updated 2021-06-25
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Table of Contents

1. School Introduction

Kyoto International School (KIS) has been serving the beautiful city of Kyoto since 1957. The school is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the International Baccalaureate (IB). The school is known for its inclusive sense of community and personalised learning for every student. As a not-for-profit school KIS can channel all our resources into effective learning and developing students who thrive in positively influencing the global community.

Quick Facts

Vision, Mission & Values

Kyoto International School (KIS) has been serving the beautiful city of Kyoto since 1957. The school is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the International Baccalaureate (IB). The school is known for its inclusive sense of community and personalised learning for every student. As a not-for-profit school KIS can channel all our resources into effective learning and developing students who thrive in positively influencing the global community.

Our Vision

Inspiring active learners, developing global citizens

Our Mission

In our community we foster passionate, collaborative, and internationally minded individuals through an engaging and supportive education.

Our Core Values*

*The Core Values were developed from the IB Learner Profile traits.
Each KIS grade level undertook a vision activity for a trait and developed these KIS definitions.

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2. School Structure

Governance

The governance structure at KIS consists of the Executive Board, Board of Trustees and the Principal. There are clear distinctions between the roles and responsibilities of each group.

  • Principal oversees the school’s operations and implements school policy;
  • Executive Board, employs the Principal, provides the strategic direction for the school, oversees finances and sets school policy;
  • Board of Trustees approves major actions taken by the school (eg: budget, policies), and advises the Executive Board;

The Executive Board holds monthly meetings, the minutes of which are available in the school office. Any member of the KIS community can request to observe a meeting if a written request is sent to the Board Chair at least two days in advance. Members of the Executive Board have no authority as individuals and can only act officially when they meet with a quorum. Members of the Executive Board and Board of Trustees do this work on a voluntary basis (no payment is provided for their duties).

Auditors (Julian Chapple & Masao Mizuna) review and approve the school’s finances annually. In addition, they are responsible for submitting an annual report regarding the financial status of the school to the Prefectural Government.

Executive Board Members 

Michi Saki
Board Chair
Hillary Pederson
Vice Chair
Michael Taylor
Principal
John Doyle Luke Fujii Monika Sugimoto
Makoto Yamamura    


Board of Trustees Members

Joseph Kelley Shigenori Shibata Rebecca Jennison
Hitoshi Yamada Atsushi Horiba Felicity Tillack
Hiroshi Nakao Masaho Suzuki Ayano Ohmi
Luke Fujii Monika Sugimoto Hillary Pederson
John Doyle Makoto Yamamura Michael Taylor

School Staff

Senior Leadership Team

Michael Taylor
Principal
Sharyn Skrtic
Head of Learning &
Deputy Principal
Chinagi Duff
Business Manager

Operations Team

Mai Hayashi
Office Admin
Kiyoe Matsui
Admissions Officer
Nicholas McQuillin
ICT Director
Masayoshi Idei
Groundskeeper

Programme Leadership Team

Sharyn Skrtic
PYP Coordinator
Candice Taubner
MS Coordinator
Galina Hristoskova
Saturday School Coordinator

Teaching Team

TBA

Parent Teacher Association

As a collaborative and supportive community, we welcome activities lead by PTA in a variety of forms. Please see the PTA Constitution here.

Purpose

The purpose of the PTA is to support the school’s mission of being a fun and collaborative community.  Through various activities, the PTA aims to:

  • develop and deepen relationships amongst community members;
  • assist the running of school events
  • fundraise money for educational equipment

Finances

PTA fees are collected each year (3000 yen per family) to support various PTA activities. All PTA finances are controlled by the PTA Executive Committee. 

This fee has been waived for the 2021-2022 academic year.

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3. Routines & Expectations

School Hours

ProgramStart TimeMorning BreakLunch BreakFinish Time
Pre-K & Kindergarten8:30 am10:30 – 10:50 am12:15 – 1:30 pm2:30 pm
Primary Years, & Middle School8:30 am10:30 – 10:50 am12:45 – 1:30 pm3:30 pm (Wednesday at 2:30 pm)

* All School finishes each Wednesday at 2:30 pm

Before & After School Supervision

  • Parents are responsible for their children before and after school. Students who remain unsupervised after dismissal time will be sent home or placed in the office. 
  • All students are permitted to enter the campus each day from 8:15 am.
  • For Pre-K & Kindergarten students; If your child is to be picked up by someone other than an immediate family member, you are required to inform the school office and fill out the appropriate form.
  • Students are required to leave the field when in use by a non-KIS group. 

