contexts. Summative assessments are a means to gauge, at a particular point in time, student learning relative to the pre-defined criteria communicated to students prior to and during formative assessment. Although the information gleaned from this type of assessment is important, it can only help in evaluating certain aspects of the learning process. 

The timing, type, scope and format of each summative task should be clearly communicated to the students ahead of time, and rubrics, exemplars and practice assessments should be distributed and discussed in advance. MYP and DP programmes use the IB Grading Scale of 1 to 7, and follow the procedures outlined in the respective guides, such as “From Principles to Practice.”

Academic Honesty

In order for learning to be valid, students must engage in their studies honestly. When a student cheats or in any way compromises the integrity of the educational process, he demeans himself, debases the efforts of his peers, and degrades the value of the International Baccalaureate program. The IB has clear guidelines that outlines the procedures for academic dishonesty. 2 The school has an Academic Integrity Policy that provides explicit guidelines for the DP programme. (Refer to DP Handbook).

Conferencing and Reporting

Conferencing and reporting are used to assess the knowledge, conceptual understandings, Approaches to Learning (ATL) and learner profile. Reporting on assessment at Aoba includes communicating what students know, understand and can do. It describes the progress of the students’ learning, identifies areas for growth, and contributes to the efficacy of the programme. Reporting to parents, students and teachers occurs through conferences, portfolios and reports. 

Assessment without feedback is merely judgment; feedback is the component of assessment that lets us interpret the judgment and improve our work. Reporting is perhaps the most public aspect of a school’s assessment policy, and as such needs careful consideration in order to provide clear information that is useful to students and parents. Reporting may take many forms including conferences and written reports.

Effective reporting must: 

  • involve parents, students and teachers as partners 
  • reflect what the school community values 
  • be comprehensive, honest, fair and credible 
  • be clear and understandable to all parties 
  • reflect results as assessed against the programme criteria 
  • allow teachers to incorporate what they learn during the reporting process into their future teaching and assessment practice. 

Conferences

The purpose of conferences is to share information between teachers, students and parents. At Aoba we encourage a variety of conferences throughout the year:

  1. Teacher led three-way conferences 
  2. Student led three-way conferences 
  3. Parent teacher conferences 

Teacher-led Three-way Conferences

Teacher-led three-way conferences involve the student, parents and teacher. Students discuss their learning and understanding with their parents and teacher, who are responsible for supporting the student through this process. Students are responsible for self assessing and reflecting upon work samples they have chosen to share, that have been previously selected with guidance and support from the teacher and could be from the student’s portfolio. The student, parents and the teacher collaborate to establish and identify the student’s strengths and areas for improvement. This may lead to the setting of new goals, with all determining how they can support the achievement of the goals. The teacher is an integral part of the process and takes notes of the discussion. These notes may then be used in the written report. All of the participants must understand the format and their roles prior to the conference. 

Student-led Three-way Conferences

Student-led three-way conferences involve the student and the parent. The students are responsible for leading the conference, and also take responsibility for their learning by sharing the process with their parents. It may involve students demonstrating their understanding through a variety of different learning situations. There may be several conferences taking place simultaneously. The conference will involve the students discussing, self-assessing and reflecting upon samples of work that they have previously chosen to share with their parents. These samples will come from the student’s portfolio. 

The Written Report

The written report is a formal document that outlines the student’s progress and is another means of giving feedback to students, parents and others about the student’s progress based on assessment and evaluation information. 

Portfolios as an Assessment Tool

Schools have a responsibility to show evidence of student learning. As an example, portfolios are one method of collecting and storing information that can be used to document and assess student progress and achievement.

A portfolio is a record of students’ involvement in learning which is designed to demonstrate success, growth, higher-order thinking, creativity, assessment strategies and reflection. A portfolio is a celebration of an active mind at work. It provides a picture of each student’s progress and development over a period of time both as individual and group learners. It enables students to reflect with teachers, parents and peers in order to identify their strengths and growth as well as areas for improvement, and then to set individual goals and establish teaching and learning plans. 

Evidence of learning in a portfolio should be from a range of experiences and curriculum areas. The portfolio is used to show the development of knowledge, conceptual understanding, transdisciplinary skills, attitudes and the attributes of the learner profile over a period of time. It may also be used to document student action. Portfolio entries should document both the process of learning and the product, including images and evidence of students in the process of constructing meaning. It can be used as a tool for assessment and reporting purposes for students, parents, teachers and administrators.

Assessment for EAL Students

Aoba students have a variety of levels of language competency and are provided additional language support dependent on their English literacy level to ensure access to the curriculum. Assessment for EAL students follows IB guidelines. 

Continuum between the Programmes

Because of the differences in the IB programmes there is an assessment continuum ranging from almost entirely internal assessments in the Primary Years Programme to final external assessments in the Diploma Programme. Assessment at Aoba is clearly defined and transparent; all efforts are made to ensure a smooth transition between programmes and assessment procedures. MYP-specific guidelines are provided in a codicil to this document, “MYP Assessment & Reporting.” 

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY

Academic Integrity 

Academic integrity is a guiding principle in education and a choice to act in a responsible way whereby

others can have trust in us as individuals. It is the foundation for ethical decision-making and behaviour in the production of legitimate, authentic and honest scholarly work. Academic integrity goes beyond a definition and a well-structured school policy; it should also be part of an “ethical culture” of any educational institution, be that a primary school or a university. It is an obligation which must be embraced and fostered by the entire school community, so students continue their future life, whether in higher education or in the workplace, in strict adherence to this principle.

Fostering an academic integrity culture, and a personal positive attitude towards it, requires the design of a school strategy that combines policies and good academic practice, while understanding the fundamental dimension it has in the authentic construction of meaning and learning in all IB programmes. The guiding principle of academic integrity can be seen as built up from a number of simpler concepts in education, that can start early during the PYP, be reinforced during the MYP and cemented later through the DP and CP. Expectations should be clearly communicated and modelled at an age appropriate level so that all IB students understand:

  • their responsibility for producing authentic and genuine individual and group work
  • how to correctly attribute sources, acknowledging the work and ideas of others
  • the responsible use of information technology and social media
  • how to observe and adhere to ethical and honest practice during examinations.

Educators supporting IB students in their learning should understand their own central role in developing the approaches to learning and reinforce the principle of academic integrity through all teaching, learning and assessment practices. 3

IBO  Programmes: Academic Integrity (2019)

Introduction

‘A  spirit  of  community  shapes  the  A-JIS experience’. We  believe  all  members  of  our  school  community at Aoba-Japan International School are accountable for upholding ethical and moral behaviours in the school. It is the  responsibility  of  stakeholders to  learn  about  and  understand  the  nature  of  intellectual honesty and academic integrity. The purpose of this document is to guide our actions related to the development of academic integrity across the entire school and to guide our management of cases of malpractice in a fair and transparent manner that is in line with IBO regulations.  However, even though we hold people accountable for academic  integrity,  our  main  aim  is  to  help  young  people  and  the  rest  of  our  learning  community  to  become intrinsically  responsible  for  making  the  right  decisions  when  it  comes  to  matters  of  integrity.    In  this  way,  we provide  numerous  opportunities  and  platforms  for  discussion,  debate  and  inquiry  within  classes to  ensure learners have had ample chance to understand what academic integrity is and the importance of developing it in themselves and the groups to which they belong.

As  with  other  IB  schools,  we  also  believe  in  the  importance  of  our  Academic Integrity  Policy promoting the development  of  the  attributes  of  the  IB  learner  profile. We promote a  commitment in  our  students to  take responsibility  for  their  own  actions  so  they  become knowledgeable  and  open-minded  inquirers who are able  to communicate and act in a principled manner as demonstrated through integrity and honesty.  This is developed through careful attention to approaches to teaching and learning so that academic integrity is developed explicitly through the normal teaching in the school.

Acknowledgements

Our Academic Integrity Policy has been developed in accordance with the International Baccalaureate Middle Years and Diploma Programmes, and we acknowledge the contribution  of  policies of Yokohama International School, Japan, Dwight School in South Korea, and NIST in Thailand.

