About Us

Since opening the school in 2014, we have welcomed students and families from over 20 countries. We are dedicated to providing a unique learning experience that fosters your child’s natural inclination towards curiosity, self-discovery, personal excellence, and joy. At KAIS Elementary & Middle School, each student is an individual who gets the special care that every child deserves and thrives on.

Our approach is simple; we try to blend established goals with progressive methods through a variety of pedagogical approaches in the classroom in the hopes of striking that perfect balance between the traditional and the novel, the old and the new. We are honored to have you browse our website, and encourage prospective parents and students to inquire further without hesitation.

Our Mission

Our mission is to serve Tokyo’s international community by providing an academically challenging, creatively stimulating, safe and caring learning environment. Our students are seekers of truth and promoters of compassion; we are co-authors of a future that values equality, global awareness, resilience and responsibility over all else.

Our Vision

Education at KAIS nurtures the values, attitudes and expectations necessary to effectively shape one’s life and thrive in a complex and uncertain global environment. Student success is limited only by the expectations we have of them, and so our vision to cultivate their personal, social and global skills sets the bar high. Ultimately, KAIS seeks to foster confident, curious and self-fulfilled individuals; to nurture empathetic, welcoming and socially responsible members of the community; and to cultivate future leaders, conscientious and enthusiastic agents of positive change in the world. KAIS students are …

WELCOMING

We cultivate connection, community and friendship with people across a diverse range of backgrounds, interests and personalities.

PRINCIPLED

We exemplify leadership, independence, resilience and responsibility.

ENTHUSIASTIC

We are excited about learning and thrive in a collaborative and spirited environment.

IMAGINATIVE

We explore opportunities for creative expression.

INDUSTRIOUS

We actively engage in the pursuit of truth and knowledge in a conscientious, honest and open-minded way.

COMPASSIONATE

We demonstrate empathy for fellow human beings and respect for all living things.

ASSERTIVE

We approach learning with a sense of confidence, earnestness and humility.

CURIOUS

We ask questions of the surrounding world, and seek answers to these questions.

GLOBAL-MINDED

We appreciate and respect the diversity and complexity of the surrounding world and are committed to making it a better place.

Guiding Principles

1. The primary purpose of education at KAIS EMS is to foster children’s natural inclination towards joy and curiosity, and to assist them on their journey of self-discovery and self-fulfilment.

2. Our job as teachers is not to tell children what or how to think. At KAIS EMS we are not in the business of promoting an ideology or elevating certain cultural practices over others. Our job, our duty as teachers is to open children’s eyes to the world’s unbounded possibilities. It is to mentor children as they seek to enrich their stock of knowledge, master essential skills, and develop their individual personalities in ways that give true meaning to their lives.

3. At KAIS EMS we think of school life as constituting an important aspect of “real” life and not merely as a steppingstone or stopover on the way to “real” life. We realize that schooling must prepare children for their futures; but we believe that schooling must also have immediate relevance and significance for the lives they are living right now.

4. We at KAIS EMS believe that the defining characteristics of the modern human are a love of compassionate sharing and the desire for true self-expression. With this in mind, we believe that schooling, through various collaborative and cooperative activities, should provide abundant opportunities to allow the free play and expression of these basic traits.

5. We believe first and foremost that children are persons. They have the natural right to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect. At KAIS EMS, we do not talk down to children. We do not lecture or berate them. Rather than punishing or “making examples” of students for certain behaviors, we try to find effective ways to foster their ability to empathize with others and to recognize how their actions affect those around them. At times reprimands are necessary, but they are always given in a spirit of understanding and within the context of and as a concomitant part of helping the child to grow. Reprimands do not seek to shame or instill feelings of guilt, but rather to encourage self-reflection and self-improvement. At KAIS EMS, we endeavor to help students to become engaged school citizens, to be active participants in school affairs who have a real voice in the school community. Through these “local” activities, students develop the compassion and confidence they need to become engaged members of the greater culture and global environment.

6. We of course do not know what technology will be like in twenty years, or how far it will have advanced. But we do know that current technology is already an integral part of children’s lives. We do not see technology as separate from human existence but as an extension of who we are and what we are capable of. Thus, at KAIS EMS, we do not teach technology per se: we integrate technology into our lessons, thereby creating meaningful experiences in students’ lives right now and developing in them the tools and skills they need to carry on their lifelong journey of self-fulfillment.

7. Literature and history are worthy subjects of study in their own right, but at KAIS EMS, we examine these and other subjects with a somewhat different objective. We mine these subjects for social and personal relevance; we study them as a way to shed light on the emotional and social and political issues that we face today. We do not glorify nor do we condemn the past. Rather, we see the past as a rich source of learning and object lessons. We see great literature and history as tools that will help students gain insight into human motives and motivation, that will give students a chance to see the peoples of past civilizations in their own context, that will afford students an opportunity to empathize and sympathize with their forebears’ errors and to emulate their successes so that we may better understand ourselves and our world today.