Wet Weather

  • The school field is often closed during wet weather. A sign near the field will indicate it is open or closed. Please do not use the field if it is closed.

Childcare 

  • Our after school care is available daily from dismissal time until 5:00 pm. 
  • All sign-ups must be made before 2:30 pm 3 days prior through SchoolsBuddy. We will not accept last minute calls for childcare.
  • If a student has clubs or lessons, it is the students’ responsibility to make their own way to Bukatsu and Lessons from childcare and to be responsible and respectful of the school environment while they do.
  • This is a charged service (500 yen for 30 minutes). 
  • Students must bring their own snack and drink if they wish to eat during this time.

Attendance

  • Please inform the school by submitting attendance excusals with ManageBac.
  • Please complete late form or early dismissal form if planned attendance changes.
  • Students leaving early must report to the office to be signed out.
  • Students arriving after 8:30 am are recorded as late. Late students must report to the school office and pick up a late slip before entering class. 
  • Students may not go off campus during school hours without prior permission from their parents and the Principal.
  • Students are required to attend school for at least 85% of the school year to qualify for completion of a grade level. If a pattern of lateness or absenteeism is seen, the student and/or family will be requested to meet with the Principal.
  • Early withdrawal at the end of a term, or late returns at the beginning of term, are discouraged. Parents are encouraged not to schedule holidays or family outings during school time. 
  • Teachers are under no obligation to give extra work for absent students.

Communication

  • Please use the KIS Community Portal (https://portal.kis.ac.jp/) for news, important dates, and finding additional information. This is a private site for students & families, therefore an account is required to access. All parents-guardians are supplied login details at enrollment, additional requests for access can be sent to ict@kis.ac.jp.
  • KIS communicates with parents in the following methods:
    • Email – providing reminders, emergency, and specific information
    • School Shimbun (newsletter) – published weekly on the community portal
    • OpenApply – admissions, enrolment, and re-enrolment communication
    • ManageBac – academic, attendance, reports related communication
    • SchoolsBuddy – school trips, after-school activities (lessons, bukatsu, childcare), and related communication
    • Seesaw – teacher and student driven sharing photos, videos, and activities related to classroom learning
    • LINE – schoolwide quick links, notices, requests, and announcements
    • informal meetings – discussing issues in the school grounds any time
    • formal meetings – parent/teacher interviews, scheduled meetings
    • phone calls – when face-to-face conversations are not available
  • Community members will be informed about school updates, news, and upcoming events and developments of our school via a newsletter sent each week.
  • Teachers are expected to inform parents about learning engagements in the classroom and communicate special requests and announcements unique to the individual class.
  • All teachers aim to reply to an email sent from a parent/caregiver within a 24 hour period (within school hours, during weekdays and within term time)

Behaviour Management

  • All community members contribute to a safe environment and are responsible for all students in the school. Modelling safe behaviours is an important component to providing a safe environment. Staff have a duty to correct any behaviours deemed unsafe immediately.

Inquiries & Grievance Procedures

If parents have concerns or questions, they are expected to follow the appropriate lines of communication.

Inquiry TypeContact PersonExamples
Business & administration
Admissions
Kiyoe Matsui– invoices (billing and fees)
– enrollment related forms
Attendance
Childcare
Lunch and Milk Order
Study Trips
Mai Hayashi– absences
– study trips
– cancelation of childcare
After-school activities
Alumni
Communication
IT / ICT 
Portal
Nicholas McQuillin– club & lesson enrolment or changes
– shimbun notices
– communication
– Student device questions
– portal account issues
Teaching & learningSharyn Skrtic– curriculum development
– teacher quality
– behaviour
PolicyMichael Taylor – school organisation
– school decision making
– security

Issues pertaining to individual students should be directed in the first instance to the classroom or subject teacher and, if necessary, be escalated according to the following process:

  • Step 1 – Communicate with the classroom or subject teacher
  • Step 2 – Communicate with the Deputy Principal if there is still a question that remains unresolved.
  • Step 3 – Communicate with the Principal if there is still a question that remains unresolved.
  • Step 4 – Appeal to the Board after the above steps have been taken, and if the question or concern has still not been resolved.