Academic Honesty and Integrity: Definitions

Academic  honesty means  that  all  academic  [artefacts]  should  result  from  an  individual’s  own  efforts. Intellectual   contributions   from   others   must   be   consistently   and   responsibly   acknowledged in an appropriate way. Academic [assignments] completed in any other way are fraudulent’. Academic Integrity is something bigger and deeper.  While academic honesty can be seen to be in response to certain  situations  and  especially  assessments,  academic  integrity  is  more  about  the  responsibility  of  the individual due to their right to develop as a learner.  If academic honesty is how one behaves, academic integrity is  why  one  behaves  in  this  way.    Therefore  it  is  the  intention  to  develop  a  spirit  of  academic  integrity  among community members of Aoba rather than merely develop a reactive policy to academic dishonesty.

School Maladministration

The IB defines school maladministration as an action by an IB World School or an individual associated with an IB World School that infringes IB rules and regulations, and potentially threatens the integrity of IB examinations and assessments. It can happen before, during or after the completion of an assessment component or completion of an examination.

Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct is behaviour by an individual that results in that learner using material, data and information in such a  way  that  they  gain  an  inequitable  advantage,  particularly  in  relation  to  assessment  practices.  Academic misconduct is when a learner does not follow the school’s regulations as articulated in the school’s academic policy.  Academic misconduct mainly consists of:

  • Plagiarism
  • Collusion
  • Submitting work commissioned, edited by, or obtained from a third party 
  • Duplication of work
  • Inclusion of inappropriate, offensive, or obscene material
  • Misconduct during an examination

Academic misconduct is ‘any other behaviour that gains an unfair advantage for an individual or that affects the results of another  learner  (for  example,  taking  unauthorized  material  into  an  examination  room,  misconduct  during  an examination, falsifying a CAS record)’.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism  is  defined  as  using  another  person’s  assignments  or  ideas  as  their  own.  This  occurs  in  our  school when a learner, teacher or parent does not acknowledge the source of the assignments or ideas of others that have  subsequently  been  used  in  their  own  assignments. However,  it  is important that learners at Aoba learn how to create new ideas, products and processes by refining and extending original ideas and/or assignments.   Plagiarism is theft and includes but is not limited to:

  • ‘Direct copying of material without proper citation’.
  • ‘Use of large segments (sentences or even phrases) of  un-cited,  copied  wording  mixed  in  with  your  own words’.
  • ‘Over-dependence  on  sources’  phrasing  in  a  way  not  allowed  by  the  assignment,  such  as  rewriting  a paragraph  in  basically  your  own  words  but  clearly  only  using  the  ideas  and  structure  of  the  source  you  are reading’.
  • Peer plagiarism is copying work from another student or student lending their work to others to be used. 

Plagiarism is a serious offence at Aoba that will result in disciplinary action. We expect all students to demonstrate an age-appropriate understanding of plagiarism and how to correctly attribute authorship to sources of information.

Collusion vs. Collaboration

Collaboration

Collaboration/teamwork is the backbone of our teaching and learning and supports the implementation of our school’s mission, vision and core values. It is when 2 or more learners work together to create or achieve the same tasks. 

Collusion

Collusion is when learners work together collaboratively to take an unfair advantage when carrying out assessment tasks. This is when two or more learners act  together  in  a  dishonest way thus contravening the instructions of the teacher and or school in relation to how they respond to assignments, generate ideas, or products.

Example: 

Taro and Jenny have been studying algebra together. Jenny is quite skilled in maths and has helped Taro by explaining several topics many times. Taro, who writes well, is quite grateful for her help and offers to write an essay on algebra in everyday life that has been assigned for all students to write independently. Jenny reads over his essay, checks the spelling and adds citation, then submits it as her work, as does Taro.

Taro and Jenny were collaborating initially: it’s perfectly fine for one student to explain things to another. However, each student was supposed to do their own work but when they submitted the same essay as individual work they colluded to deceive the teacher.

Submitting work commissioned, edited by, or obtained from a third party

This occurs when a student submits work that is heavily or entirely edited by a third party (tutor, parents, external supervisor) to circumnavigate the rules set by the teacher. In our school, we highly encourage students to seek support from their school teachers while completing their work and especially DP coursework needs to be verified by their subject teachers or supervisors. 

Duplication of Work

Duplication of work is when students present the same work, partially or fully, for different assessment components or subjects.

Inclusion of inappropriate, offensive, or obscene material

This is a major offence when student work shows disrespect of personal, political and/ or spiritual values. Materials cannot include excessive violence or explicit sexual content that does not consider the racial, gender and religious beliefs of others. Our school’s mission statement, which is in-line with the IB philosophy,  strongly supports compassionate and global minded individuals who are always considerate of the cultural diversity present in the school community.  

Misconduct during an examination

Any attempt to exhibit misconduct or disruptive behaviour during an examination; possessing unauthorized material in the examination room; exchanging, passing, obtaining or receiving verbal or written information from other students during the examination completion time; removal of secure materials such as examination papers, questions and answer booklets, from the examination room; gaining access to IB examination papers before examination’s scheduled time; sharing of IB examination paper content before or during the examination’s scheduled time, or within 24 hours after the examination; assisting another student(s) in committing an act of academic misconduct or failing to report an academic misconduct.

Roles and Responsibilities

Pedagogical Leadership Team

All members, of the school’s Pedagogical Leadership Team, including the PYP, MYP, DP, and GLD coordinators, have a responsibility to:

  • model intellectual academic integrity and the integrity of the learner.
  • foster a culture of academic integrity amongst the members of the learning community
  • support all classroom teachers in the development of their understanding of the importance of academic integrity.
  • parent and teacher information sessions related to academic integrity.
  • provide the resources to ensure the monitoring of academic integrity is adequate.
  • investigate cases of malpractice for facts supported by evidence.
  • make recommendations to the Head of School regarding cases of malpractice.

Librarian

One role of the Librarian is to regularly collaborate with all PYP, MYP, DP, and GLD classroom teachers to develop the learners’ research skills that are needed to understand and apply academic integrity. The conventions of academic integrity will be displayed in the library and classrooms. Other roles are to identify and relate the use of new resources for fostering a culture of academic integrity and for monitoring it and relating these to teachers.

Class Teachers

IB teachers have a responsibility to teach and monitor academic integrity by:

  • modelling academic integrity in their own practices.
  • explaining the academic policy and the implications of academic misconduct.
  • teaching research skills to all learners in collaboration with the librarian.
  • developing and assessing the quality of research skills in all learners they teach.
  • providing regular feedback to learners related to the assignments they draft.
  • planning a manageable amount of work so that students can allocate appropriate time to produce good quality work according to the expectations of teacher, school and IB. 
  • identifying and monitoring the causes that lead learners away from academic integrity and ensure they are reduced or eradicated.
  • monitoring learner assignments for exemplary practice.
  • monitoring learner assignments for academic misconduct.
  • reporting any suspicion of malpractice in a timely and professional manner to members of the Pedagogical Leadership Team.

Learners

The path to developing academic integrity in all situations is part of a learner’s path to becoming a good citizen. As part of the community, our young people must become aware of and develop their responsibility as learners with integrity. In an age-appropriate situation, our learners need to be taught about academic integrity and learn how to accept and live up to this responsibility. Our development as learners is a right and so comes with certain responsibilities that respect that right. While we wish integrity to grow within each learner, academic misconduct by learners is not tolerated by Aoba. As such all learners are expected not to engage in acts of malpractice in accordance with the guidelines outlined in this Academic Integrity Policy and associated IBO policy. 

IB learners are expected to uphold the integrity of academic honesty in all the assignments they produce by having a full understanding of the policy. 

Parents/Legal guardians

Parents/legal guardians play an important role to work hand in hand with the school to reinforce the importance of academic integrity.  Parents, teachers and learners will have open conversations together to uphold the IB’s principles on academic integrity and be fully committed to support the student learning and success in the IB programmes. 

