PRESCHOOL & KINDERGARTEN   18 months – 6 years old
Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions
 
Q&A
General School Information

Calendar

KPIS is proud to offer one of the longest school years among international schools in Tokyo. Our students attend approximately 180-185 days of school that span three terms. Term 1 begins in late August and ends in mid-December. Term 2 begins in early January and ends in late March. Term 3 begins in early April and ends in early July. We also have a 3-week Summer Fun Program in July.

Establishment

KPIS has enjoyed being a part of the Fukasawa community in Setagaya Ward for more than 15 years since it was established in April 1999. We moved to our current location directly across from Komazawa Olympic Park in January 2006.

Vacations

In the Regular Program, KPIS observes all Japanese national holidays during the school year. The two longest vacations are Winter Vacation (approximately 24-26 days) and Golden Week Vacation (approximately 10-12 days). Winter Vacation is between Terms 1 and 2, and Golden Week Vacation is between late April and early May in Term 3. In addition, our students do not have school on Teacher Preparation Days, Professional Development Days, Progress Report Preparation Days and Parent-Teacher Conference Days.

Educational Philosophy

KPIS is committed to offering ECE of superior quality to children of all nationalities, religions, and ethnic backgrounds. The schoolfs programs are in line with current research in child psychology and are centered on each childfs overall development. KPIS understands the crucial importance of stimulating a childfs mind during its early stages and strives to provide a well-balanced curriculum that does so. We offer a safe, child-oriented environment that nurtures pre-academic skills and challenges creativity through varied hands-on activities. In short, we strive to enrich the lives of our children.

Student Enrollment

KPIS offers 5 major education programs: Regular Program (preschool and kindergarten), Afternoon Program, Evening Program, Oyako Class and Summer Fun Program. Student enrollment from all programs combined total between 250 and 300 children. Each program follows its own separate school calendar.

Students & Teachers

Studentsf Nationalities

The student body at KPIS is diverse and represents a wide variety of countries from Asia to Africa. Since our schoolfs establishment in 1999, our students have come from more than 25 countries that includes Bulgaria, Chile, Columbia, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Republic of India and Sweden. Our current study body represents countries such as Australia, Canada, England, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa and the United States of America.

Teachersf Nationalities

Just as we celebrate cultural diversity among our students, we value a teaching staff that comes from different corners of the globe. Our current Homeroom Teachers and Teacher Assistants come from Australia, Bangladesh, England, Finland, Italy, Japan, Philippines, Tanzania and the United States of America.

Class Size

Class sizes vary by age group, but we make every effort to keep our class sizes small. Most of our classes have an average of 8 to 10 students so that teachers can provide each student with more individual attention. Teachers also can plan activities and lessons that may not be do-able with a larger class size. Moreover, smaller class sizes encourage greater class participation among students.

Student Japanese-to-Foreign Ratio

Given the nature of international schools and the coming-and-going of students whose parents work at large multi-national companies, the ratio of Japanese students to foreign students is fluid and therefore changes from year to year, even from term to term. Moreover, the ratio is different for each age-group as well. Please contact the school if you would like more information about this.

Student-to-Teacher Ratio

KPIS is proud of its low student-to-teacher ratio. The number of students per teacher increases incrementally by age group as students grow older since we expect them to develop independence, a major goal of our schoolfs mission. Student-to-teacher ratios are more than just numbers as educational research has shown time and again that low student-to-teacher ratios yield significantly higher outcomes. Our student-to-teacher ratios are as follows: 4 students per teacher (18 months to 2 yrs old); 6 students per teacher (2-3 yrs old); 9 students per teacher (3-4 yrs old); 11 students per teacher (4-5 yrs old); 12 students per teacher (5-6 yrs old). The number of students per teacher represents the maximum number of students per teacher at our school; in reality, however, the number of students per teacher is actually lower.

Teacher Turnover Rate

KPIS has an extremely low turnover rate among its teaching staff, which directly benefits the entire school community, especially the children. Our schoolfs ability to retain teachers for a long period of time speaks volumes about our commitment to creating a work environment filled with warmth, trust, kindness and respect.