Personal Items

The school will not be held responsible for any trading, breakage, loss or theft of any personal items or toys. We highly encourage you to not bring personal items or toys to school. A lost and found box is located in the basement stairwell of the main building.

Library

All students visit the library every week to sign out books. The books are due back to the library the following week or two. If a book is lost or damaged, parents must reimburse the school either 1000 yen or 2000 yen (depending on the price of the book). This is payable in cash to the office.

Dress Code

  • Students are expected to wear a school uniform each day. This uniform includes a hat that should be worn when outside, especially on sunny days.
  • Students will be asked to remove piercings and jewellery for safety reasons during PE.
  • Students are required to bring two pairs of shoes – one pair for outdoor use, the other for indoor use. Both shoe types should be suitable for PE lessons and in case of emergency.
  • Indoor shoes are to be worn inside the school building and the school gym.
  • “Flip flops” and other types of beach sandals, as well as high heels are not acceptable for safety reasons.
  • Students from Grade 4 and up are required to change in and out of appropriate clothing for PE lessons. Students failing to bring appropriate clothing to PE lessons (including footwear) will be asked not to participate, with parents being contacted.

Transportation & Parking

  • For the safety of our students cars are not permitted in KIS. Parents are to park outside of the school using one of the parking facilities available. Please note that we have a reduced parking fee agreement with BooBoo Parking opposite the bank. 
  • Parents can buy a book of discounted parking coupons at KIS office.
  • Drop off area: Cars can stop momentarily to drop students off in front of the main entrance. This will be monitored by a KIS staff member to ensure the safety of students walking into school. Please note that the ‘drop off area’ is not part of the KIS campus. Please be respectful of our community and other local businesses. 
  • To reduce the possibility of accidents, we ask all community members to enter the school by foot or bike only via the east gate and to exit via the west gate (or through the middle of the east building), especially during the start & the end of school. Traffic should flow one way.
  • All children are required to wear a helmet when on a bicycle.
  • Students are able to apply for a transportation pass (teikiken) for Kyoto City buses and JR, Kintetsu and Keihan trains.
  • Students should be mindful that they are representing the school community when traveling to and from school. Students should conduct themselves in a manner that reflects an understanding of the Japanese culture and respect for others and themselves, while riding on public transportation, when on study trips, or walking throughout Kyoto.
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4. Health & Safety

Emergency Campus Closure

  • Campus may be closed in the case of inclement weather or other situations which may endanger our students and staff.
  • We use the Warning & Advisory System and the Emergency Warning System issued by the Japanese Meteorological Agency to decide if the campus needs to be closed for the day.
  • School campus closure decisions are made by 6:30 am and shared with the school community via the school website. Anyone who usually leaves home before 6:30 am is advised to use their own discretion.
  • In the event that school must close while students are at school, students are kept at school until a parent is able to pick them up or give alternative instructions.
  • In the case of a major emergency, we ask parents not to phone the school as this will only congest the lines and prevent us from contacting emergency services or others we need to make contact with urgently.
  • Days will not be made up for such closures.

Emergency Evacuations

  • Fire and earthquake drills are scheduled periodically. The teacher in each classroom will give instructions to students. It is the responsibility of each student to be familiar with the correct procedures.
  • Emergency kits for each child are purchased by their parents when the child first enrolled (and every 5 years after ) and stored outside the classroom for easy access.
  • The school playground is a temporary neighbourhood gathering point in case of a serious earthquake. For longer wait periods, the grounds of the Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle are official emergency zones. If the school population were to be moved to either of these locations, the school will leave written directions at the school.
  • It is quite possible that during a major disaster that telephones/transportation will NOT function. In this event, all students will be kept at the school, the evacuation point, or housed out with other parents/staff members until a parent or designated adult retrieves them. A member of staff will be posted at the school to give information on students’ whereabouts. 
  • KIS faculty regularly undergo emergency and CPR training. 
  • The Kyoto Trip+ App (available in both Apple App Store and Google Play) has excellent disaster information tips and advice in a variety of languages

Medication

  • Any student needing to take medicine during school time must submit the school’s medication form which must be signed by a parent/guardian. 
  • All medications are to be kept with the homeroom teacher. 
  • If an Epi-pen is ever required to be used, the school will follow this up by calling an ambulance.