To manage the process of academic integrity, parents/legal guardians of IB learners are expected to: 

  • model and understand the tenets of academic integrity in the completion of coursework or examination papers by their children.
  • understand school internal policies and process to ensure academic integrity in their work
  • talking to their child about the importance of academic honesty and intellectual integrity.
  • supporting the school in monitoring academic honesty.
  • understand what constitutes student academic misconduct and its consequences.
  • submit authentic and up-to-date evidence to support a request for inclusive access arrangements or adverse circumstances considerations for their children.
  • avoid excessive assistance in the completion of work for their children

Citing and Referencing (MLA style)

Learners at Aoba will adopt the MLA referencing style leading up to and including the diploma years. Some subjects may require other referencing styles, which will be taught as needed. Learners in all grades will be taught how to use referencing as appropriate to their grade and development.

All learners will reference citations used in their assignments and include a bibliography or footnotes when appropriate. The classroom teachers and librarian will teach citation methods during normal teaching time. Methods used by learners will be adjusted in relation to their stage of development.

Resources: 

Maintaining Academic Integrity

The Aoba school community has a responsibility to ensure the principles and spirit of academic integrity is embedded throughout the school. The school will use any tools and technology that will support the overseeing and supervision of academic integrity in the school. This could include but is not limited to:

  • assignments being submitted in draft prior to completion
  • the use of plagiarism checkers in our LMS to authenticate learner’s assignments to verify any possible collusions and/or plagarisms between learners and across schools. 
  • academic integrity workshops for parents and teachers
  • all learners being consistently exposed to teaching and learning strategies and opportunities that help develop academic integrity

Detecting Academic Misconduct

All school community members have a responsibility to report any suspicious behaviour related to academic misconduct. If academic misconduct is suspected, an investigation committee, consisting of a classroom teacher and pedagogical leadership members, will meet to conduct an investigation. This investigation will be recorded and include the process of:

  • establishing if the evidence of malpractice is legitimate.
  • interviewing those concerned (leadership, teachers, learners, parents) .
  • convening a leadership team to review the evidence.
  • make a reasoned and validated recommendation to the Head of School for further action. (If it is an IB coursework that has been identified to have violated academic integrity, the school will not submit the work and it will be marked “0”. If the work has already been submitted to IB, the programme coordinator must notify IB as soon as possible. For IB examinations, if a learner has violated the regulations of the examination, the programme coordinator has to report to IB within 24hours and the student will still continue the examination and be sent for marking as usual.)

Learner Rights

Learners under investigation for academic misconduct will be provided with a fair and transparent process in which the learner will, of course, have the right to reply. Where possible, the investigation of the facts will be done in collaboration with the learner. The school will inform all parties of the probable duration, possible consequences of the investigation process and alternative pathways after the announcement of the investigation outcome.

Consequences

If a learner has been identified as having engaged in academic misconduct, they will be subjected to internal investigation to verify the facts. Pending the outcome of the investigation:

DP

  • A report will be provided for review by the Principal or Head of School.
  • The Principal or Head of School will forward a report to the parents outlining the issues
  • For internal assessments, students can resubmit and be graded again but for IB coursework, “zero” will be recorded for the assessment piece. 
  • If the malpractice is related to any DP externally assessed and moderated assignments (Internal assessment, external assessment, ToK, EE and written tasks) for learners in diploma, the malpractice must be reported to IBO by the DP coordinator. This means the student work will not be submitted. As a result, the student will not be awarded the IB Diploma. The IB penalty matrices showing details of the infringement by students and the level of penalty to be applied by the IB.
  • After counselling has been provided, repeated incidents of malpractice by a learner can lead to suspension or expulsion from Aoba.

PYP & MYP

  • A note of the incident needs to be recorded in the SIS.
  • The homeroom teacher or case manager will contact the parents outlining the incident.
  • The work will not be accounted for grading.
  • After the above consequences, repeated incidents of malpractice by a learner will lead to a PTC and further action plans. 

Notification of Academic Misconduct

Parents and the IBO will be informed in writing of cases of learner academic misconduct. The school will follow the regulations as stated in the IBO Academic Policy.

Final Grade

All other processes and procedures related to the final grade of learners in the diploma in cases where academic misconduct has been detected by the IBO examiners, the school will follow the regulations as set out in the IBO Academic Policy.

Reconsideration, Appeal and Arbitration

Learners and parents will be informed in writing of cases of learner academic misconduct that include the procedures for reconsideration, appeal and arbitration in accordance with the IBO regulations.

School Staff: Improper Conduct

If any school staff member has been found to act in an improper manner they will be disciplined in accordance with the school’s faculty labour regulations.

CONDUCT POLICY

Introduction

A spirit of community shapes the Aoba experience. We are dedicated to developing global-minded, compassionate, collaborative students inspired to learn so they can lead positive change in the world. In doing so we foster five core values in students during their time with us: Global Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Effective Communication, Wise Risk Taking, and Effective Problem Solving. We also value and promote the IB learner profile attributes as they align with our core values and mission statement. These are being: Principled, Open Minded, Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced, Reflective, Communicators, Inquirers, Knowledgeable, and Thinkers.

Objective

The purpose of this guide is to give students, parents, teachers, and staff an overview of our objective to develop and support positive behaviours, self-discipline, and respect among all members of our school community. It also makes clear the roles we all play in maintaining a safe, respectful, and caring environment for all. 

Conduct

Aoba operates, in all aspects of the school, from a strengths-based perspective rather than a deficits-based model. In short, this means that Aoba celebrates successes and facilitates additional success by leveraging existing strengths within each student. The implication for the conduct policy, then, is that conduct is defined proactively in positive terms rather than being defined as a list of proscribed behaviours. At Aoba we expect all community members to treat one another with kindness, consideration, and respect. This expectation holds for both the digital and physical learning environments, though Aoba maintains a separate “Acceptable Use Policy” to expand upon the foundation explained here, as it applies to the digital realm.

Restorative Approaches 

We primarily adopt a restorative approach to support our students to learn from their mis-behaviours. 

… whole-school restorative approaches build healthy school climates by creating space for people to understand one another and develop relationships; when things go wrong, restorative approaches create space to address needs, repair relationships, and heal. Restorative practices provide meaningful opportunities for social engagement that foster empathy and mutual responsibility for the well-being of individuals and the community. Proactive practices intentionally build trust and understanding within the community to ensure a healthy supportive climate and environment. When things go wrong, restorative practices engage those affected and create space so that individuals and communities can effectively identify, understand, and address harms and needs—this facilitates healing.

Kidde, J. (2017) Whole-School Restorative Approach Resource Guide: An orientation to a whole-school restorative approach and guide toward more in-depth resources and current research. Agency of Education, Vermont, USA.

Strategies to Meet Positive Behaviour Objectives

To achieve positive behaviours students, parents, teachers, and staff are expected to: 

  1. ensure that behavioural expectations and agreements are clear
  2. be effective role models and implement the learner profiles within our own behaviour 
  3. have a consistent approach to the adherence to and implementation of the behaviour policy 
  4. intervene effectively in misbehaviour when it occurs 
  5. handle behavioural incidents compassionately
  6. lead and participate in regular discussions about behaviour at home, during homeroom classes, and lessons
  7. foster collaboration between the school, students, and parents in developing lifelong learners
  8. report behavioural issues and concerns to the relevant personnel so that they can be recorded through our communication platform

Shared Discipline Routine: Minor Misbehaviour and Disruptions

Minor disruptions are dealt with by teachers within the context of the class. If moderately disruptive or disrespectful behaviours occur we follow a four-level approach:

  1. First instance: Discuss this issue, making the reason, and possible consequences for continued negative behaviour clear. 
    1. Inform the Grade Core Team members to discuss during the weekly team meeting. 
  2. Second instance: Give a second warning making the reason clear and reiterating while applying initial consequences for continued negative behaviour.
    1. Report this to the Core Team and record the incident in the communication platform (currently Engage daybook), stating in writing that this is the second instance of this behaviour.
  3. Third instance: Report the incident to the Core Team and set up a student-teacher conference with the reporting teacher, a member(s) of the core team, and the student(s). The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the issue and set a formal behaviour management plan.
    1. Record the incident & plan in the Engage daybook and notify all relevant teachers and parents.
  4. Fourth instance: Report the incident to the Core Team. The Core Team is to then notify leadership and set up a parent-teacher conference with parent(s), a member(s) of the core team, the student, and a member of the leadership team in order to review the initial behaviour management plan and make amendments.

