Our three-fold Mission:
1) to ensure the right to equitable and inclusive quality education by providing a challenging curriculum to meet the diverse learning needs and goals of our students
2) to develop students’ critical thinking and creativity in a supportive and inclusive learning environment which will equip them to become innovative leaders who address inequalities and exclusion in cultural diverse communities
3) to provide a caring and respectful learning environment that assures high student achievement in all subject areas which prepare the students for universities both inside and outside Japan.
We envision a world in which all children, regardless of their ethnic or language background, can fulfill their potential to promote their own communities where diversity is valued and respected as responsible global citizens.
1 Equity and Inclusion in Education
We assure all students equity and inclusion in quality education and effective learning. At the same time, we strive to identify and redress factors of inequity and exclusion in public education.
We believe that learning occurs not when students acquire knowledge presented by a teacher in rigidly organized curricula but when students are actively involved, taking the lead in making sense of their experiences in inclusive curricula.
The teacher’s role is to facilitate the students’ engagement and learning, rather than instruct. This enables students to work at their own pace and in their own way.
2 Cultural Diversity in Education
We value cultural diversity in education because diversity creates inclusion in which all the students feel valued and respected. They understand that differences in viewpoints and culture are to be cherished and appreciated rather than judged and feared. Diversity also enhances creativity and innovation in which the students will find new solutions to the problems or develop new ideas that could have only been possible with the different perspectives and viewpoints of others.
3 Educational Alternative
We support young people who feel that they have been alienated from mainstream education.
• Some of them believe that the compulsory education system is not the best place for them and have proactively taken matters into their own hands to find positive alternatives to the compulsory education system.
• Others have no choice but alternative education because they have dropped out of the Japanese school system due to the intense assimilative pressure at public schools.
4 Partnership with Community-based Organizations for Minority People
We maintain strong partnerships with community-based organizations which help minority residents obtain education and other basic human services. Most of them are nonprofit organizations. These community-based organizations bring a range of resources to our learning programs: referring minority students from minority communities, providing various information about minority students living in conditions of low socioeconomic status, mentoring the students, getting the students to and from our schools.
5 Partnership with Local Government and Government-affiliated Organizations
We maintain strong partnerships with local governments and government-affiliated organizations. This partnership allows us to obtain access to expertise and diverse information sources through local governments and government-affiliated organizations which deliver more informed or engaging information useful to our curriculum. We are also able to become involved in various joint research projects and utilize municipal public infrastructures through these government relationships. Finally, because we also receive funding from these organizations, it is important to keep these relationships current and strong.
6 Partnership with Local Universities
Working in partnership with local universities have the potential to influence our communities for the better in various ways. Local universities can provide technical and research-based support for both our schools and the local community in dealing with sprcific issues facing them.
On a regular basis, question and answer sessions, followed by class observations are carried out and feedback is given to us from the university researchers.
7 Local University Students Engagement in Our Schools
Local university students serve as school administrators and oversee the daily operations of schools. They provide support for teachers and students. For example, they supervise and participate in classroom clean-up and preparation of classrooms straightening rows of desks and leaning the whiteboard. In addition to those routine activities, local university students provide support to the students via a one-to-one relationships over time as mentors.
In this way, local university students increase their awareness of issues of social justice and societal inequities. Interacting with the minority students across different cultures, local university students challenge the negative stereotypes and assumptions for minorities.
8 Free Tuition Program
HIS and YMIS do not charge the students for the academic program. The families who attend our schools will automatically be supporting members of our non-profit organization. Supporting Membership fee of our non-profit organization is 3,000 yen per single unit. We decide to set units of Supporting Membership fee per student to keep our schools running every year. However, concerns about tuition fees should not prevent the families from joining our schools. So each family can decide how many units of Supporting Membership fee they will pay.
9 Faculty Members
Teachers are the most important asset of any school and our schools are no exception. Our dedicated faculty and staff reflect the multicultural nature of our community, representing various nationalities, and have tremendous collective breadth and depth of experience in education. Our teachers love working with children and helping them to grow and develop. We seek to inspire students and to provide them with the academic and social skills that will enable them to fulfill their potential as responsible global citizens.
The History of Hamamatsu International School and Yokohama-Minami International School
We set up Hamamatsu International School as unincorporated non-profit school in 2015, Yokohama-Minami International School in 2016, respectively.
The reason for setting up these schools is to serve the multicultural population in these cities. Even though both Hamamatsu city and Yokohama city are culturally diverse cities with a large population from various ethnic groups, there are no schools shaped by the needs of the minority children and their families.
Japanese public schools are originally designed to assimilate children into Japanese society based on the myth of Japan's social homogeneity.
Japan’s School Education Law (1947) states that all Japanese children must undergo compulsory education. However, non-Japanese citizens are exempt from compulsory education. While they are free to enter public schools if they wish to, they are also free to leave or not to enter in the first place. Therefore, Japanese public schools are not obligated to take into account their academicabilities or deficiencies and challenges with Japanese language. Minority children are treated like guests who are there temporarily. This in turn makes them feel isolated and alienated.
Given such a strong assimilative pressure at school with weak cultural influence of the family, the value of the Japanese way for these children become stronger and stronger. Japanese cultural norms and adopting a Japanese ethnic identity are internalized at the expense of their own cultural norms and ethnic identities.
Hamamatsu International School
In April 2016, Mathematics classes and Art classes for elementary school children started after a 4 month trial test from December 2015 to March 2016.In April 2017, a Programing class started for elementary school children and junior high and high school children.In November 2017, a social studies class for junior high and high school children started.
Yokohama-Minami International School
In October 2016, Mathematics classes started after a one month trial test for junior high school children.
In November 2016, Mathematics classes for junior high school children started.
In November 2017, science classes for junior high school children started.