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.
If your child attends a school that has not been reviewed on this site, please contact our Submissions Manager for the template.
CONTRIBUTED BY CATHERINE HATFIELD
Name of School: St Joseph’s Kindergarten Catholic School (Youzefu Youchien)
Address: (Directions below; address currently unknown. If anyone has it or the GPS coordinates, please leave them in the comments!)
Ages Accepted: 2-5 years
Ages of Your Kid(s) in this School: 3 ½ years old
–What is the maximum number of students that your school has? About 100
–What is the current number of students? About 80
–Is enrollment open/year-round enrollment or per semester? April is the month for enrollment, but if they have openings (which they do at the moment) they accept enrollment anytime.
–Does my child have to be potty-trained to attend? No
–Can I bring my child in for a pre-enrollment visit? Yes
Days and hours:
–What are the school’s hours? Mon – Fri 8.30am to 2.00pm
–Is the school on a Japanese or American schedule? Japanese
–How flexible is the school with pickup and drop-off times? Flexible. 8.30am to 8.45pm is the drop off times and pick up is 2.00pm – 2.15pm. They also offer ‘Friend’ service which you pay a little more for your child to stay till close which I believe is 5.00pm or 6.00pm.
–What are the registration fees? One time, Y30 000
–What are the tuition fees? Y18 000 monthly
–If any, what are the assessment and school supplies fees? Y6500 for pens, books etc. Y10 000 for uniforms (including PE uniform), Y3000 for bus service (pick up and drop off).
–Are any discounts offered for referrals, siblings, volunteering, working there, etc.? Not sure, I don’t think so.
–Is there a late-pickup fee? Not sure.
–How and when does the school require payment (in yen, dollars, etc.)? They provide you with an orange envelope in your child’s school bag and you are to pay in YEN by the 4th of the month. There is a late fee if not paid by the 15th.
Parent Involvement and Interaction:
–Does the school encourage spontaneous visits from parents? Not really. Of course you can and they won’t turn you away but they see this as an interruption to your child’s learning. There are plenty of opportunities for you to observe your child. We are always being invited to attend an event.
–How do you communicate with parents? Is there a regular newsletter, or a notice board? There is a letter sent home to you in English that outlines the upcoming month events. Some parents speak English. If the school needs to contact you, they will have one of the parents call you on their behalf or you can call them if you have questions. There is a phone tree with contact names and numbers distributed to the parents.
–Is there a daily report or other process for informing parents of what children did during the day (naps, BMs, snacks, etc.)? No, but there is a report book and they leave comments at the bottom of every month (in Japanese) 🙂
–Are there parent/teacher conferences? Yes, you will need someone to attend with you so they can translate.
Classroom Structure and Size:
–How are the kids grouped? 2-3 years (about 10 children), 3-4 years (about 25 Children) and 4-5 years (about 35 Children).
–What’s the teacher-child ratio in each group? It depends on the class, 2-3 years (2 teachers), 3-4 years (2 teachers) and 4-5 years (1.5 teachers).
–How many full-time teachers do you have? 4 Full Time teachers, 3 part-time assistants.
-What is the school’s educational philosophy? Is the school program developmentally-based or does it have an academic focus? It depends on the class of your child (2-3 years developmentally), the others are academically.
–Is there a playground for the children to play on? Yes and a large field they play sports on.
–Are there extracurricular activities or field trips? Yes
–How does the school discipline children? The offender is put in time out (if caught)
–How does the school comfort children? They do everything they can to calm the child (for mine, she likes band-aids on her index fingers) I did state she’s three right, LO
Final Comments or Observations about the School:
There are currently 4 other American children in the school. I met a mother that drives to this school from Yomitan because of its excellent reputation. I can’t disagree with her, it’s a wonderful school and my daughter has developed so much in just 6 months. I highly recommend this school and you simply can’t beat the price.
From Courtney… Take the 75 north to the 329. Take a right on the 329 (counting this light as #1), at the 4th set of lights you will see a Coco’s on the left (continue on the 329). At the 6th set of lights, take a left. Drive to the next set of lights and take a right. Travel about 100m and on the right hand side you will see the school.
I went to visit this school today. It looks great, but there was nobody who spoke english and my Japanese is not very good. I have a few questions but don’t know how to get them answered. Is there a parent out there who has a child in this school and would be willing to talk to me? Please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You don’t by chance know where I can find more pictures do you? I can’t seem to find any more info on this school other than what’s on this page. I plan on checking out the school, but I’m working on finding someone that can translate for me since I’m sure the language barrier may be a problem. I’m just hoping that one of the Japanese Yochiens will have availability. This is our last year here and I’d love for my son to gain some cultural experience.
My kids enjoyed it. My daughter went to a different school in Onna village. I’ve had many Japanese friends use this school and I live nearby and always see SOFA people dropping off/picking up their kids.
Thanks for your input Paul. I appreciate it. Did your kids like the school though?
This is not really a religious school other than it is run by nuns. Two of my kids went there and were never taught anything about the bible.
Is there anyone that can give me more info on this? I’m interested to see how much religion based teaching goes on? I’d love for my son to be able to have bible studies and prayer. Also does the school do any extra curricular activities? Do they have any performances? What kind of learning goes on for his age (he’s 3). Any other info on this school would be greatly appreciated.
I had a local friend call them up and ask a million questions for me a few weeks ago – they DO accept 2 yr olds, they do encourage you to pop in for a tour any time with your child (they wanted me to come in right away!), most of the teachers speak some English, you pack a lunch 1 day a week and a snack on Fridays(I think!), the school will provide lunch for all other days at no extra charge, it’s all included in the tuition fees.
I hope this helps!
Any new updates on this school? I have a 2 year old daughter that I am desperately trying to get her into a school. We just moved here about two weeks ago so I am still trying to figure things out. I like what I have read about this school, any new information is greatly appreciated.
Called this school this afternoon and spoke to someone who barely spoke English and I speak NO Japanese and I think she said they don’t accept 2 year olds…? That’s too bad..I was really hoping to send my 2 yr old daughter there since we live about 5 minutes from it! 🙁
This school is too far from Foster, its about 10 mins north of Courtney. We live in the Chatan area and transferred our daughter to Koza Seibo, the sister school to this one. Both are fabulous! You can find out more info re: Koza Seibo on this site. – PS. Welcome! 🙂
Thanks for the info! I am new to the area and looking for a preeschool for my two year old. My question is, how far is it from Foster, and do they bus kids to Chatan? Also, does anyone know a good Japanese preschool in Chatan area? TIA.