Shared Discipline Routine: Severe Misbehaviours and Disruptions

Serve misbehaviours and disruptions are dealt with by teachers within the context of the school community.  The difference between ‘moderately’ and ‘severely’ misbehaviour and disruption are understood in terms of social norms and specific expectations shared by the school community.
The level of severity is a matter of professional judgement on the part of the teacher, the Core Team members, and/or the Pedagogical Leadership Team. 

When dealing with a serious issue such as reported self-harm and illegal activities teachers are expected to respond based on the steps outlined below:

  1. The adults in the school notify the school leadership member immediately.
  2. The leadership then informs the Head of School and an internal investigation is conducted. 
  3. The investigation findings are analysed.
  4. Based on the analysis of the findings a decision* is made by the Head of School or Principal.  
  5. Parents are informed and a meeting is convened to share the findings and the decision with the parent. 

*Depending on the nature of the incident parents may be involved in the decision-making stage. 

Consequences for severe Misbehaviours and Disruptions: Stand-Down

A stand-down is when a student is removed from the school for a period of fewer than five (5) days. The Head of School or Principal has the authority to do this. Stand-downs provide the opportunity for the school, students and their families to look at the problem and work together to try and stop the behaviour from happening again. A student will not be stood down simply because they have broken a school rule or misbehaved. 

A stand-down can be used for:

  1. continual disobedience (regularly or deliberately disregarding rules or refusing to do as they are told) which is harmful or dangerous to other students and/or members of the school community.
  2. gross misconduct (serious misbehaviour) which is harmful or dangerous to other students and/or members of the school community.
  3. any situation where the student needs to be temporarily removed from school for the student’s own safety or the safety of others while deliberations or an investigation is proceeding.

When a stand-down has been implemented, the Principal will contact the parents to inform them, and then send a formal letter/email regarding the stand-down. Parents can ask to meet the principal, or the Principal may ask to meet with parents. The student can be at the meeting and families may bring a support person, too. The stand-down takes effect the day after the principal’s decision is made. In some cases the school will send the student home straight away, however the stand-down officially begins the next day. The student will be able to return to school on the date given in the Principal’s letter, but the student may also be required to go to school for guidance and counselling during the stand-down period. The stand-down period can be lifted, shortened or withdrawn by the Principal before it expires.

Consequences for severe Misbehaviours and Disruptions: Suspension

A suspension is the formal removal of a student from school by the Head of School or Principal for a period exceeding five (5) days. The suspension process allows time for an investigation or deliberation that can lead to the cancellation of enrollment. It may be that the head of School will decide to lift the suspension with or without some conditions or extend the suspension with some conditions. As with a stand-down, the Principal must determine whether a suspension is warranted on any of these grounds:

  1. continual disobedience (regularly or deliberately disregarding rules or refusing to do as they are told) which is harmful or dangerous to other students
  2. gross misconduct (serious misbehaviour) which is harmful or dangerous to other students and/or members of the school community.
  3. behaviour that risks serious harm if the student is not suspended.

The principal may consider what information parents and/or carers can give, but there is no requirement to involve parents and/or carers before a suspension. The Head of School or Principal will immediately inform parents that they have decided to suspend the student and the reason for doing this. Parent will also receive a formal letter/email regarding the suspension, information about the suspension meeting and options on how to attend the suspension meeting. At the meeting, the Head of School or Principal may:

  1. lift the suspension without conditions.
  2. lift suspension with conditions–the student may return to school full-time but must comply with conditions that are ongoing and reasonable.
  3. extend the suspension–the student may not attend school and must comply with conditions that are reasonable.
  4. cancel the student’s enrollment.

Consequences for severe Misbehaviours and Disruptions: Cancellation of Enrollment 

The Head of School has the authority to cancel a student enrollment if the student can not meet the expected student behaviour conditions. The decision to cancel student’s  enrollment is based on: 

  1. the findings of the school investigation into the student’s behaviour.
  2. a lack of compliance by the student to meet the school’s behaviour expectations.
  3. unsatisfactory progress by the student to meet the conditions set out by the school.

If a student has their enrollment cancelled the family does not receive a refund for the outstanding time remaining during the semester in which the cancellation occurred.

Right to Appeal

The student and/or family have the right to appeal to the Aoba Board regarding the cancellation of enrollment. Written application to appeal is to be forwarded to the Aoba Board Chair.

SUPPORT POLICY

Introduction

This policy guides the teaching and learning practices associated with Learning Support and English and as a Second Language students. It describes the basic processes, procedures, delivery models and modes of services for supporting the learning of students in the context of an inclusive learning environment. 

Philosophy

In keeping with our school mission, our goal is to develop globally-minded people who are inspired to learn, develop as learners, take risks and lead change in the world. As a school, we understand that students learn at varied paces and in different ways. The Support staff at Aoba work collaboratively with all faculty and staff to provide a fully inclusive education within the four programs operating in the school, the PYP, MYP, DP, and GLD. We address the educational and wellbeing needs of all learners we accept so they can access and fully participate in learning within their student teams, supported through differentiation and high impact teaching strategies. Inclusion is embedded within our school culture and everyday practices.

Goals

  1. Ensure an inclusive culture of learning at Aoba
  2. Increase access & engagement by identifying & reducing learning barriers
  3. Continuously develop and refine the processes, procedures, delivery models and modes of services for all students

Types of Support

Curriculum Support: Identify and reduce learning barriers by adjusting the curriculum, assessment practices, teaching styles and the physical environment. Specialist staff collaborate with staff to provide meaningful academic accommodations or modifications.

Communication Support: Identify and reduce communication barriers for students when reading, writing, listening and speaking in English. Specialist staff co-teach a language acquisition program within the mainstream class that directly aligns with the IB philosophy and pedagogy.

Physical Support: Identify and reduce the physical barriers for students who require physical accommodation or modifications  to access the curriculum.

Behavioural, Social, Emotional Support: Identify and reduce barriers for students who are developing contextually appropriate behaviours or social and emotional skills.

Continuum of Holistic Support

At Aoba we apply a holistic approach to supporting all students, including those with diverse backgrounds and needs. Our holistic approach is conducted in partnership with all relevant stakeholders including leaders, teachers, school counselors, students, parents and community members. It also has access to external clinical specialists.  This inclusive approach means support occurs primarily within the classroom setting and that the support provided comprises a continuum of high impact strategies within a team learning context.

The support is informed by the principles of the curriculum programme (PYP, MYP, DP or GLD) and classroom routines of the particular grade the student attends. Generally the classroom teacher and supporting co-teacher work collaboratively to differentiate the content, process, product and environment, ensuring all diverse learning needs are met. These accommodations and modifications must have a positive outcome for the student and the class. They are reviewed regularly as part of the school’s cycle of reflection that considers student performance and programme efficacy. Regular reporting on progress is provided to the student and family.

The team plans the differentiation strategies for the student within the school’s weekly cycle of planning and reflection. In the times when focussed planning is required the support team member convenes meetings with the relevant parties. The diagram below provides an example of the continuum of  support that is typically expected within a year. From the time the student enters the support programme to the time they exit it, the planning and implementation of the student’s learning experiences are conducted with their needs in mind.

