For all you parents looking for a preschool that suits your kids, we’re hoping to add a little something to aid in your search. Parents of children who attend various preschools on island have filled out a series of questions about the schools for the benefit of the rest of us. We welcome more than one voice on each school since everyone has a different experience, so please feel free to add in your two cents in the comments.
Name of School: KUWAE PRESCHOOL
Phone number: 645-8419
Ages of Kid(s) in this School: 3-5
-What is the maximum number of students that your school has? 122
-What is the current number of students? 119
-Is enrollment open/year-round enrollment or per semester? Open until March of each school year
-Does my child have to be potty-trained to attend? YES
-Can I bring my child in for a pre-enrollment visit? YES
Days and hours:
-What are the school’s hours? 9:00-11:30am or 12:30-3:00pm
-Is the school on a Japanese or American schedule? American
-How flexible is the school with pickup and drop-off times? No early drop-off. Children are expected to be on time at the beginning of each school day (class is only 2.5 each day). Pick-up late fees assessed after 5 minutes late
-What are the registration fees? $60.00
-What are the tuition fees? $130 per month for a 2 day program, $170 per month for a 3 day program and $250 per month for a 5 day program.
-If any, what are the assessment and school supplies fees? Included in tuition. However, parents are asked to provide a snack and accompanying paper goods on a rotating schedule, about once every 6 weeks or so, depending on class size and days attended each week.
-Are any discounts offered for referrals, siblings, volunteering, working there, etc.? siblings discount for registration fee only
-Is there a late-pickup fee? YES
-How and when does the school require payment (in yen, dollars, etc.)? Cash/Check the first three business day of the month. If you pay the semester or year’s tuition in advance (lump sum) there will be a discount.
Parent Involvement and Interaction:
-Does the school encourage spontaneous visits from parents? Yes – Open Door policy
-How do teachers communicate with parents? Is there a regular newsletter, or a notice board? Both, plus parents are always welcome to talk to the teachers at the very beginning of the school day or after school.
-Is there a daily report or other process for informing parents of what children did during the day (naps, BMs, snacks, etc.)? Yes, we communicate via daily bulletin boards, emails, newsletter, daily interactions with staff
-Are there parent/teacher conferences? Yes, twice a year
Classroom Structure and Size:
-How are the kids grouped? grouped by age
-What’s the teacher-child ratio in each group? 3-year olds: 2 to 10; 4-year olds / 2-13
-How many full-time teachers do you have? How many assistants? 3 of each
-What is the school’s educational philosophy? Is the school program developmentally-based or does it have an academic focus? We have national accreditation by NAEYC and offer The Creative Curriculum
-Is there a playground for the children to play on? YES .48 acres
-What do the children do on any given day? What’s the general schedule/routine? The schedule allows for inside-outdoor activities to address the student’s developmental domains such as physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and language.
-Are there extracurricular activities or field trips? YES
-How does the school discipline children? Positive Guidance and re-direction
-How does the school comfort children? Caring staff that nurtures and validates children’s emotions and feelings
Final Comments or Observations about the School:
Kuwae Preschool’s (KPS) mission is to provide a high quality, developmentally appropriate half-day program to children of U.S. Military and SOFA status civilian personnel in Okinawa, Japan. The KPS program promotes learning and development in each of the following areas: physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and language. KPS uses play as an indicator of the child’s mental, physical, and social growth; therefore, child-initiated and teacher-supported play is the essential component of KPS’s developmentally appropriate program. Our goals are to provide developmental appropriate opportunities for meaningful play based on the child’s individual needs, interests, and abilities, building important foundations for future reading skills and other academic pursuits. KPS provides opportunities to interact with other children in a setting conducive to the development of wholesome social relationships. We recognize the individual differences of children; provide an environment encouraging children’s self-confidence, curiosity, creativity, and self-discipline. Finally, to support parents in the care and development of their children to include education, health, recreation, referrals to family support programs, and diagnostic services. In addition, we aim to provide children with daily experiences conducive to a better understanding of the Japanese culture and language, and provide support to families dealing with the Military Life Style.
- To provide developmental appropriate opportunities for meaningful play based on the child’s individual needs, interests, and abilities, building important foundations for future reading skills and other academic pursuits.
- Provide opportunities to interact with other children in a setting conducive to the development of wholesome social relationships.
- Recognize the individual differences of children; provide an environment encouraging children’s self-confidence, curiosity, creativity, and self-discipline.
- Support parents in the care and development of their children to include education, health, recreation, referrals to family support programs, and diagnostic services.
Okinawa Hai Contributor Notes:
If you’re looking for a nice transition year for your three or four year old, Kuwae Preschool on Camp Lester could be perfect for you. Maybe you and your child aren’t quite ready for a full-time school. Kuwae has a two day a week option for two and a half hours a day. They have morning classes 9-11:30 am either Tuesday and Thursday, or Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The afternoon session from 12:30-3:00 is also two or three days a week, and they now offer 5-day programs as well. It is an American school following the American calendar, but they have Japanese teaching assistants and have a “culture class” so that the students do learn some Japanese language and culture while still being in a familiar English-speaking environment.
October 2011 Update: Kuwae Preschool contacted us to update their email address, registration fees and tuition (the changes have been made above). They also mentioned that the school has been running for over fifty years and that all teachers have a bachelor’s degree or higher in early childhood education or a related field.