8. We at KAIS EMS aim to inspire our students to strive to do their absolute best in everything they undertake. We provide them with the skills and caring support they need to overcome the low self-esteem, low expectations, and self-limiting habits that can prevent them from accomplishing their goals. We also believe that an interdisciplinary approach that seeks to develop multiple intelligences opens up myriad avenues through which students can learn essential skills and develop strength of character. Under the conventional “stative approach” to teaching and learning, children are apt to put restrictive labels on themselves and thereby limit their goals and underestimate their possibilities. The “process approach” used at KAIS EMS prevents this self-limitation and helps students to understand that they are not “bad at math” or “good at English,” but rather that they are learners standing on a multi-faceted stairway that they can climb one step at a time through effort and effective strategies.

9. We at KAIS EMS aim to help children master skills, not only because of a given skill’s future utility or earning capacity, but because the process of learning a skill—any skill—is a journey of self-discovery that in and of itself helps a child grow. At KAIS EMS, we do not just “scratch the surface” of one skill after another, leaving each only half learned. Instead, we delve deeply into reading, writing, drawing, playing instruments, and other skills, extending the normal “limits” that children impose on themselves, helping them to break through obstacles such as boredom, indolence, fear of difficulty, low expectations, and lack of confidence.

10. KAIS EMS teachers work together as teams to create the best possible learning atmosphere and classroom experience for our students. We embrace the interconnectedness and interdependence of all subjects, all fields of learning. We work openly in a spirit of trust and cooperation and mutual respect to take full advantage of that interconnectedness and the opportunities for cross-situational learning that it offers.

Meet Our Team

Tomoko Aotsuka
Japanese as a Native Language Teacher

Tomoko Aotsuka was born and raised in Sakata, a beautiful harbor town in Yamagata prefecture known for its rice and the views of Mount Chōkai, an active volcano that straddles the horizon. After graduating high school, she moved to Kyoto to study Japanese as a Foreign Language. Although she began her teaching career in a public junior high school in Japan, she continued her passion at a Gymnasium in Austria (and also became a fluent German speaker). After returning to Japan, she taught Japanese at a private school in the Tokyo area for over ten years. Having recently joined the KAIS team, she is excited to further develop the program for native students. In her free time, she enjoys jogging, learning German, and furthering her Japanese calligraphy skills.

Johnny Aravanis
Admissions Director
Johnny Aravanis hails from the state of Maryland in the United States. Since a very young age, Johnny has been obsessed with travel and foreign languages and went on to pursue East Asian Studies at university, focusing on Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. Professionally, Johnny worked for years as a translator and instructor before taking a managerial position at KAIS EMS. His years of experience in language acquisition and instruction inform his approach to education at KAIS.
Justin Bethune
Principal & Social Studies Program Coordinator

Justin Bethune was born and raised near Ottawa, Canada. Shortly after graduating from the University of Ottawa with a double major in Criminology and Second Language Teaching, he moved to a rural port town in Fukushima, Japan on the JET Programme where he taught English at the junior high school level for three years. In the year following the 3/11 disaster, he received a MEXT scholarship to pursue post-graduate Social Sciences at Hitotsubashi University, where he graduated with a Master's degree in the Sociology of Education. He is currently pursuing a Certificate in School Management and Leadership, through a joint program of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Harvard Business School. To relax, he enjoys cooking, reading non-fiction books, listening to podcasts and music, taking photos, riding his bike at night, and maybe playing a game or two.

Mia del Fierro
Classroom Assistant

Mia was born in the Philippines but raised in Calgary, Canada. She graduated from the University of Calgary, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Japanese. After graduating she moved to Saitama, Japan and began work as an Assistant Language Teacher. The following year, she moved to Kanagawa to work at a language school where she found her passion for teaching. Her new found passion brought her back to Canada, specifically to Toronto, to obtain her teaching certification and Master's in Teaching from the University of Toronto. During her time in teacher's college, she was able to combine her interests in technology with teaching to create interactive technology-based lessons. In her free time, she enjoys photography and discovering onsen around Japan.

Ally Dixon
Classroom Assistant

Ally was born and raised in Southern California. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in English literature, she decided to pursue her interest in her Japanese heritage and moved to Tokyo, Japan, where she taught at an international English school for kids. After a few years of teaching in Japan, she worked at a Montessori school in the U.S. Motivated by her experiences teaching both in Japan and America, Ally joined the KAIS team as a classroom assistant. She loves to travel and watch live music in her free time.