Cycle of Continuous Holistic Support

 

Identifying Support Needs at Time of Enrollment in Aoba

At Aoba we accept any child who, with reasonable accommodations as described by the IB, can access the curriculum. This includes language ability as well as other possible support needs. A panel comprising the Support Team, Admissions Director and relevant Coordinator will review the documents and reports, presented at the time of application. The panel will evaluate and make appropriate placement recommendations. Specific to the Senior School, Grade 10 students currently have three possible routes for entering grade 11 and 12:

Aoba High School Diploma: All learners meeting the basic requirements of grades 11 and 12 receive the High School Diploma, regardless of any other programmes the School offers.

Aoba Global Leadership Diploma:  Students who have a strong passion or interest the IBDP may not support well may choose to pursue the GLD in addition to the basic Aoba diploma.  Selection requires detailed discussions with the learner and their parents and subject to meeting course-specific requirements. For success, it requires a high level of communication, self-management, organisation, strong study skills, and commitment to creative and critical thinking as well as participation in extracurricular activities.

IB Diploma: This is a traditionally academic programme recognised worldwide.  For success, it requires a high level of written communication, self-management, organisation, strong study skills, and commitment to academic studies and extracurricular activities. The IB Diploma Programme can be accessed by many students with or without special educational needs.  Special educational needs and their appropriate accommodation are approved by the IB for learners with officially recognised needs.  These needs must be recognised and registered in accordance with the IB regulations to allow accommodations and reasonable adjustments during official, externally moderated assessments.

Identifying Support Needs if Already Enrolled in Aoba

In addition to the opportunity to enter the Support Programme at time of admission, students already enrolled in Aoba may be considered for the Support Programme based on language ability or other support needs. Each student is unique, and needs manifest themselves specific to each child, so there is no single list of requirements; instead, entry into the programme follows the general process outlined below:

  1. Teachers, parents, or the students themselves notice the student encountering difficulties.
  2. This concern is brought to the attention of the homeroom teacher.
  3. The teacher, in consultation with the Coordinators, and Support team, implements support measures in accordance with the identified needs of the student.

Support Programme Exit Process

Exiting the Support Programme is based on a thorough review of a range of internal and external assessments specific to the student’s needs conducted by the appropriate curriculum Coordinator, the faculty, and the Support Team. To start this process, the Support Team will inform the teachers and leadership that the child’s performance and assessments have met the previously determined benchmarks. The student’s learning goals should be met and considerable growth should be evident. All the students’ teachers will be asked for written evaluations regarding how the child is progressing in all his or her classes. The Support Team will formally document all the input of the team and relay it to the parents. Parents will then sign the exit form to officially end support services.

Glossary of terms

Co-teaching 

Co-teaching is the practice of pairing teachers together in a classroom to share the responsibilities of planning, instructing, and assessing students. In a co-teaching setting, the teachers are considered equally responsible and accountable for the classroom. Co-teaching is often implemented with general and special education teachers paired together as part of an initiative to create a more inclusive classroom.

Differentiation 

Differentiation means tailoring instruction to meet individual needs. At Aoba, we differentiate lessons through high impact teaching strategies, making reasonable accommodations or modifications to the content, process, product, or learning environment. 

Educational (learning) Barriers

A barrier to learning is anything that stands in the way of a child being able to learn effectively. A learner may experience one or more barriers to learning throughout his or her education due to; motivation, social and cultural experiences, practical and personal issues, learning disabilities, emotional needs. 

Inclusive Education 

Inclusive education is achieved when students can access and fully participate in learning, alongside their similar-aged peers, supported by educational accommodations or modifications and teaching strategies tailored to meet their individual needs.

Modifications

A modification changes what a student is taught or expected to learn. Students who are experiencing severe learning barriers will need modified learning expectations so they are still able to access the curriculum alongside their peers. Individual learning goals will be created based on informed data so the student can recieve explicit instruction on their areas of need. Students who require curriculum modifications will be supported with the inclusive co-teaching approach, whereby support and general teachers co-plan, co-teach and co-assess core classes such as English or Maths.

Reasonable Accommodations

An accommodation changes how a student learns the material. Reasonable accommodations help students learn the same material and achieve the same learning objectives as their peers. For example, if a student’s learning barrier presents with a limited ability to concentrate, the teacher can provide reasonable adjustments to a test such as extra time, a less distracting environment, amplified test layout, allowed breaks.

List of Clinics for Psychoeducational Assessment

Clinic Kato

〒212-0012 Kanagawa-ken, Kawasaki-shi, Saiwai-ku, Nakasaiwaichō, 3-32-7, Kowa Building 3F

TEL; 044-522-0011

Provides; child development consultation, psychology counseling, psychology evaluation such as WISK4, phoneme inspection to LD  and a neuropsychological language evaluation.

Ogikubo Child Development Clinic

〒167-0043  1Chome-5-7 Kamiogi, Suginami-ku, Tōkyō-to 

TEL; 03-5347-0705

Provides; child development consultation, psychology counseling, psychology evaluation such as WISK4, ( usually free of charge with Iryo- sho and medical insurance)

Kawasaki Education Consulting Center

Address: 6 Chome-9-3 Mizonokuchi, Takatsu Ward, Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture 213-0001

Phone:044-844-3600

email: EK130201@to.keins.city.kawasaki.jp

Provides; care and evaluation tests for only the residents of Kawasaki City

Child Development Support Center

Address: 〒179-0072  3-1-1 Hikarigaoka,  Nerima,

Phone:03-3975-6251

Only for Nerima-ku residents

Juntendo University Nerima Hospital

〒177-0033 Tokyo, Nerima, Takanodai 3-1-10    

Support Center for People with Developmental Disorder 発達障がい支援センター

http://www.skill-t.org/reservation.html

Centers are located in Shinjuku and Yokohama

Provides; variety of evaluation tests and skill training. Medical diagnosis will not be given. Each session will cost 9800 yen.

Make an appointment via online. The first session will be free of charge. 

Child Mental Clinic Shiba

TEL: 03-5765-6980

〒105-0014 3F YODA Building, 3-15-13 Shiba, MINATO-KU

http://www.yuhokai.or.jp/hogosya/index.html

Aoyama Child Developmental and Mental Clinic

TEL:03-3478-1406

2−2−15 1402 Minami-Aoyama, MINATO-KU

Hashimoto Clinic

TEL: 03-5464-2155

〒150-0002 3F Shinsakae Miyamasu Building, 1-8-1 Shibuya, SHIBUYA-KU

 http://www.medical-office.jp/index.html

Tokyo English Life Line (TELL) 

Wesley Center 2F  6-10-11 Minami-Aoyama  Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062

〒107-0062 東京都港区南青山6-10-11 ウェスレーセンター2F

Marielle Gorissen PhD – ( evaluate in English and French, can speak Spanish)

Neuropsychtokyo@gmail.com

www.tokyoneuropsychologist.org

EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

Emergency Procedures and Disaster Preparedness

This guideline has been developed to guide teachers, and unite parents with their children in an orderly fashion during a crisis or emergency situation. It is important that parents, students and staff work together to ensure that students are safe and protected from harm. In order for the process to be effective, all staff, parents and students must familiarize themselves with their responsibilities and adhere to the specifications. Staff members have been informed and are aware of their duties. Discussing emergency plans as a family is important to helping every family member feel prepared. Parents are kindly asked to convey to your children the seriousness of a major disaster and the necessity of following the instructions given by the school or some other authority.

 Emergency Procedures and Student Release Plan

  1. Please remain CALM and remember that we will take care of your children. Your children’s safety is our first priority. 
  2. The school will not contact parents immediately after a major disaster. CHECK your email, website, twitter, facebook for updates and communication. Announcements will also be sent through VERACROSS.
  3. DO NOT CALL THE SCHOOL. Phones will be needed for emergency information.
  4. Aoba staff will follow the Aoba Site Emergency Evacuation Procedures. All staff have designated roles in any emergency and a command structure exists.
  5. Each classroom is equipped with an Emergency Backpack and Emergency Clipboard containing first aid/emergency supplies and materials.
  6. The school has emergency food and water for the immediate crisis and up to 72 hours for all students. (we are one of the fully equipped evacuation centers for Hikarigaoka).
  7. Collect information by listening to warnings and other information reported by TV and radio, Internet etc.

