The Southern Indiana Japanese School (SIJS) opened in 1997 at the request of Japanese companies locating in southwestern Indiana. SIJS exists to enable school-age children of Japanese employees of these companies to keep abreast of their peers in Japan and to be prepared to integrate smoothly into Japanese schools when they return home. SIJS students use the same text books used in Japan. Enrollment is open to any K-12 student with adequate Japanese language skills for partiicpation in the appropriate grade level.
The Japanese school year begins in April and ends in March. Classes meet most Saturdays year round and on selected Fridays during the summer. Students attend area schools throughout the academic year.
Enrollment at SIJS varies from year to year, and is approximately 50 at this time. There are 11 teachers and the principal, all of whom are native Japanese. A library of Japanese books and materials is maintained.
The school day at SIJS includes classroom discussion as well as supervised lunch and recess periods. Field days are held each September, US and Japanese holidays are observed, and a graduation ceremony is conducted each year near the end of March.
SIJS is located at Nativity Church, 3635 Pollack Avenue, Evansville. If you would like to visit, please contact Principal Nishimura at 812-471-1210 during business hours Tuesday-Friday.
In 2013, for the eighth consecutive year, SIJS received the School Award in Writing from the Japan Overseas Educational Services, a subsidiary of the Japanese government's Ministry of Education and Science. There are more than 300 Japanese schools abroad of which 230 participated in the contest. Only 20 schools received the award.
“I believe we are the only school in the world to receive the School Award in Writing eight years consecutively,” said Keietsu Nishimura, principal of SIJS.