Anri Fabrot
Office Manager
Anri was born in Tokyo and raised in California and in Michigan. She returned to Japan to obtain her degree from the Department of Comparative Cultures at Sophia University. Her career was focused on Human Resources in corporations, both in Japan and in Europe, before becoming an Office Coordinator at KAIS EMS. Growing up training in rhythmic gymnastics, dance, and running track she still loves to keep active. She is also a mother to a teenager, a learner of French, and a lover of finding great food spots around the city.
Kevin Haith
Science Program Coordinator
Kevin was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He holds a Master's degree in Automotive Engineering from Oxford Brooks University. During this time, he became interested in Japanese culture and wanted to live in Japan. Kevin enjoys working with electronics, computers, and cars as well as math and science.
David Jackson
Differentiated Lab Teacher
David was born and raised in Southport, in the north west of England, and graduated from the University of Wales, Swansea with a BA in History and Anthropology. He worked for the National Trust (Formby Nature Reserve) in the Education department and focused on primary school education in the fields of conservation, archaeology, and natural history. On a friend's recommendation, he moved to Japan to pursue a career in teaching. After first teaching at Kikokushijo Academy, he joined the KAIS community in January, 2019. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and exploring, studying history and education, and furthering his Japan studies in the city archives.
Michael Johnson
Grade 3 Homeroom Teacher

Michael was raised in the mountains of Colorado in the United States. While putting himself through school, he became a casting instructor and fly fishing guide gaining over six years of instructional experience. Shortly after graduating from Fort Lewis College with a major in Tourism and Hospitality Management, he moved to a rural farming town in Niigata, Japan where he taught English at a children's conversation school. After three and a half years as an English teacher, he joined the KAIS EMS family. In his free time, Michael enjoys going skiing, hiking, and fly fishing as well as studying languages and economics.

Jamie Keith
Language Arts & Humanities Teacher
Jamie hails from Perth, Western Australia where he completed a BA in History at Edith Cowan University along with a Graduate Diploma of Education. He has been a teacher for over 10 years with experience in primary and secondary schools in Australia and Japan. Jamie has taught a number of subjects including Social Studies, Science, English as a Second Language, and mainstream English. Jamie is passionate about cinema and likes to be creative and produce short films in his free time.
Ryoan Ko
Classroom Assistant

Ryoan was born and raised in Tokyo to a big family of seven. She has always had a passion for working together with kids, and has aspired to become a teacher from a young age. Ryoan had a very international upbringing herself, going to an international school in Tokyo during her middle school years, and then moving to Europe to attend high school in Switzerland. This cross-cultural experience led her to develop an interest in different languages and countries. She returned to Japan to study at Waseda University, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Sciences, with a concentration in Psychology. She began her career as a teaching assistant in 2014, and joined the KAIS learning support team in 2016, where she has been able to support a variety of children with unique backgrounds, much like her. Even outside of the classroom, Ryoan enjoys spending her time with children, dedicating her time to being a camp counselor every summer, and teaching and sharing with kids the joys of friendship and adventure in the outdoors.

Justine Lejano
Grade 1 Homeroom Teacher

Justine was born in Thailand, but was raised in Australia by her Filipino parents. After graduating from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Arts Education, majoring in languages, she worked at an all-boys junior high school in Brisbane teaching Japanese, French, math, and science. With a love for language learning and travel, she had always dreamed of living overseas. In 2016, she took the plunge and moved to Japan on the JET Programme where she taught English at private junior high school in Tokyo. After three years as an Assistant Language Teacher, she joined us here at KAIS. She is currently completing her Master of TESOL online through Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. In her free time, Justine enjoys reading, traveling, hiking, and playing the ukelele.

Paul Luc
Mathematics Program Coordinator
Born and raised in northern California, Paul graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a minor in Mathematics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After a variety of teaching positions around the Bay Area, he received his Master's degree in Mathematics Education from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. After several years abroad as an IB teacher, he worked as a mathematics lecturer at the University of Utah Asia Campus in South Korea. In his spare time, Paul enjoys playing guitar, skateboarding, drawing, reading, playing basketball, and keeping up with his favorite sports teams.
Ansophie Niemand
School Counselor

Ansophie Niemand was born and raised in Amanzimtoti, South Africa. She enrolled in the University of South Africa and received her degree in Health Sciences and Social Services with a specific focus on Psychological Counselling. Afterwards, she completed her PGCE as she realized her passion lies with supporting students at school. She believes all students have the ability to become successful on an academic and social emotional level and endeavors to promote their opportunities to reach their goals. She has worked as a Classroom and Learning Support Teacher in both South Africa and China. She is also currently pursuing her BEd Honours Degree. Ansophie loves exploring new places, reading, spending time with her young son, and socializing with family and friends.