Illness & Injury

  • Students who are contagiously sick, have a fever, heavy coughing, diarrhoea, earache, nausea or vomiting, skin rash or a sore throat, need to stay home. 
  • Students who cannot participate in any school activities (including PE) also need to stay at home. If, for medical reasons, a student cannot participate in PE classes for a time exceeding three days, a written statement from a physician is required. For times of less than three days, a note from a parent will suffice.
  • Students should not return to school until they have completely recovered. If a child shows any of the symptoms listed below, or returns to school too early after sickness, the school will contact the parent and arrange for the child to be taken home.
  • The school uses +37.4 degrees celsius as an indicator that a child has a fever and needs to be sent home.
  • First-aid for minor cuts, scratches, bumps and illnesses will be attended to by school personnel. If a staff member determines that the injury needs further treatment, the parents will be notified as soon as possible and may be asked to come and get their child.
  • Students will not be sent home with anyone unless the parent of the sick or injured child gives prior permission. 
  • Any seriously injured students will be taken to a doctor or hospital at the discretion of the Principal.
  • All absences are marked as “absent” on school records (even due to sickness).

Communicable Diseases Guidelines

Type 1

Type of DiseaseCriteria of prohibition of school attendance
Ebola hemorrhagic fever
Crimean-Condo hemorrhagic fever
Smallpox
South American hemorrhagic fever
Plague
Marburg hemorrhagic fever
Lassa fever
Acute poliomyelitis
Diphtheria
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS / Coronavirus)
Avian flu (H5N1)
Novel influenza or related infection
Designated infection
Novel infection
Until healed

Type 2

Type of DiseaseCriteria of prohibition of school attendance
Influenza5 days after showing symptoms, as well as 2 days after the fever ceases
Whooping cough (Pertussis)Until the characteristic coughing disappears or after 5 days of effective antibiotics treatment
Measles (rubeola)Until 3 days have passed following a decline of fever
Mumps (epidemic parotitis)Until 5 days after the swelling of the parotid gland, submandibular gland or sublingual gland has gone down. As well as having recovered to a normal healthy condition
Rubella (3-day measles)Until the rash disappears
Chicken PoxUntil all the rashes become crusted
Pharyngoconjunctival fever (swimming pool fever)Until 2 days have passed following all the major symptoms are resolved
Tuberculosis
Meningococcal meningitis
Until the school physician or another physician acknowledge that there is no longer any risk of infection based on his/her medical condition
Exceptions permitted if physician acknowledges that there is no risk of infection.

Type 3

Type of DiseaseCriteria of prohibition of school attendance
Cholera
Bacillary dysentery
Enterohemorrhagic E. coli infection
Typhoid fever
Paratyphoid fever
Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis
Acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis
Other infectious disease *
Until the school physician or another physician acknowledge that there is no longer any risk of infection based on his/her medical condition
* Including hemolytic streptococcus infection, hand-foot-and-mouth disease, erythema infectiosum, herpangina, mycoplasma infection, and epidemic vomiting & diarrhea.