During School Hours & Retention Policy

  1. If the Head of School declares a school wide emergency during the school day, all students will be required to remain at school or an alternate safe site under the care and supervision of Aoba personnel.
  2. EARLY RELEASE – Until notification is received to send students home, PRIMARY STUDENTS WILL BE RELEASED by a staff member ONLY TO THEIR PARENTS OR A DESIGNATED ADULT. Parents/guardians are asked to assist in our efforts to maintain an orderly process and follow the directions of all staff members.
  3. Adults arriving to pick up children must show FAMILY VISITOR CARD on emergency release. Adults picking up children must sign out with a signature. For this reason, it is important all information on the school record is up to date. It is recommended that parents give careful consideration to the arrangements made for their child to be picked up by designated persons in case parents are away.
  4. Staff members will serve as runners to bring students to the designated pick-up area when the designated adults have arrived. Students are to remain with their teacher, or adult in charge of the class, until their parent or designated adult arrives.
  5. Students who must remain at school because a parent cannot be located or is unable to reach school immediately will be grouped together at the direction of the principal.
  6. Please talk with your child about emergency plans within your family.  Tell your child not to be worried if it takes a long time for someone to pick him/her up.

Before/After School Hours

  1. Bus drivers/attendants will contact the school office at any point on their routes and confirm their next action.  In case of an emergency, the bus driver will stop the bus and, if necessary, will take the students to the nearest designated public evacuation spot. Parents will be informed of the status by the school.
  2. Follow directions given by the civil authorities who have trained personnel for emergencies.
  3. Students who walk or use public transport should study a map of their route with their parents and note designated “places of refuge.”
  4. If a student does not speak Japanese well, it is best to follow the majority to a place of refuge.

Emergency Evacuation Point

Emergency Backpacks

Emergency backpack is placed in the classrooms listed below. In the event of fire or earthquake, the teacher currently in charge of the classroom takes the backpack out to the evacuation point with his/her students. Student List will be provided by the front office.

<1st floor>  K3, K4, K5, G1, Cafeteria, Library 1 (West), Library 2 (East), School Office
<2nd floor>  Art Room, G2, G3, G4, G5
<3rd floor> Science Rm 301, Rm 305, Rm 306, Rm 307, Rm 309, Rm 311, Rm 312, Rm 313, Music Rm 314, Music Rm 316, DP Lounge, Gymnasium

Following items are prepared in the Emergency Backpack:

First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit comes in either a box or a sack.  In each box or sack, there are basic medical equipment such as Band-Aids, a bandage, sanitizing wipes and a black permanent marker.  An ice pack is put either in the first aid box or directly in the emergency backpack.
*  The Gym’s backpack does not contain First Aid kits.  The PE teacher, who is responsible for the Gym, carries out a full first aid bag

Green and Red Card

Please refer to relevant Evacuation Procedures.

Evacuation Route Map

 

Staff Members & Responsibilities

COMMAND CENTER

Head of School

      • Lead and instruct
      • Check building with FMD Manager

FMD Manager

      • Check corridors, shut off main valves (kitchen)
      • Direct transportation

Principals

      • Confirm safety of students
      • Supervision at the Evacuation Point

Business Manager & Front Office

      • Report emergency to authorities
      • Initial contact with parents via Engage
      • Update all media: website, broadcaster, twitter, Facebook
      • Gather information through emergency broadcast and other available sources

Floor leaders

Floor leaders check each classroom and restroom from west side (Library, Art, Science) to east side (Cafeteria, LS, Music), and report to Head of School ( back up: Head of Campus) who will be waiting on the field. Make sure all doors are open.

RISK MANAGEMENT POLICY

Introduction

Like all international schools, Aoba operates in a complex cultural context that requires a balance between internal and external accountability responsibilities and mechanisms that regulate risk control strategies related to student safety and well-being. Aoba works closely with local and national government authorities to ensure the safety of all students. Aoba develops and applies risk management protocols based on international standards in the areas not adequately covered by government regulations. 

Aoba adopts proactive and reactive control strategies and approaches to dealing with child safety and well-being. The proactive control strategies identified in the planning stages of anticipated risks prepare Aoba staff. Our proactive control strategies are routinely reviewed and practised school-wide. The reactive strategies rely on the adult’s acumen and common sense to take action when a dangerous situation arises. The reactive control strategies require all adult members in our school community to take immediate action in situations representing an immediate risk to the student’s safety and well-being. 

This policy provides guidelines for assessing the risk associated with four categories as outlined below. The policy outlines the risk management protocols and procedures and the expectations that all staff assume Duty of Care responsibilities to ensure student safety and well-being is protected no matter what the situation.  

The school has identified four risk management categories that can impact the health and safety of students and school community members. These categories are C1: School events, C2: Natural Disasters, C3: Intruders, and C4: State of Emergency.

Guiding Principles

The control strategies strategies within the four risk management categories are assessed following the guiding principles as outlined below:

  1. The planning protocols are undertaken collaboratively so that different perspectives are considered.
  2. A team of Aoba staff apply the risk assessment management protocols to mitigate risk.
  3. All staff attending to any of the four categories have a Duty of Care role and must actively manage risk before, during and after the field.
  4. The risk assessment management protocols are aligned with the International Organisation for Standardisation’s ISO31000: 2018 Risk management – Principles and Guidelines.

Duty of Care

At Aoba, Duty of Care refers to the staff members’ responsibility to act with wisdom and common sense as a parent would in circumstances that potentially threaten the child’s safety and well being. Meeting Duty of Care responsibilities begins with anticipating possible risks and planning positive steps and actions to mitigate any foreseeable risk. 

The flow chart below outlines the pathway of proactive actions to risk management related to the four risk management categories.

Aoba’s  Risk Management Flow Chart  

Figure adapted from https://www.iso.org/obp/ui/#iso:std:iso:31000:ed-2:v1:en and Krzemień, A. et.al,. (2016). Doi: 139. 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.08.149.

School leadership responsibilities

The Head of Campus or Campus Principal:

  1. is the accountable officer for the risk management plan and control strategies.
  2. debriefs all Aoba staff members of their Duty of Care responsibilities.
  3. designates a staff team to apply the risk management protocols.
  4. ensures yearly reviews of risk management planning and control strategies occur.
  5. approves the risk management plan when it meets regulations and control protocols.
  6. changes risk management control strategies in the documentation based on the review. 
  7. monitors staff compliance with the risk management control strategies.
  8. communicates with Aoba’s Board breaches of non-compliance.
  9. works with local health and safety authorities where necessary. 
  10. administers disciplinary action if required.

Staff member responsibilities

All staff are to:

  1. become familiar with Duty of Care responsibilities and accountabilities when working with students. 
  2. understand the risk management planning protocols and approval requirements.
  3. participate in the writing of planning documentation when appropriate.
  4. participate in the risk assessment protocols with colleagues and school leaders. 
  5. applies control strategies as outlined in the risk management protocols 

Risk Management Protocols 

Establish the context

  1. Establish a team to conduct a risk assessment for new events.
  2. Examine the scope of the activity and consider the following questions:
    • Why is this risk management plan essential?
    • What are the risk management objectives?
    • Who does this risk management plan impact?
    • What are the roles and responsibilities of staff and school community members?
  3. Work collaboratively to read, review or complete all relevant documents.

Risk identification

  1. In your team, brainstorm and document potential health and safety risks associated with the activity.
  2. Check the risk assessment register for activity or event control strategies. 
  3. If the activity or event is registered, then review it for relevance and effectiveness.
  4. If a new set of control strategies are required, then:
  • shortlist all potential risks.
  • identify existing school policy procedures and practices that minimise that risk. i.e. list existing control strategies for each risk and consider their effectiveness.

Risk Analysis

Using Aoba’s consequences criteria, the team assesses the consequences, frequency, and risk rating of the event or activities identified in the Risk Register documents.