Eri Nozaki
Japanese as an Additional Language Teacher

Eri was born and raised in Kanagawa, Japan. She holds a Master's in Humanities from Ochanomizu University, focusing on Japanese Language Learning and the education of multi-lingual/cultural students. As a university student, she put her theory into practice while supporting foreign students with various linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Upon graduating, she worked at an international school in the Tokyo area, teaching Japanese to both native and non-native students for three years. In her free time, she enjoys studying Korean, spending time with her family, reading novels, and watching Japanese dramas and animation.

Maha Sa'di
Vice-Principal & Language Arts Program Coordinator
Maha Sa’di was born in Amman, the capital of Jordan. After attaining a degree in Modern Languages at the University of Jordan, Maha spent four years teaching at one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious international schools, The Ahliyyah School for Girls. Motivated by her passion for Japanese language and culture, she came to Japan on the MEXT scholarship programme to study modern Japanese literature at Sophia University, graduating with a Master's in Japanese Studies.
Sachiko Samata
School Nurse
Sachiko was born and raised in Saitama, Japan. She has been working as a nurse for more than 15 years, with experience in pediatric nursing. She started her career at a cancer center in Japan, and eventually moved to Australia to pursue a Bachelor of Nursing and a Master's degree in Palliative Care from Flinders University in South Australia. In her free time, she enjoys performing Japanese festival music with her children at community events.
Ruthy Sekine
Head of Early Years & Grade 2 Homeroom Teacher

Ruthy Sekine grew up in the sunshine state, Florida, USA. After graduating from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Ruthy moved to Japan in 2005 to begin her teaching career. Prior to joining the KAIS EMS team, she worked at Kikokushijo Academy for six years, where she demonstrated a flair for early years curriculum development. During that time, she also oversaw the implementation of a new phonics program (Read, Write, Inc.), which we have also adopted at KAIS EMS. Since then, she has continued her education by obtaining her Master's degree in Elementary Education. Ruthy’s passion for helping children find and reach their true potential is what drives her teaching philosophy.

Kate Sikora
Kindergarten Homeroom Teacher
Kate Sikora is an early childhood educator with over fifteen years of experience in the classroom, both in the United States and Japan. She studied Early Childhood Education and American Studies at Rutgers University, in New Jersey. During this time, she worked as a teacher’s assistant in an on-campus preschool. It was there that she found her love for teaching children as it allowed her to employ her artistic and musical talents, as well as her love of children’s literature. She has been living in Japan for over a decade as a traveler, a teacher, a musician, and (recently) a mom.
Randy Sithole
Athletics Director

Growing up in Pretoria, South Africa, Randy’s life has been outlined and landmarked by a love for sport, outdoor activities, and culture. Although his interests are broad and varied, his true love has always been sport. He played for TUKS Football Club (at the University of Pretoria) from a young age up until 18, during which time he also played in provincial teams and represented his province at international tournaments, both at home and abroad. Randy began his coaching and teaching career in 2009 at Waterkloof House Preparatory School. During his tenure as a coach, intern, and teacher’s assistant at Waterkloof, he studied Sports Management and Education at the University of South Africa and simultaneously began collecting international qualifications for FIFA Football, Boksmart Rugby, ICC Cricket, and IFP Tennis. Since his move to Japan in 2017, Randy has been studying with FC Barcelona Universitas.

Kurumi Yamada
Grade 4 Homeroom Teacher
Kurumi was born in Osaka, but moved to Oregon at a young age. She graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor's in Sociology, before eventually returning to Osaka to work at an international preschool. These four years of teaching experience encouraged her to get certified as a licensed teacher, so she returned to school, this time at Portland State University, to earn her Master's in Education along with her teaching license. Upon returning to Japan, she moved to Tokyo and worked at an international preschool for two years before joining the KAIS team to lead the Grade 4 homeroom. Kurumi enjoys singing and hiking (and was even a member of a Search & Rescue organization for 10 years).

Policies

Applications for admission to KAIS will be considered for all children regardless of race, national or ethnic origin, religion, gender or socio-economic background. As resources are limited, KAIS may be unable to accept applications for students with special needs. Such applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis according to the specific needs and whether or not the school environment can cater for such needs (specifically, the existing class balance and availability of learning support coordinators and assistants).

KAIS will accept applications from new students throughout the year. KAIS admits students on the basis of “rolling admissions,” taking completed applications in the order in which they arrive until no space remains in a given class or learning support needs cannot be met given the dynamic that currently exists (as per our Response to Intervention system).

Admissions Process

Step 1: Eligibility Check

Families who wish to enroll their students at KAIS should read through these steps to familiarize themselves with our Admissions Process and its requirements.