Please help us keep the school community healthy by following these basic rules:

  • If any symptoms of Influenza are present (keeping in mind it is different for every child), please take your child to a doctor.
  • If your child has confirmed influenza, keep them home for a minimum of 2 days after fever returns to normal.
  • If your child has a fever or appears unwell, please do not send them to school and inform the school. If the illness is not influenza, students must stay home for a minimum of 24 hours after a fever returns to normal to reduce the risk of spreading viruses.
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5. Finance

Tuition Payment

  • Tuition details are listed on KIS website and are updated each spring with the rates for the following academic year. Tuition rates and fees are traditionally reviewed annually, and adjusted every two years.
  • Tuition and supplementary fees are charged by arranged installments. 
  • From 2021-2022, three payment plans are available. Families should submit their preferred payment arrangements with the office.
  • The school’s Business Assistant will help with any questions about tuition and fees. 
  • Pupils withdrawing mid-semester are not eligible for a refund of tuition or fees.
  • Students entering the school after the commencement of the semester may be charged a prorated amount on the tuition for that semester. A different fee breakdown may apply.
  • All installments are billed 14 days prior to the due date. Tuition & fees can be paid with wire transfer or by credit card (4% service fee applied).
  • Accounts overdue shall be billed a surcharge of ¥20,000 per month, cumulative.

Miscellaneous Payments

  • A money envelope will be provided by the school office to pay for different events and items. Please use this envelope when you send money to school. It will be stamped and returned each time, and acts as a receipt. 
  • If your money envelope ever gets misplaced please the office ask for a new one.
  • Parents are responsible for paying for Japanese textbooks for their child. Japanese teachers will buy the books, and then parents will bring in the money via the school envelope. Textbooks are then the property of the students and they may keep them at year end.
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6. Teaching & Learning

Assessment & Reporting

Reporting to parents occurs via:

  • parent teacher conferences
  • student-led conferences
  • student portfolios on Seesaw & ManageBac
  • formal written reports
  • formal & informal meetings

Homework

“As a growing child, the most important thing that students need at home is plenty of love, sleep, mother tongue conversations, and nutritious meals.” 

At KIS we believe that home support and practice of skills is essential to academic development. 

From research we have reviewed and in dialogue with other educators from around the world, it is apparent that a one size fits all model of homework does not support quality learning.

Therefore, we have adopted the following as our approach to homework across the school.

Pre-K to Primary 4Primary 5Middle School & HIgh School
Read every night (reading to self, or being read to)
-At home support, as requested by the teacher, based on individual needs
-Discuss what happened today at school (using SeeSaw and ManageBac to support)
As a transition to Middle School, students will be expected to:
Read every night.
-Do online skills practice
-Finish incomplete tasks as requested by the teacher
-At home support, as requested by the teacher, based on individual needs
-Discuss what happened today at school (using SeeSaw and ManageBac to support)
Read every night
-Teachers will clearly state what the homework is 
-Teachers will track and make sure that homework has been completed and it will be included in their final grade
-Homework should not exceed 45 minutes total
-Discuss what happened today at school (using SeeSaw and ManageBac to support)

Extracurricular Activities (After-School Bukatsu & Lessons)

After-School Bukatsu or Lessons, formerly known as Clubs & Lessons, are offered and managed through SchoolsBuddy. SchoolsBuddy helps organise extracurricular activities from sign up, to allocation, communication and management. Sign up dates will be communicated through the calendar and newsletter postings.

Teacher-Run (Free) Bukatsu

  • Weekdays from 3:30 to 4:30 pm (not available on Wednesdays)
  • Free Bukatsu (formerly known as Clubs) will be offered in 12-weeks each semester:
    • Bukatsu Semester 1 will start September 13th, 2021
    • Bukatsu Semester 2 will start February 7th, 2022
  • A maximum number places may be set for each bukatsu
  • Registration will begin 2 weeks prior to the start and communicated in the Friday Shimbun (newsletter)

Externally-Provided (Paid) Lessons

  • Paid After-School Lessons will be offered weekly
    • Invoiced 3 times a year, Fall / Winter / Spring
    • First invoice will be sent early October
    • Starting from September 13th, 2021
  • Content, cost, timing and number of students are determined by the instructor
  • Cancellations are possible during the first 2 weeks only (it is not a free trial and will incur a charge)
  • KIS will inform parents/caregivers of any cancellations & work with the instructor to arrange a make-up lesson whenever possible
  • If a student fails to attend, the school cannot guarantee a replacement lesson nor a refund
  • All fees for paid lessons are to be handled by the school office
  • Only students enrolled at the school are permitted to take part in externally-provided lessons
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