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Admissions Policy

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Who We Serve

The 21st Century is a time of great change and tremendous opportunity. In response to a rapidly diversifying local community, the Osaka YMCA, in cooperation with Osaka City Government, opened Osaka YMCA International School (OYIS) in September 2001. OYIS remains the city’s first and only WASC accredited, IB World School and strives to be a leading provider of international education for the citizens and residents of Osaka and its environs.

Osaka YMCA International School serves the educational needs of the international community in Osaka and the Kansai region, in particular the children of foreign nationals here on temporary assignment for whom the local Japanese education system is not a viable option. We also welcome children from Japanese families committed to and able to access an international educational curriculum in English. OYIS is a day school and does not have boarding facilities. Students must therefore reside with their parent(s) or other legal guardian in a location within commuting distance to the school.

Osaka YMCA International School is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in education and employment. The school does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or national or ethnic origin but may take into account factors including an applicant's prior educational and linguistic background and the student’s and family’s ability to embrace our core beliefs and curricular opportunities.

In keeping with the overall YMCA values of ‘Caring; Honesty; Respect; and Responsibility’ and in line with our Core Beliefs, OYIS provides a rigorous, challenging and developmentally appropriate educational experience for all our students that aims to develop internationally-minded global citizens. Our Preschool to Grade 8 student body, led by a team of dedicated and qualified teachers, and supported by their parents, actively engages in lifelong learning in a school environment, which in the words of our school motto, is a place ‘where learning comes to life’.


Eligiblity Requirements


- Preschool: Apply anytime upon turning 3 years old.
All ages below on the 1st of September of the relevant school year.
- Kindergarten A: 4 years-old
- Kindergarten B: 5 years-old
- Grade One: 6 years-old
- Grade Two: 7 years-old
- Grade Three: 8 years-old
- Grade Four: 9 years-old
- Grade Five: 10 years-old
- Grade Six: 11 years-old
- Grade Seven: 12 years-old
- Grade Eight: 13 years-old

Academic Achievement– Although OYIS offers a stimulating, challenging and developmentally appropriate educational program, we accommodate students with a range of academic abilities, provided they can adequately access and benefit from our curriculum.


All new students are given a three month probationary period so we can make this determination. We reserve the right to extend this probationary period if needed. We make this determination primarily by reviewing the applicants’ school records and teacher recommendations.


English Language - OYIS is a full international school where the language of instruction is in English. Please note that OYIS is not an English language school or an international Eikawa. English is the language of instruction in all grades, and the ability to successfully access the curriculum within a reasonable time and to thrive in our English-language learning environment are the guiding principles for admission to the school. OYIS teachers are trained to support language acquisition and learning by non-native English speakers, and some English Support Service is also available for students. All students regardless of English proficiency join the regular homeroom class.

In the Early Childhood/lower elementary grades, immersion in the English language curriculum is usually sufficient for children to develop proficient English language skills.

In the Upper Elementary classes the level of English proficiency is scrutinized more closely so that the school is satisfied that the student will be able to access the curriculum and cope with its demands. Therefore, parents of children applying for grades four and five should be advised that basic competence in English is generally required in order to successfully access our curriculum in those grades. In particular, we do not advise mid-year admission for grade five students with minimal English ability, as the curriculum in the second half of the school year calls for considerable proficiency with respect to presentation of the PYP Exhibition. All applicants grade one and above are given language testing to determine their level of English Support needs.

Students entering Junior High School (grades six – eight) should have sufficient competency in English in order to benefit from our academic programs.
Children of Japanese Nationals - Children whose parents are both Japanese nationals are reminded that if a child with Japanese nationality enters OYIS it means that the child would be abandoning the ‘ordinary’ Japanese Education set by the Japanese Government. If the child is a Japanese citizen, parents must note that it is solely their responsibility for all the actions they take regarding their local Board of Education on the understanding that there is a compulsory attendance of Japanese Primary School.

Children of non-Japanese Nationals - In keeping with the mission of Osaka YMCA International School, a scholarship designed to attract students to our school who possess a high level of English fluency in all aspects of the language and who have a demonstrated need for an English language-based, international education has been set up. The Volunteer Scholarship Program applies to students eligible to enter the school from grade one to grade five. Japanese nationals are not eligible to apply for the scholarship. For further information please review the ‘Scholarship’ page on our website or contact the school.

Parent Communication – English is the language of instruction at OYIS. It is also the primary language for communicating with parents. It is preferable that at least one parent or guardian should be able to communicate comfortably with school personnel in English. In addition, parents must be able to access electronic communications from the school (email and web-based platforms) and provide some form of ongoing translation of school communications, either electronic or through human resources.

Early Childhood – All Early Childhood students are expected to be toilet-trained prior to enrollment.

Special Needs – OYIS does not have facilities and resources to support students with significant learning, physical or social/emotional differences. In particular, we are not able to accommodate students requiring sustained one-on-one learning or other individualized support. Please note: Due to the OYIS building design we are unable to accommodate students with physical disabilities requiring the use of wheelchairs, students who cannot move easily from floor to floor, or students who require intensive medical care.