Step 2: Contact the Admissions Department

Next, families should contact our admissions department at admissions@kaisems.com to determine availability. If space is available, then a campus visit can be scheduled to introduce our learning environment and provide the necessary application documents. Overseas families may participate in a Skype chat with our Admissions Director.

Step 3: Enrollment Process

Families who wish to continue with the enrollment process are asked to provide all the required documentation listed below:

  • Admissions application documents
  • School transcripts/records from the past two years
  • Two reference documents from the child’s previous Math and Language Arts (English) teachers
  • For children requiring special educational support, detailed information regarding their specific learning needs

Note: Failure to declare accurately and fully the extent of a child’s individual learning needs may result in parents being asked to withdraw their child because the school is unable to meet his or her learning needs. To avoid a negative experience for all stakeholders, we ask all families to be open and communicative about any and all details relating to their child’s education and support needs.

Step 4: Document Screening

The admissions department presents all documentation to the school administration and learning support coordinator for screening in the form of an Admissions File. The Admissions File is systematically reviewed by the Admissions Director, Learning Support Coordinator, and Heads of School. Should any documents be missing, the process cannot move forward. Previous schools may be contacted for background checks. This process can take up to a week before a decision is reached.

Step 5: Trial Day

Once the documentation has been processed and an initial decision to proceed has been made, the student is invited for a trial day (or half-day for Kindergarten and Grade 1 students), to be scheduled for a regular school day, to determine whether the learning environment is appropriate for the child.

Step 6: Internal Feedback

Following the trial day, the teaching team is interviewed for their feedback regarding the child’s academic and social performance, focusing on whether or not we think the school is right for the child.

Step 7: Final Decision

Following the internal discussion among faculty members, the admissions department is given the approval from the administration to officially welcome the prospective family to KAIS.

Class Size

In order to create a comfortable classroom atmosphere to ensure every student gets the appropriate attention, class sizes will be limited as per the following table:

Grade Number of students (max.)
Kindergarten to Grade 2 10
Grades 3 to 6 12
Grades 7 to 8 14
Grades 9 to 12 18

 

Response to Intervention

Within the admissions process, potential students will be evaluated to determine if learning support is required. To maintain a balanced and effective learning environment, KAIS International will not be able to accept students with learning needs that are beyond the current resources or support that we can offer. To inform the process, we use a tier system based on the Response to Intervention (RTI) process. Tier 1 students are observed to be neurotypical, and are provided with the universal intervention strategies provided within the standard schedule. Students within Tier 2 exhibit temporary academic (ex. ESL) or behavioral needs, or require some changes to the standard schedule. This group includes students who are at risk of developing social, emotional, or behavioral issues as a result of their circumstances or home environment. These students might require short-term intervention (around 3 months) and possibly a rapid response intervention in case of serious home situations. Tier 3 includes students who require long-term support, such as individuals with diagnoses or exhibit ASD symptoms and need major modifications to the standard learning plan.

We limit the amount of high learning needs as per the following table:

Grade Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3
Kindergarten to Grade 2 80% 15% 5%
Grades 3 to 6
Grades 7 to 8

Grades 9 to 12 will be evaluated on an individual basis.

KAIS is committed to child safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. The school expects those working with children, parents, and others who are connected with or supporting families to ensure the safety and protection of children, to promote their development and well-being, and give them the best opportunities based on the school’s mission and values. The policy applies to all KAIS staff, including auxiliary services, interns, contractors, consultants, guests and visitors who must also adhere to the policy.

KAIS recognizes that a school that is physically and emotionally safe and secure for all students promotes good citizenship, increases student attendance and engagement, and supports academic achievement. To protect the rights of all students and groups for a safe and secure learning environment, KAIS prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation, bullying, and other forms of aggression and violence. Such actions interfere with both a school’s ability to educate its students and a student’s ability to learn. All administrators, faculty, staff, parents, volunteers, and students are expected to refuse to tolerate bullying and harassment and to demonstrate behavior that is respectful and civil. All staff employed at KAIS must report suspected incidences of child abuse or neglect whenever there is reasonable suspicion to believe that a child has suffered, or is at risk of suffering, abuse or neglect. This policy defines abuse as physical, sexual, or emotional abuse and neglect.

Abuse at Home

Should a faculty member become suspicious or privy to information regarding child abuse at home, he or she is required to inform the school administration and provide facts to corroborate the suspicion. If a suspicion is raised, teachers should pay special attention to the child’s behavior, needs and schoolwork, noticing any major changes in his or her habits. The main point-of-contact should be the School Counselor, and should include input by the Heads of School. Suspicions should be discussed in the weekly admin meeting, and an action plan formed to follow-up on these claims. Should child abuse be confirmed, child protection services should be contacted immediately to set up a home visit.