Aoba’s Risk Register 

Risk Evaluation

  1. If risks are ‘extreme’ or ‘high’ NOT proceeding should be immediately considered.
  2. Medium’ risks should be treated to ensure they are as low as possible and should be frequently reviewed. Permanent actions to reduce the risk should be considered.
  3. ‘Low’ risks are acceptable but should be periodically reviewed.​

Aoba Risk Consequence Criteria

Frequency and Description Criteria

Aoba Risk Rating Matrix 

Aoba Accountability Matrix

Reassess Risk Control Strategies

  1. The team reassesses the existing control strategies in place for improvement. Risk control strategies can involve:
    • avoiding the risk.
    • removing the risk source.
    • changing the risk likelihood.
    • sharing the risk with another party (e.g. outsourcing or insurance)
    • retaining the risk by informed decision
  2. For risks requiring further control strategies, include:
    • What will be done?
    • Who is accountable?
    • When will it happen?​

Monitor & Review

Campus Heads and Principals: 

  1. ensure the risks and control strategies are continuously monitored and reviewed
  2. monitors the development of new control strategies through the application of Aoba’s risk management protocols. 
  3. reviews the development new and existing risk management control strategies 
  4. monitors and reviews the risk Register documentation for compliance to the rick management protocols for approval.  ​

Communication & Consultation

Campus Heads and Principals: 

  1. designate school leaders to communicate the risk management protocols to all staff and ensure all staff are aware of significant changes.
  2. have the final approval for the event or activity based on compliance with the Risk management protocols 
  3. communicate with Aoba’s Board non-compliance of the Risk management protocols 
  4. consult with external regulatory authorities where appropriate

GOVERNANCE STAKEHOLDER INFORMATION

Introduction

This policy guides the provision and publication of information about Aoba-Japan International School’s governance available to the public and school community following Japanese regulations and laws. The policy is published on our school’s website. 

The policy consists of two sections:

  1. The first section outlines the school’s definition of good governance, its ownership and describes the governance structure that includes the roles and responsibilities of Board members and executive school leadership. It presents the functions and relationships between the Board and the school’s leaders that have established an effective collaborative and sustained model of school governance at Aoba-Japan International School. Additional information about the school’s strategic plan, audit compliance and finance are presented for inclusion in the school’s Digital Annual Report that is published at the end of June each year.
  2. This section identifies the appendices associated with the policy. Each appendix provides information related to specific sections of the policy. Access to this information is available upon request.  

Section 1: A-JIS Board Governance and Ownership Structure

Governance Definition

According to Aoba-Japan International School, the central function of effective governance is to ensure that the school is aligned with its mission by supporting an appropriate and clear sense of direction, continuity and organisational sustainability. Thus, governance at A-JIS provides the philosophical stability and financial sustainability required to ensure the school community functions within the parameters of Mission and Vision statements.

School Ownership 

The school is a member of a group of schools belonging to the Aoba International Educational Systems (AIES Co,. Ltd.) owned by Business Breakthrough, Inc. BBT is registered with Tokyo stock exchange (registration no: Tosho 2464 ). BBT’s governance is regulated by the Japanese corporate law and the Tokyo stock exchange regulations that ensure public scrutiny through quarterly reports. 

Board Membership 

The A-JIS Board comprises senior company employees and one external Japanese national representative. The Board Chair is a member of the BBT Board and the COO of BBT. School campus leaders are non-voting members of the A-JIS Board leaders. Each campus leader can contribute to Board discussions except for confidential matters as guided by Japanese law.  

Board Meetings

A-JIS Board’s monthly meetings  report on the: 

  • financial status of the group of schools and each campus within the group. 
  • operational status of each campus concerning meeting budget requirements and alignment with the group’s mission and the individual school’s guiding statement.
  • future strategies for long term sustainability and development.

Board Responsibilities 

The Board’s responsibilities are to:

  • adhere to the Board of Directors regulations.
  • collaborate in the development of the strategic direction.
  • approve the strategic direction.
  • approve the yearly budget.
  • monitor school progress against its mission and financial responsibilities.
  • ensure all Japanese laws are followed.
  • manage serious human resource issues, including staff grievances and inappropriate professional behaviours.
  • provide resources to ensure the school functions effectively. These include financial and legal resources. 
  • monitor the school’s procedures to ensure the school collaboratively creates a community and a safe and secure environment focussed on student wellbeing.
  • approve all official school policies. 

A-JIS School Leadership: Roles and Responsibilities 

The A-JIS school leadership follows a typical school governance structure. It consists of an executive leadership team and programme coordinators. 

Executive leadership team

The executive leadership team comprises the senior leaders of the school across all domains.

Group Head of School

The Group Head of School is responsible for the school’s overall functioning, including, but not limited to, facilities, child safety,  financial status, curriculum delivery, human resourcing, adherence to Japanese Laws,  school community, and the school’s climate. The Group Head of School reports monthly to the Board. These reports update the school’s progress and any critical issues that may impact its capacity to deliver its mission. In addition, the Group Head of School has overall responsibility for staff and student welfare. 

Head of Campus 

The Head of Campus is ultimately responsible for all operational, financial, and pedagogical matters for the Hikarigaoka. The Head of Campus works in partnership with the Programme Coordinators, Business Manager, Director of Early Years,  and Director of ICT  to achieve this. In addition, the Head of Campus reports directly to the Group Head of School monthly and supervises all Programme Coordinators and faculty.

Meguro Principal 

The Meguro Principal is ultimately responsible for all operational, financial, and pedagogical matters for the Meguro Campus. The Head of Campus works in partnership with the Programme Coordinators, Business Manager, Director of Early Years,  and Director of ICT  to achieve this. In addition, the Meguro Principal reports directly to the Group Head of School monthly and supervises all Programme Coordinators and faculty.

Director of Early Years

The Director of Early Years is responsible for the overall leadership and management of the school’s Kindergarten section. The Director of Early Years reports directly to the Group Head of School monthly.

Business Manager

The Business Manager is responsible for the overall management of the business office, including, but not limited to, school finance, student management, HR, billing and purchasing, facilities and transportation. The Business Manager reports directly to the Group Head of School monthly and supervises all office staff apart from ICT and Admissions.

Admissions and Marketing Director

The Admissions and Marketing Director, together with the senior leadership, is responsible for developing, executing, measuring, and reviewing marketing and communications strategies to enhance student recruitment, retention and communications activity to support new families joining the school community. The Admissions and Marketing Director reports directly to the Group Head of School monthly and supervises all Admissions and Marketing staff.

Director of ICT

The Director of Information Communications Technology leads and oversees the ICT team to ensure operational effectiveness. In addition, the ICT director manages the school’s data archiving and offsite disaster recovery management. The Director of ICT works collaboratively with the school’s educational leaders to develop Blended Learning innovations and reports directly to the Group Head of School monthly and supervises all ICT staff.

A-JIS Organisational Chart

Performance Appraisal 

Group Head of School

The Board Chair conducts an annual performance appraisal of the Group Head of School. This appraisal references the contractual agreement and the Key Performance Indicators identified during the cycle of contractual negotiations. The Board Chair and Group Head of School discuss the performance rating to find agreement before presenting to the Board for approval.  The Group Head of School can appeal to Japan’s Labour Office concerning any grievance related to the appraisal process or the Board decision. 

Heads, Principals, Directors and Managers

The Group Head of School conducts a yearly appraisal of the senior school leaders (Heads, Principals, Directors and Managers). The Group Head of School and senior school leaders discuss the performance rating to find agreement. A senior leader can appeal to the school’s Board or Japan’s Labour Office concerning any grievance related to the appraisal process or the Group Head of School’s decision. 

Faculty and Staff

The Senior Leadership members conduct a yearly appraisal of the school staff. The senior school leaders discuss the performance rating to find agreement. School staff can appeal to the Group Head of school, the school’s Board, or Japan’s Labour Office concerning any grievance related to the appraisal process or decisions made by the senior leader and approved by the Group Head of School. 