Enrollment Process

Admission Qualifications

Priority for admission is given to foreign nationals and returnees. Japanese nationals are also admitted if their parents strongly advocate the schoolfs educational philosophy. However, we normally admit such children only under the age of 3 and require that their parents have the ability to communicate comfortably in English. While there is no admission test, we ask all prospective students and parents to come in for an interview with the principal.

Interview

An interview with the Principal is scheduled after a visit to the school and a tour of the classrooms. It is important for families to get a sense of our learning environment and have the chance to ask questions about our program in a relaxed setting. During the course of an interview, children are assessed informally according to a few key developmental milestones that may include potty training, receptive and expressive language skills, and social/emotional readiness.

Waiting List

If a class becomes full, then you may enter a waiting list to take the next available seat. If you wish to enter the waiting list, you should submit the completed application form to the school and indicate that you want your child to be placed on the waiting list. The school will contact you if a seat becomes available. If a seat does not become available by the end of the term in which you applied, the school will contact you to check whether or not you want your child to remain on the waiting list.

Applying

We know that applying to an international school can seem daunting so we try our best to make the process as simple and hassle-free as possible. Our school has a rolling admission policy, which means families can apply at any time. Prospective families interested in enrolling their children at KPIS should contact our Office of Admissions by calling 03-5707-0979 or mailing us at contact@kpischool.com. Details about our application process can be found at the following link (to Admissions).

Japanese Student Enrollment

We welcome families of all cultural backgrounds, including our local Japanese families, which make up a big part of our school community. Japanese families who are interested in enrolling their children at KPIS generally have to do so before their children turn 3 years old for a variety of reasons. We do make exceptions to this rule for Japanese children who have attended an international preschool either overseas or within Japan.

School Life

Daily Schedule

Our daily schedule begins with drop-off time at the main entrance from 8:45 | 9:05 a.m., where teachers are waiting to greet the children. Children are engaged in a period of free exploration or planned learning activities before Circle Time at 9:30 a.m. After Circle Time children have a snack and prepare to walk all together to Komazawa Park. Children typically stay at the park from 10:30 | 11:45 a.m. and return to school in time for lunch. Lunch is usually followed by structured afternoon activities until pick-up time from 2:20 | 2:40 p.m. This is a Monday, Thursday, and Friday schedule. On Tuesday and Wednesday, classes have Special Subjects throughout the day in Music or Pottery, and their outdoor time is spent in the school yard instead of the park.

Outdoor Play

Our school's location has ample space for children to engage in many learning experiences outside the classroom walls. Under watchful supervision, children have the freedom to explore, make discoveries, and organize themselves in unstructured activities, thus nurturing the ability to take responsibility for their own learning. We use our outdoor play spaces during all seasons and weather (except for very rainy days) in order to give our children an abiding appreciation for the changes in nature that come with close observation.

Special Subjects

Special subjects enrich our studentsf school lives. Children at KPIS enjoy three special subjects on a regular basis in addition to their everyday class activities. Music, sports and pottery are all taught in English by experts in these fields. Whether itfs singing, moving around or pottery making, our special subjects provide children the opportunity to explore different mediums of creative expression.

Toilet Training

Toilet training should be approached in a calm manner and with the expectation that this is a normal and natural step of progress for your toddler. Teachers are also your child's caregivers and are happy to support your child's interest in switching from diapers to underpants. Toilet training may begin in Year 1, but we know that not all children are ready to take this step at this age, and we are patient until such time as the child is capable and can feel proud of this accomplishment.

Nap

Sleep is an important requirement for a child's well-being, and the benefits of napping to improve cognitive learning in young children are well researched. Regular nap times are scheduled into the day for all Year 1 children. In consultation with parents, every consideration is given to each child's individual need for sleep as they grow. In Year 2, some children may continue the nap during Terms 1 and 2, but all children are expected to be awake for the full day at some point during Term 3 and certainly by the time they enter Year 3.

Snack

All children must bring a snack from home every day. Children eat their snack in the morning before going outdoors to play in the school yard or Komazawa Olympic Park. We encourage parents to pack healthy snacks for their children that are free of gjunk foodh such as chocolates, gummies, jelly sweets, gum and potato chips. Popular healthy snack options among the children include cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables, dried fruit and Japanese rice crackers.