Campus Security

Our mission to create a safe and caring learning environment for our students should be reflected at all times in our actions to keep our campus secure. Students are reminded to “beep” in and out of school every day. Meetings with visitors and guests should be scheduled and added to the internal calendar, with the Heads of School informed within a reasonable timeframe. Children should never leave the school grounds without a reason and staff escort to ensure their safety and ascertain their location at all times. Students should not be left unsupervised; staff should be present on every floor throughout the day. Unscheduled visitors (intruders) are not allowed on the campus. In this scenario, the local police will be called to assist us in removing the person from the campus grounds.

Diversity & Inclusion

KAIS EMS is dedicated to providing a diverse and inclusive learning environment for all its students. Each student is expected to be open to perspectives that are different from his or her own and to realize that everyone’s voice is important. This includes students with learning differences. We believe that this approach enriches the educational experience of all KAIS EMS students. In order to create an open and welcoming atmosphere, we use English as our shared language when learning and interacting with each other. This culture encourages students to think flexibly and learn interdependently to make the best of the opportunities being provided with peers of different backgrounds and upbringing. (Please refer to the Anti-Bullying Pledge for further explanation.)

Internet Safety

KAIS students should never give out their own or their parents’ personal information over the Internet without parents’ permission. Also, they should never agree to get together with someone they “meet” online without parents’ permission. Parents should be consulted about the sharing of any photographs or other files. Students should tell their parents right away if they come across something that makes them feel uncomfortable.

Physical Contact & Relationships

Boundary violations occur when a person in a position of power (e.g. an adult) crosses a boundary with a person who is vulnerable (e.g. a child). Students will also try to set and test boundaries. It is the adult’s responsibility to establish, set and maintain boundaries, for example, by making healthy, role-appropriate choices concerning space, time and language.

Physical contact should always be about meeting the needs of the child. Actions that can be ambiguous are open to misinterpretation. Staff should always think before making any physical contact. They should be clear about why their actions are in the best interest of the child concerned. They should remember that some children like physical contact and some do not. 

The relationship between teacher and students should be one of cooperation, understanding and mutual respect. The teacher has the responsibility to provide an atmosphere conducive to learning and to motivate each student to perform within its capacity. Our professional relationship may be compromised if we:

  • Get too friendly with students, e.g keeping your hands on their shoulders or allowing them to keep their hand on yours, etc.
  • Invite students to join your personal electronic social networking site or accept students' invitations to join theirs.
  • Attend parties or socialize with students.
  • Invite a student or students back to your home or attend theirs without an appropriate professional reason and without the consent of a parent.
  • Transport a school student in your vehicle without prior approval from the administrator or parent.

We encourage staff to develop positive and professional working relationship with students to support the educational outcomes and to achieve constructive interactions between students and the school. Romantic relationships are not tolerated, and will be subject to immediate dismissal of the adult in question.

Privacy

Personal information of students and parents such as telephone numbers, addresses, grades, etc. will never be given out to third parties, except for insurance purposes or when required by Japanese law. With parent consent, photographs and videos of classes, events, and other school activities may be used for marketing or training purposes.

School must be a safe, protected, and controlled environment where students come to learn and interact with each other without fear.

Everyone agrees that there must be good behavior in the classroom. Learning happens in an orderly environment where students follow classroom and instructional procedures to accomplish tasks, such as participating in classroom discussions and working in groups. They are being taught respect as well as responsibility. Schools are effective when they give students structure, focus, guidance, and direction in the form of classroom management and a system of consequences to limit unhelpful and hurtful behaviors. All rules and expectations should be frequently discussed so students know that the consequences for their actions are not random, haphazard decisions. Students expect teachers and school administrators to set boundaries; they need to feel confident that someone is in control and responsible for their safety and that of their environment - someone who not only sets limits but maintains them.

Classroom Expectations

KAIS Elementary & Middle School does not have a long list of school rules to adhere to, with concomitant punishments decided beforehand regarding how to deal with infractions. We follow a Love & Logic approach to discipline and consequences which, although time-consuming, saves time and energy in the long-term and ensures a respectful and empathetic approach in the short-term. We do, however, have clear and simple expectations regarding the behavior of students at school.

Early Years (Kindergarten to Grade 3)

  1. THINK OF OTHERS: Help two classmates a day.
  2. THINK ABOUT HOW YOU WOULD FEEL: Treat the property of others as if it belonged to you.
  3. THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK: Listen to others before speaking.
  4. THINK BEFORE YOU ACT: Keep your hands to yourself.