Applicants with mild social/emotional issues, learning difficulties or other special needs are referred for evaluation. Admissions decisions are made by the OYIS administration based on recommendations of staff. If we determine that we are unable to accommodate a candidate’s special needs, we will endeavor to direct parents to more suitable options. However, parents should be aware that there are unfortunately very few English language-based resources to support children with special needs in the Kansai region.

Please note that any special educational, social/emotional, physical or behavioral issues and needs must be described in detail in the application for admission. Reports of professional assessments, along with details of extra support the applicant is receiving, should also be provided at the time of application. Failure to fully disclose such information at this time may result in revocation of admission.

All new students are given a three month probationary period. Should significant social/emotional issues or learning differences become apparent during or after this probationary period in the school, we will be guided by our SEN policy, consult with parents and strive to support the student within the extent of our learning support resources and capabilities. However, we reserve the right to review a student’s progress and determine the appropriateness of his/her continued enrollment in the school. If we determine that we are unable to accommodate a student’s special needs, we will endeavor to direct parents to more suitable options.

Grade Placement

The final decision regarding grade placement is based on the following:
· Review of the relevant eligibility requirements above
· Previous grade level successfully completed or at least six months of the school year completed
· ESS test results (Elementary/Junior High school only)
· Length of OYIS school year remaining (at least six months)


Students come to OYIS from many different countries with varying school calendars and enrollment age practices. Our September 1st cutoff date and grade placement protocol reflects what we believe to be the most appropriate classification for the social, emotional and academic well being of children attending the school. Therefore, while we recognize that some parents may wish to have their children placed in grades reflecting their home country systems, to ensure the most appropriate learning environment for all students in the elementary school, we rarely allow exceptions to the above grade placement protocol.


Admission Procedures

1. Campus Visits

You are welcome and encouraged to visit our Nakatsu campus and meet with the Osaka YMCA International School (OYIS) staff. We are eager to meet you, and we will endeavor to address any of your concerns and educational needs.
Please call (06) 6345-1661 to arrange an appointment.


2. Documents Required for Admission

The application procedure begins with the submission of all of the following documents:
*Regular School Program Application
*One year of transcript/records from previous school
*Parent Questionnaire
*Curriculum Differences
*Health History
*Confidential Letter of Recommendation completed by the homeroom teacher of an Early Childhood/Elementary/Junior High student. The recommendation should refer to the student's motivation, attendance, disciplinary record, relationships with peers and teachers, social maturity, and involvement in gifted or remedial programs. It should also refer to the student's current reading and math levels. The letter should be sent directly to the school by the evaluator.

3. Resident Applicants

When the above documents have been received, a personal interview with the Administration will be scheduled with the applicant and at least one parent.
We require all applicants for Elementary/Junior High school to complete an English language assessment* and attend a full school observation day during which they will be evaluated by teachers.
For Preschool and Kindergarten, a half-day observation with teachers is required. After considering the information obtained through the documents, tests, and interview, we will inform you of our decision to accept or decline.
During vacation periods we may modify the above.
*English ability will be evaluated through a test and interview, and the applicant may be required to enrol in the English Support Services (ESS) programs, which may include ESS After-School Club. Students enrolling in ESS programs are required to pay an additional fee.

4. Non-resident Applicants:

We recognize that applicants living outside Japan may not be able to schedule a personal interview at OYIS until their families move to the Osaka area. Technology, such as Skype, can be used to conduct a preliminary interview. Then on the basis of the interview and documentation, a provisional decision can be reached regarding the holding of a place for the student. On arrival in Japan the same procedure will be followed as for Resident Applicants.

5. Admission Fees

Please note that a non-refundable application fee of JPY 30,000 needs to be paid.

Admission Outcomes

Based on the results of the above procedures and taking into account relevant feedback from Teachers, faculty, and any others involved in the admission process, the Administration will make a final decision as follows:


The student is accepted for admission to OYIS, on the understanding that the student must successfully complete a three month probationary period*.

*All students accepted into OYIS are automatically placed on a probationary period averaging three months. Parents will be notified if the student successfully passes the probationary period. Parents will also be notified if any areas of concern arise during this probationary time. If these issues are not dealt with, or cannot be dealt with within the probationary period then the period can be extended or the student may need to withdraw from the school. If the extension(s) to the probationary period fails to resolve the issue then the student will withdraw from the school. A withdrawal form will be completed by the parents.


Notification will be sent to parents. OYIS does not accept requests for clarification regarding the reasons for declining the application.

Wait Pool

When the number of eligible applicants exceeds the availability of spaces for a particular grade year, students may be placed in a wait pool until space becomes available. We consider various other criteria in selecting students from the wait pool, including whether the student has other viable educational options, his/her level of English and general academic proficiency, and the gender and nationality balance of the class/grade. 


When placing an applicant in a wait pool, we try to provide the candidate with a realistic assessment of the chances and possible timing for admittance. However, candidates should be aware that, like most international schools, the enrollment situation at OYIS is dynamic and often unpredictable. We periodically contact parents of applicants in the wait pool to update them on enrollment status and to confirm whether they wish to remain in the wait pool.


Support Prior to/Upon Enrollment

Orientation - A Parent Orientation will be held for newly enrolled families to explain the school policies and procedures.
Meeting with the Homeroom Teacher - The Homeroom Teacher may make a separate appointment to discuss classroom policies and procedures.