Things to Bring

Here is a brief summary of items that children must bring to school (please contact the school for a more complete list):

  • Backpack
  • Healthy snack, lunch and drink bottle
  • Clothing appropriate for outdoor play
  • Indoor and outdoor shoes
  • Extra Clothes, art smock, diapers and supplies (if necessary)
  • Toothbrush, blanket for sleeping
  • Extra food and water in case of earthquake

Communication

Parent Involvement

Parent involvement in childrenfs school lives is extremely important, and we believe that children learn best when they feel that their parents are supportive of and interested in what theyfre doing. We encourage parent participation at KPIS, and parents are invited into their childrenfs classrooms for Parent-Participation Weeks, birthday celebrations as well as for special occasions such as Motherfs Day. Parent-Participation Weeks are scheduled one a term and give parents the opportunity to get a glimpse of their childfs school life first-hand. In addition, many parents attend large school events like our annual Charity Concert, Sports Day and International Festival.

Parent Language Level

Since English is the medium of communication at KPIS, ideally at least one parent should feel comfortable reading English and expressing himself/herself in English with their childfs teachers and the administration. Letters, invoices, handbooks and school notices are all written in English, and Parent-Teacher Conferences and Homeroom Meetings with the Principal are conducted in English. Parents do not need to be fluent in English, but a positive and willing attitude to communicate in the language while on campus is very much appreciated.

Safety

Allergies

KPIS is a nut free school. We do our best to accommodate children with allergies, even serious ones. All teachers and most administrators undergo gEpipenh training and certification on a biannual basis, along with regular refreshment courses. However, KPIS reserves the right to refuse admission to children with certain allergies. Our students spend a long time outdoors, off campus, and engaging in activities such as gardening and cooking, and it can be difficult to provide children with severe allergies a safe environment at all times.

Security Measures

The safety of our students is one of our main priorities, and we take many measures to ensure every childfs security at all times. Here are some of the security measures in place at KPIS: 19 security cameras surveying the schoolfs interior and exterior, automatic electric gate system, personal COCOSECOM tracking device for every child as well as having a child-safety sliding door, fire extinguisher, security alarm and smoke detector in every classroom.

Earthquake & Fire Drills

Natural disasters like earthquakes can strike without a momentfs notice, so in an effort to always be prepared, we practice one earthquake or one fire drill every month throughout the school year. During the drills, children and their teachers exit the school building using different exits. For earthquake drills, every child wears his/her emergency headcover. Every child also has an emergency kit that contains bottled water, non-perishable food, raincoat and carry bag.

Life after KPIS

International Schools

KPIS graduates go on to a variety of educational institutions, including many international schools in Tokyo. Many of our graduates who apply to international schools apply to either St. Maryfs International School or Seisen International School due to their close physical location to KPIS. Our graduates also enroll at American School in Japan (ASIJ), Nishimachi International School, International School of the Sacred Heart, St. Maur International School and Yokohama International School. KPIS teachers and administrators try their best to prepare children and to guide parents through the application process.

Maintaining Studentsf English Level after KPIS

KPIS graduates who go on to Japanese elementary schools might not have the same opportunities as those who go on to international schools to use English on a regular basis with their peers. In order to maintain their English level and even improve on it, many graduates enroll in our Evening Program once or twice a week for two hours from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. In addition to our academic classes, we offer students in the Evening Program a wide variety of extracurricular activities year-round that include Eiken Juku, Hawaii Homestay Program and Enrichment Events.

Private Japanese Schools

In addition to graduates who go on to international schools, we have graduates who enroll at private Japanese schools. Our administrators can complete application forms in Japanese for these schools. We have an impressive track record of getting our students into schools such as Aoyama Gakuin Elementary School and Meguro Seibi Gakuen Elementary School. Some graduates have also gone on to Tokyo Jogakuin and Wako Elementary School.

Transition to Japanese Elementary Schools

Whether itfs a private or public Japanese elementary school, our graduates are set up for success given the strong foundation that KPIS helped them develop during their early years. With their experiences at KPIS, our graduates have essential life skills; they are confident, independent, willing to learn and increase their understanding of the world around them, effective communicators who listen carefully and express their opinions thoughtfully.