Middle Years (Grades 4 to 8)

  1. Feel free to do anything that does not cause a problem for anyone else.
  2. I teach when there are no distractions or other problems.
  3. I listen to students who raise their hand.
  4. I listen to one person at a time.
  5. Please treat me with the same respect I treat you.
  6. If someone causes a problem, I will do something.
  7. What I do will depend on what happened and what the person is willing to do to solve the problem.

Students who consistently show behavior that goes against the above expectations will follow up with teachers and the school administration on a case-by-case basis. Consult the Disciplinary Intervention Process below for information.

Statement on Anti-Bullying

“Bullying” or “harassment” is any gesture or written, verbal, graphic, or physical act (including electronically transmitted acts – i.e., cyberbullying, through the use of Internet, cell phone, computer, or wireless hand-held device, currently in use or later developed and used by students) that is reasonably perceived as being dehumanizing, intimidating, hostile, humiliating, threatening, or otherwise likely to evoke fear of physical harm or emotional distress and may be motivated either by bias or prejudice based upon any actual or perceived characteristic, such as race, color, religion, language, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression; or a mental, physical, or sensory disability or impairment; or by any other distinguishing characteristic, or is based upon association with another person who has or is perceived to have any distinguishing characteristic. Bullying and harassment also include forms of retaliation against individuals who report or cooperate in an investigation under this policy. Such behaviors are considered to be bullying or harassment whether they take place on or off school property.

Approach to Discipline

The vast spectrum of behaviors and situation should be confronted with a Love and Logic® approach — a system which allows our students to learn from the results of their own decisions or mistakes. 

Rather than engage in a power struggle by reacting with anger and lengthy lecturing, consequences should be applied with empathy and understanding in order to intelligently manage behavior. Through the Love and Logic® approach, teachers should strive to (1) build positive relationships with the students, (2) set enforceable limits through enforceable statements, (3) share control, (4) implement disciplinary interventions that stop undesirable behaviors in their infancy, and (5) delay consequences to get the students to think emotionally about their decisions. Through these practical and effective techniques, stress levels are kept low for everyone and classroom management is easier and more enjoyable.

For cases that require a more long-term approach, a Behavior Plan or Learning Support Plan can be implemented to support the child through specific measures decided amongst the faculty and approved by the parents. These plans should include (1) background information, (2) the areas of improvement, (3) a specific action plan for both the school and family, and lastly (4) the terms or goals of the agreement. Should the family refuse to consent to this behavior plan, or should the process be stonewalled through lack of communication or participation, then the child may be suspended from school until a compromise can be reached.

Disciplinary Procedure in Cases of Bullying

Students suspected of bullying will be immediately removed from class until an investigation is completed. Parents will be contacted and informed about the investigation as soon as possible. In certain cases, the school will also be required to contact local authorities. If bullying is confirmed, the disciplinary action will then be decided by the faculty of the school. The process, from start to finish, typically involves the following:

1. Investigation

During an investigation, the faculty will gather information from witnesses to gain a clear understanding of the events that have transpired. In most cases, students related to the incident will have to complete an Incident Report that will act as their official testimony of what happened. Please note that mobile phones may be confiscated and their contents reviewed. If a student is found to be guilty of bullying, the faculty will meet with the student in question and his/her parents to determine what course of action to take. The parents of the victim of bullying will also be contacted for the same purpose.

2. Disciplinary Action

Students found guilty of bullying will sit for an interview in which a faculty member will attempt to determine the students’ motives as well as their level of contrition and other matters of pertinence. If the faculty member conducting the investigation deems that the students have learned from their actions, the students will then be asked to sign a Disciplinary Plan stating their intent to change their behavior. This contract will include a number of stipulations and a probationary period during which the students will be closely monitored. At the end of the probationary period, the students in question will undergo a reevaluation to assess their level of progress. Students who fail to meet the stipulations of the contract will receive further disciplinary action that may involve community work, suspension, or expulsion. In cases where the faculty member determines that the safety of the school and/or its students is compromised, the perpetrator will be suspended or expelled.

3. Victim Support

KAIS EMS will do all it can to support the victims of bullying. The parents of the victim and the faculty of the school will decide together which supportive actions and follow-up the victim requires.

Disciplinary Intervention Process

Effective discipline is a combination of effective management at the school level and effective management at the classroom level. Use this chart to ensure that your reaction is measured and fair - and remember to document repetitive negative incidents in the KAIS EMS Disciplinary Intervention Log.

Exceptions

In rare circumstances, a severe incident occurs that requires immediate action to remove the student from the learning space to ensure the safety of students and teachers. In these situations, the school administration reserves the right to: (1) remove the offending student from class for the remainder of the school day, confined to a classroom where they must perform a task (Incident Reflection Sheet, homework, independent reading, etc.); or, in instances where the child is uncooperative and home support is needed, (2) request parents to immediately pick-up their child for a temporary suspension of school.

