Admissions, Frequently Asked Questions
General admissions FAQ
What is the purpose of the school?
Christian Academy in Japan, a school founded for missionary children, equips students to serve Japan and the world for Christ. We foster a biblical worldview and use an American-style program in English. We welcome non-missionary families who desire this type of education for their children.
What grade levels do you teach? When does school start?
We offer classes from kindergarten to high school. The school year starts in late August and ends at the beginning of June.
Are there certain admissions eligibility requirements?
Yes. These are listed on our eligibility page. One eligibility requirement is language. To be admitted, applicants for grades 9-12 must have grade-level English proficiency, applicants for grades 6-8 must be within one grade level, and applicants for kindergarten through grade 5 must be within two grade levels. CAJ expects at least one parent to know English well enough to do such things as discuss assignments with the students, read teacher notes, and hold conversations with teachers. If that is not the case, a family will need to demonstrate that they have a plan in place to communicate with the school and to support their child's studies.
What is the application timeline?
Application materials must be received before the interview. See our admissions calendar for details.
When can applications be sent in?
We welcome applications at any time for next school year. See our admissions calendar for details. We review applications according to our admissions status priority groups.
Where can I get further information?
How do we have an interview if we live a significant distance from CAJ?
Interviews by Skype (or other electronic method) may be arranged for families that live a significant distance from CAJ.
English as an Additional Language (EAL - formerly ESL) FAQ
How are new students placed in EAL (ESL)?
New students whose English proficiency is below grade level are placed in EAL (ESL) so they can be supported as they learn English.
What is the purpose of EAL (ESL)?
EAL (ESL) is an enrichment class. This means that your child already knows one or more other languages fluently, and now he/she is adding English. We have high expectations for these classes and your child.
How long does it take to learn English?
A long time, yet with persistence, kids can and will succeed. Basic conversation skills often take 2-5 years to develop. Academic English often takes 5-11 years.
If enrolled, will you help my child during the summer?
Language learning requires continual practice—this includes summers. Generally, for CAJ students in EAL (ESL), we require 30 hours of study at CAJ Summer School or another approved summer study program. In addition, CAJ students are required to keep a reading log and write a journal over the summer vacation.
What can we as parents do to help our child succeed in English?
Immerse your child in the English language. Language learners at all levels need frequent exposure to good language models, and they need practice using English. Some things you can do are:
- Be patient, diligent, and encouraging. Language learning takes a long time.
- Encourage your child to:
- Read books in English.
- Write in English often. This can be done through journals, writing stories, creating memory books, and writing letters or postcards to family, friends or pen pals.
- Listen to good English language models.
- Provide opportunities for your child to speak and interact in English.
We value bilingualism. Should we speak only English at home?
Most children are able to become bilingual, and using a different language at home does not necessarily hinder this process. Each child is an individual, and what works for one child may or may not work for another child, even in the same family. Some questions you should ponder:
- What am I willing to do from the above list?
- Do I want my child to know/maintain their other language(s)?
- Can our family provide good language models or is English our second language also?
- What is my child's "heart" language? (It is important that your child be able to communicate with you in the language that s/he knows best, that is, his/her "heart" language.)
Are there additional fees for EAL (ESL) students?
Yes, EAL (ESL) students are charged a one-time fee at the time of admission.
Homeschoolers applying to CAJ FAQ
What records do I submit as a homeschooler?
The required records differ according to your homeschool method:
- Accountable to an organization: If you are signed up with an advisory teaching service from a correspondence or internet school:
- Ask the school to send us transcripts of the previous and current school years.
- Submit achievement test scores (such as Iowa Tests of Basic Skills) from the previous and the current school years.
- Independent homeschooling: If you do not have an outside source that gives grades, please submit the following from the previous and current school years:
- Portfolios including samples of work from every subject with at least three writing samples.
- Curriculum overview:
- For a prepackaged program you may just list the name of the curriculum (Sonlight Curriculum Year 5 Basic, language arts, and science with Saxon 6/5 Math).
- If you put together your own curriculum, please list books and materials used plus a short paragraph for each subject covering the basic content of the course. (For example: We studied American history from the time of the first settlers through the Civil War. Johnny used a timeline to plot events, used selected books from Joy Hakim's A Story of US for his basic text, and wrote weekly journal entries to summarize events or respond to issues discussed. He also read Pedro's Journal, Attack in the Rye Grass, Remember My Name, Who Comes with Cannons, and Two Tickets to Freedom to complement the studies. Projects included drawing a map of the Oregon Trail, learning selected Native American sign language signs, preparing a pioneer meal, etc.)
What records do I submit if my child attends Japanese school and only studies English at home?
There are four items you need to submit from last year and the current school year:
- Please have the school send CAJ a copy of your child's report cards.
- Submit a portfolio of English studies at home (i.e., work samples from English studies including at least three writing samples; list of SSS events attended).
- List of materials used (i.e., Daily Grams 4/5, Reading Comprehension in Varied Subject Matter Books 1 and 2, Houghton Mifflin Spelling Workbook Gr. 4, Wordly Wise Book 1, and What Your 4th Grader Needs to Know).
- Achievement test scores (such as Iowa Tests of Basic Skills).
How do we submit a confidential teacher recommendation if I am the teacher?
If your child has been in a school within the past two years, ask a former teacher to do the recommendation. (The recommendation form is available in English, as part of the application document packets, and in Japanese, as a separate page.) If you have been homeschooling for several years, please complete the reference yourself.
Is there someone who can help with further questions?