American School in Japan
|American School in Japan|
|Chōfu, Tokyo, Japan
|Motto||Developing Compassionate, Inquisitive Learners Prepared for Global Responsibility|
|Head of school||Ed Ladd|
|Color(s)||Black and Gold|
|Website||American School in Japan Website|
The American School in Japan (ASIJ) is an international private day school located in the city of Chōfu, Tokyo, Japan. The school consists of an elementary school, a middle school, and a high school, all located on the Chōfu campus. There is also an early learning center (nursery-kindergarten) for children aged 3–5 located in the Roppongi Hills complex in downtown Tokyo. Instruction is in English and follows an American-style curriculum. About two thirds of the school's students are the children of citizens of a wide variety of countries who are on temporary assignment in Japan, and the remaining one third are Japanese students who speak English. The campus is fenced in, resulting from heightened security measures taken after the September 11 attacks, with campus surroundings including the Nogawa Park and the neighborood of Tamabochi. The Good Schools Guide International called ASIJ "an impressive school, not only for its size and facilities but also for its strong sense of where it is going.
Officially founded in 1902, The American School in Japan was started by a group of women who recognized the need for a school among the growing foreign community. Beginning life in rented rooms in the Kanda YMCA, the Tokyo School for Foreign Children, as it was then known, quickly attracted a growing numbers of students from around the world and soon needed to move to a more permanent home in Tsukiji. The school survived the Great Kanto Earthquake and continued to expand and outgrew the Foreign Settlement moving to Meguro in the 1920s. During the 1920s both Frank Lloyd Wright, who was in Tokyo building the Imperial Hotel, and Antonin Raymond drew up designs for proposed new campuses, although in the end neither designs were constructed. Raymond did assist in the move and repurposing of some buildings when the school moved to Nakameguro. In 1933, local expatriate architect William Merrell Vories was asked to design and build a new main concrete building for the campus, which was completed in 1934. After closing during the war years, the school reopened in 1946 and later moved to a new campus in Chofu in 1963.
A series of major improvements to the main campus began in the 1990s. Over the last ten years many of the buildings have been redesigned and rebuilt, while others were retro-fitted. A new cafeteria and classroom building was added in 2003 and a theater complex opened in 2005. In 2003, the school's Early Learning Center opened in Roppongi Hills, moving from Naka-Meguro.
ASIJ follows a broadly American curriculum and 17 Advanced Placement courses are offered for high school juniors and seniors. There is a Japanese language program, which begins in the first grade. Other languages taught are French, Spanish and Chinese. All the students in the Elementary School have to learn Japanese for one period every other day. There are 50 different levels in the Japanese classes. The Early Learning Center's philosophy is heavily influenced by the Reggio Emilia Approach and the curriculum is project based. The elementary school uses the Columbia Writing Program and Everyday Math program in addition to curriculum units developed by faculty. In 2012, ASIJ joined Global Online Academy, a consortium of leading independent schools that offers courses taught by consortium member teachers to member school students. GOA courses are designed to give students an opportunity to offer their local perspective to global issues.
SAFE, Student Action for the Environment, has been recycling paper for over a decade, approximately 20 tons last year. The school started keeping baseline data on energy usage and garbage volumes in 2007 when they began composting cafeteria waste and campus leaves using earthworms. The compost is used to fertilize the gardens and greenery around campus. Used cooking oil is donated to Revo International to produce biodiesel fuel.
Reflective paint on building roofs, reflective film on windows, the installation of more double pane windows and LED lighting were largely accomplished in 2008. In 2009, with the help of government funding and private and corporate donors, the school installed solar panels on top of the gym and pool buildings which have a maximum capacity of 80 kW/h. ASIJ also promotes energy conservation each year by not turning on the heat or air-conditioning during October and April, aka NO HEAT-NO COOL months, and has reduced PET bottle consumption by promoting the use of water bottles such as SIGG and replaced regular PET bottles in vending machines with I Lohas bottles. Since the 2007-2008 school year, ASIJ has reduced annual energy consumption on campus by 25.1% with a goal of 30% by the end of 2013.
A 2010-2011 carbon footprint audit by ECO3 Design has given the school new goals to replace heavy-oil boilers and install a ground source heat exchange system.
- "The American School in Japan, Chofu Campus (Tokyo) — Good Schools Guide International". Gsgi.co.uk. 2011-05-12. Retrieved 2012-09-29.
- "About". Global Online Academy. Retrieved 2012-09-29.
- "I Lohas Bottles". Greenlaunches.com. Retrieved 2012-09-29.