KAIS EMS does not have a dress code, per se, so students can wear what they want as long as it does not create problems for others. Obscene or overly-revealing clothes should of course be avoided. In an effort to protect students’ well-being and school property, all KAIS EMS students are required to wear indoor shoes while at school.

The use of electronic devices is only permitted when used in connection with course work or other school-related duties. Students are encouraged to communicate with each other and participate in activities during breaks. Students caught improperly using their devices during school hours will have them temporarily confiscated. We also advise all families to control the amount of time their child spends engaging in unsupervised online activities.

Guidelines for the Safe Use of Smartphones

Teens must navigate a digital adolescence (often without any supervision), and in doing so make some missteps on their way to becoming responsible adults. This is to be expected, but it’s still a major challenge for parents and schools, who are largely left in the dark about what exactly goes on in a child’s digital world. The goal, ultimately, is not to understand everything they do online, but to ensure that they are equipped with the skills and maturity to use technology responsibly and appropriately. Although the school offers the students periodic seminars and workshops regarding online safety and the responsible use of devices, supporting students is a team effort and requires help at home as well. As such, the school recommends the following guidelines for parents considering purchasing a smartphone for their child.

  1. Students first get a smartphone on loan from their parents. Ideally, children should not be provided a smartphone until their first year of high school.
  2. They must successfully pass a 1-year trial period during which they must demonstrate the responsible use of the phone.
  3. Phones and laptops should be out of the bedroom by 9 p.m.
  4. After the 1-year trial period, the phone can become theirs. However, periodic parental checks may continue for 3 months before they get full access.
  5. If the child, at any point, suffers lower grades at school, or is involved in a cyber-bullying incident, the device should be removed as a consequence for a period of 1-3 months.
  6. Ideally, the home’s personal computer should be located in the living room, or other supervised space.
  7. Legal age restrictions for apps and online services should be followed.
  8. Whenever possible, parental controls and passwords should be used to limit the child’s access to the digital world, until they prove their responsibility and maturity.
  9. Screen time should be limited to 2 hours per day.
  10. The child must sign a contract stating the above terms (or other terms discussed and agreed upon by the family), with clear consequences that follow rule infractions.

KAIS International comprises of two schools operating at different sites. Both are innovative, small schools serving central Tokyo’s international community, and therefore welcome new staff expecting them to add depth and perspective to our dynamic team and to the student experience. Working at KAIS International is both fun and challenging, and we welcome applicants who can help co-create the warm, friendly atmosphere KAIS promises, while helping our students achieve their potential as members and citizens of the international community.

Aligned with the recommendations of the International Task Force on Child Protection, we hold ourselves to a high standard of effective recruiting practices with specific attention to child protection. The aims and objectives of the KAIS International recruitment policy are as follows:

  • to ensure that the best possible staff are recruited on the basis of their merits, abilities and suitability for the position;
  • to ensure that all job applicants are considered equally and consistently and that no job applicant is treated unfairly on any grounds including race, color, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or religious belief, sex or sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, disability or age;
  • to ensure that the school meets its commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people by carrying out all necessary pre-employment checks.

FAQ

KAIS EMS is located here, 1-2 minutes away from Toritsu-Daigaku station on the Tōkyū Tōyoko Line.

For families who cannot afford the standard KAIS tuition, KAIS EMS does offer some financial aid. Those wishing to apply are asked to submit an annual family income statement.

We want our students to grow up to be inquisitive, intelligent, inspired, and happy adults who never lose their passion for learning. Our progressive approach towards education reflects this goal. On the other hand, we understand that for our students to be successful in university and beyond, they will need mental toughness, practical skills, and a strong foundation in academic subjects such as Mathematics and Language Arts. Our classes are designed to give students all this and more — to help them become both collaborative and independent learners.

Our guiding principle for admission is this: we only accept students we are certain we can help. Students with limited English skills are welcome at KAIS so long as at the time of application we have the necessary space and resources to ensure a positive learning experience. In cases where we need to hire a private tutor to raise your child’s English level, we may ask for an additional fee, although we will try to avoid this whenever possible.

We encourage all prospective students to come in for a one-day trial to see our environment suits their needs, wants, and expectations. Our school culture is vibrant and expressive, and values industriousness, compassion, and enthusiasm most of all. We are a small school and consequently have a strong team mentality, so our students are expected to cooperate and nurture positive relationships. But some children prefer or need to study in a different environment. Fortunately, Tokyo boasts a number of excellent international schools, giving parents and children a wide selection to choose from. KAIS EMS is one of these quality schools, but, again, it is not the right “fit” for every child.