As part of a learning community that knows, values and cares for each member, students at ASIJ will come to better understand themselves, as well as the importance of knowing, valuing and caring for the people around them.
“My students are driven to do well but they also have inquisitive minds to where they are excited to learn beyond the curriculum when they can. In addition to their academics, they bring great personalities which help to create a positive school environment. In short, they're a really nice group of kids.”
- Middle School Science Teacher
Our students perform exceptionally well academically—as evidenced by their results on standardized tests—but they are also well-rounded individuals who excel outside the classroom. They show their integrity and sense of responsibility through taking leadership roles and being constructive community members. They value sportsmanship, are honest and have integrity. They have the courage to stand up and present their own ideas and to take risks and try new things.
They don’t fear failure and have the resilience to persevere when things are difficult. They are empathetic and understand and respect diverse perspectives. They care about others, both in their school and local communities, and beyond. All this is a way of saying they embody the spirit of our mission and our core values of character, courage and compassion every day.
“It was like she wanted me to remember what she taught me for the rest of my life.”
- High School Student
Research shows that an inspiring and highly-skilled teacher is the single most important school-related factor influencing student learning. Teachers at ASIJ care about their students, engage them, foster their sense of wonder and curiosity, help them weather challenges and mistakes, and encourage them to understand and explore their own capabilities and potential.ASIJ is very selective in its recruitment of teachers, attempting to identify and recruit outstanding teachers who possess the mindset, values, and skills that correspond with our commitment and mission.
We also provide an outstanding professional learning program that helps teachers keep up-to-date on new research on how children learn, emerging technology tools for the classroom and new curriculum resources. ASIJ’s faculty represent 14 different nationalities with the majority being US citizens. All are experienced teachers, with approximately 75% having earned post-graduate degrees. A quarter of our teachers choose to stay at ASIJ for 10 or more years. Our learning community consists of 162 full-time faculty, 22 assistant and part-time teachers and 96 staff.
“One of the things we love about ASIJ is how easy it is to get involved. The school and PTA are happy to have you raise your hand, offer an idea, or give your time and talents. Getting involved from the start helped us make the most of our time in Japan.”
- High School Parent
Opportunities for parent involvement abound at ASIJ, and parents are highly encouraged to participate in a variety of school-related activities. We have a highly engaged PTA with hundreds of active members. Through their thousands of annual volunteer hours, the school is able to create a welcoming environment for all, that is rich with community building events connecting our families, faculty and other community members. Parents are welcome to ride the bus to school and are encouraged to volunteer and take part in activities at school.
Whether it is being a mystery reader, chaperoning a school trip, helping out in the library, attending the elementary school's Halloween Parade or watching the Senior Walk, parents play an active role in the day-to-day life of the school. Parents are also often encouraged to share their professions, expertise and hobbies with a classroom or grade level. Parents also play an important function in the governance of the school and some are invited to serve on our Board of Directors, Board of Trustees and various committees that work on behalf of the school.
“While most of my Tokyo life was full of bright lights and tall buildings, I still have fond memories of my trip to Nagano in 10th grade, which brought me out into the daikon-fields of rural Japan. It reminded me that my home in Japan extended beyond city life to the mountains.”
- Class of ‘15 Alumna
ASIJ has deep roots in Japan and over a century of cross-cultural collaboration. From experiencing sumo for the first time at the ELC to visiting Hiroshima in middle school or joining a marine biology trip to Izu, our curriculum provides students with authentic learning opportunities in Japan. ASIJ’s Japan Center offers further meaningful cultural connections through lessons in calligraphy, tea ceremony, and kendo, as well as opportunities to learn from master craftsmen.
Our unique Kyogen program has provided generations of students with the opportunity to dive deep into this art form, while our elementary students learn Nihon Buyo from world-renowned performers. Japan is also central to our service programs. Students have an impact in their host country through activities such as teaching English to students in Tohoku, teaching art to local community members with disabilities, supporting local teenagers as they leave the foster system, or making and sharing food with those less fortunate in Ueno Park. We know from our alumni that such experiences have an impact which stays with them long after they leave ASIJ