A-JIS Board Roles and Responsibilities 

The Regulations of the Board of Directors (see below) outlines the Board members responsibilities, roles and decisions which require the Board approvals. These are translated into English and are administered appropriately with the external & professional auditor reporting on the board’s status at the annual shareholders meeting.

Current Board Members: State of Corporate Officers

 (i) State of Directors and Company Auditors (March 31, 2019)

Role of the Auditor

The auditing office develops an auditing plan every year to confirm if the regulations, rules, and policies at all business units, including the AJIS group, have been appropriately implemented. In addition, the auditor conducts on-site visits quarterly to audit the school’s compliance with Japanese law and internal regulations. 

Decision Making Standards

In accordance with Japanese corporation regulations, AJIS follows the Decision Making Authority Standards.  Outlined in Appendix 2 these standards guide decision making authority  of the Board of Directors, President, Board members, Vice President and the Head of School. The decisions related to AJIS’s: 

  • General operations
  • Marketing and sales
  • Expenses
  • Business trips 
  • Purchasing
  • Administration
  • Human Resources
  • Assets
  • Documents 
  • Accounting   
  • Fund management
  • Budget 

Report Summaries  

2021-2024 Aoba Strategic Plan Review Report June 2021

Introduction 

The school’s strategic plan was approved by the AJIS Board in November 2020. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic precipitated significant adjustments to the school’s normal operations and communication with the school community. The timeline below listing the major adjustments clearly demonstrates the school’s agility to respond through educational innovation.    

Timeline 

January 2020 WHO reports COVID 19 

February 2020  AJIS moves to full online learning within a day of the Tokyo SoE

June/July 2020 AJIS online Summer session, utilising majority of staff

August to December 2020 AJIS F2F and online school blend 

January to June 2021 AJIS Extended F2F and online school blend

The COVID disruption meant that the school focussed on supporting the whole school community to effectively engage in online learning. Unwittingly, the 3 year collaborative project between Southern Cross University and the school enabled the school’s workforce to respond to the COVID challenge. We were able to transition from Face to Face on-site learning to fully online overnight. Our survey data shows the school maintained teaching and learning expectations, a positive school climate, parent satisfaction and student achievement during this disruptive period.

Report Structure

The report reviews the two key strategic areas: 

  1. Education consists of 3 Strategic Objectives and 8 Goals. 
  2. Business consists of 4 Strategic Objectives and 8 Goals.

This report rates the progress of each objective, goal, and strategy as No Progress (N), Ongoing (O), and Achieved (A). As can be seen from the chart that follows the School has achieved slightly more than one-third of the strategy strands as of June 2021. Just over half are ongoing, and one-eighth show no progress. 

Future Strategic Focus

The school will continue to implement the ongoing strategic goals. Listed below are the key goals the school focuses on achieving in 2021-2022. 

Note: Appendix 8 provides an overview of the Strategic Plan Review. 

Audit Reports 

Summary of Internal Audit Plan

Audit Type

Internal control audit based on the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act (J-SOX) ⇒ Cooperation with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu LLC . Basis: Article 24-4-4 of the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act from  

  • October to December 2020: Content Internal control over business processes including, Account Management, General Affairs, Human Resources and Financial Reporting
  • January to March 2021: Internal control over AJIS business processes including order flow and labor cost.
  • April to May 2021: Content Internal control related to IT, Order Management, Account Management.
  • May 2021 Content (Full year) Internal control over financial reporting

Audit Type

Internal control audit based on the Companies Act: Conducted by the Internal Audit Office (in the presence of Audit & Supervisory Board Members). Based on Article 362, Paragraph 4, Item 6 of the Companies Act / Article 100 of the Enforcement Regulations of the Companies Act

  • October to December 2020:  Content Labor management (personnel), Impact of the new coronavirus infection and countermeasures, Workflow application status, Business risk management system, Impacts of ITization of business and countermeasures, Privacy Mark compliance, Status of AJIS’s  business, business problems and countermeasures and Subsidiary management

Summary of Audit Report

Board of Directors: December 2020, May and June 2021.

Report on the Results of Internal Audits by the Internal Audit Office for the 23rd Fiscal Year

May 11, 2021 Internal Audit Office. The following is a summary report on the results of internal audits conducted by the Internal Audit Office for the 23rd fiscal year.  

  • Based on the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act (Article 24-4-4) conducted from August 2020 to March 2021 no problems were found. 
  • Based on the Companies Act (Article 362, Paragraph 4, Item 6 / Enforcement Regulations, Article 100) conducted from October to December 2020 no problems were found.
  • Based on the  internal control as required by the Companies Act found no problems at all.

Financial Report

During the 2020 fiscal year, A-JIS achieved 1.4 billion JPY total revenue due to increase in enrollment. In addition to the initial fees of 7 percent, tuition-related fees including facilities fee, comprised 83 percent of total revenues. In total, enrollment-related income constitutes 90 percent of total revenues. Other revenues such as lunch, school bus and after school activities accounted for 6 percent, which is less than the previous years due countermeasures against the COVID pandemic.

In our efforts to provide high-quality education, A-JIS has employed 83 teachers (student-teacher ratio 6.9) for homeroom, EAL, special subjects, learning support and others. Salaries and benefits represented 70 percent of total cost of sales which contributed to hiring and training professional and experienced teachers.

Investment in education and the school environment including educational material purchases, professional development, membership fees, rent and leases, accounted for 29 percent. This includes a large investment in the renovation of the first floor at Hikarigaoka Campus.

Section 2: Information available to the school community and public

This section lists the documentation available by request from the school community. It consists of several appendices:

  1. Appendix 1 Regulations of the Board 
  2. Appendix 2 Decision Making Authority Standards 
  3. Appendix 3 Internal Audit Regulations
  4. Appendix 4 Internal Audit Annual Plan September 2020
  5. Appendix 5 Audit Report
  6. Appendix 6: Internal Audit Results May 11, 2021
  7. Appendix 7: Settlement of Accounts 

DEBT MANAGEMENT POLICY

Introduction

The governing body of Aoba Japan International School is responsible for ensuring that procedures are in place for the recovery of any outstanding debt. This policy sets out the procedures for debt recovery and for the write-off of any debt which is deemed to be irrecoverable.

General Debt

Payment should be obtained as and when goods, services, facilities are provided. Where payment is not received at the time when the goods/services/facilities are provided, a letter will be sent to the debtor within 7 days via the Veracross school management system. The letter will state that the fee is overdue and needs to be paid by 14 days from the date of the letter. If payment is still not received then a final reminder will be sent to the debtor via Veracross informing them that if payment is not received within 14 days their debt will be sent to the School Board  for pursuance of the debt.

Instalments

If a debtor requests to pay their debt in instalments then they must put in writing to the Billing Officer the reasons for their inability to pay their debt. If the Billing Officer is in agreement with the instalments then a payment plan will be agreed with the Business Manager. All instalments must be paid before the first day of each semester.

If the debt is still not settled within the terms of the agreement, then a final reminder will be issued requesting payment within 14  days and if no payment is received the debt will be sent to the School Board for pursuance.

Debt Write off

Debts referred to the School Board will be pursued, and if not successful, the Business Manager will seek permission of the School Board to write off the debt or pursue further. The write off must not be communicated to the debtor. It is not an acknowledgement that the debt does not exist but is an internal transaction and remains on record.

Removal of Services within School

Whilst the debtor remains in debt they will be unable to access any services within school which require payments. If a debtor regularly fails to make payment within agreed timescales then the Business Manager will need to consider removal of the service until the account is cleared of the debt.

Individuals or organisations that have previously defaulted on payments to the school are not allowed credit facilities.

Where a debtor’s payments are regularly or consistently paid outside the terms of supply the Head of School must consider withdrawal of credit facilities and request the individual/organisation to pay for goods/services/facilities at the time they are consumed.

Appeals Process

Debtors may appeal for financial hardship in accordance with the school protocols.

We are accepting applications for 2022-2023