Student Support Director at The American School in Japan, Tokyo in Japan
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Student Support Director
The American School in Japan, Tokyo (Japan)

Nov 6, 19
Nov 15, 19


Student Support Director


GENERAL BACKGROUND: Founded in 1902 and located in one of the most fascinating cities and cultures in the world, The American School in Japan (ASIJ) is one of the oldest and most well-regarded international schools in the world. ASIJ offers an enriched American curriculum to students of all nationalities culminating in Advanced Placement and other advanced topics courses in its high school. ASIJ’s student body consists of approximately 1,700 students representing nearly 50 different nationalities. Beyond its rigorous academic program, ASIJ focuses on educating the whole child, which includes preparing students to lead successful lives by offering diverse extra-curricular opportunities.

At ASIJ, we believe that a school should be a safe, child-centered place where educators are idealistic about the potential of every student and tenacious in their support for each student as she learns, takes risks, makes mistakes, and grows. We believe that every student has the right to learn and that we have an obligation to know, value, and care for each child. We believe that creativity and independent thinking happen when students are highly engaged, especially when purposeful assessment drives learning and when goals are clear, focused, and personalized. We believe that students excel in a learning environment where they receive high-quality feedback, opportunities for reflection, and a culture in which they frequently self-assess their own learning. We believe that students should learn through authentic experiences that challenge them to understand and solve complex multidisciplinary problems.

POSITION SUMMARY: The American School in Japan (ASIJ) is seeking an experienced Student Support Director (SSD). We are searching for a strong, resilient program-builder who can help us define and develop systems, structures, and norms that enhance Student Support Services across school settings. The ideal candidate has leadership experience thoughtfully increasing the level of inclusivity in schools and can provide leadership in systematically advancing Social Emotional Learning throughout ASIJ.

In addition to program leadership, the SSD needs to have the experience and capacity to be able to support teams, kids, and families across divisions. The SSD needs to have a background and experiences that allow them to advise and provide guidance when students are struggling, behaviorally, emotionally, and/or academically.

The Student Support Director is expected to be knowledgeable about current best practice in the fields of education and student support, as well as research that supports assessment, prevention, learning, and intervention. The position requires flexibility, collaboration and leadership skills, an understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity, and a commitment to facilitating the success of diverse learners.


  •  Graduate degree (MA required) in educational leadership and/or a student support field;
  • Exemplary record of school experience in student support, including a minimum of 5 years of experience in schools with high quality student support service programs and a record of inclusivity; AND
  • An extensive record of engagement and collaboration as a learning leader in student support, professional learning, and strategic initiatives.


Provides leadership and supports Student Support Service teams in all divisions:

  • Advances Know, Value, Care, and Social Emotional Learning, in collaboration with both the Learning Office and division leaders;
  • Provides N-12 Leadership to the Learning Support teachers and counselors, including further development of vertically aligned systems and responses; and
  • Partners with the Director of Admissions, Principals, and teachers to thoughtfully increase the level of inclusivity at ASIJ. This includes clarifying what inclusivity means at ASIJ, identifying what this means for admissions, and ensuring our systems and instruction can support all our kids;

Collaborates with administration, counselors, teachers, and families on student issues to ensure each child learns, grows, and is supported:

  • Supports school counselors, administrators, and other relevant personnel in identifying root causes of student behavioral, academic, or emotional issues and in development strategies & interventions appropriate to individual student needs;
  • Supports division student support teams in reviewing outside reports, liaising with community-based professionals, and working with parents when making recommendations to receive outside of school support; and
  • With divisional counselors and administrators, identifies students deemed at risk and works with the team and families on supporting students with these mental health concerns;

Evaluates new student applications as requested by the divisional principals or the Director of Admissions;


In partnership with the Learning Office, plans and leads ongoing professional learning around both Social Emotional Learning and instructional practices that support all our kids:

  • Advancement of instructional practices and teacher language that advance Social Emotional Learning in adult daily interactions with students;
  • Continuous improvement of Middle and High School Advisory Programs; and
  • Support for Elementary School teachers in embedding structures to intentionally advance Social Emotional Learning in the classroom; and
  • Further development of co-teaching at ASIJ;

Member of ASIJ’s Student Safeguarding Taskforce;


Develops and manages an effective budget and adheres to budget processes and timelines;


Commits to high standards of student safeguarding and well-being;


Models the ASIJ professional standards; and


Performs all other assignments as required.



  •  Learner-centered – Determined to ensure that all decisions, programs, and initiatives are based on the best interests of students;
  • Reflective practitioner – Continually reflects on his or her own professional practice, modeling a willingness to accept accountability and the determination to develop, improve, and grow;
  • Leader by example – Models compassion, humility, sensitivity, sincerity, determination, honesty, grit, and passion;
  • Professional, diplomatic, and respectful – Able to build healthy relationships based on mutual trust and to resolve conflicts and build consensus through civil, professional discourse;
  • Self-motivated and directed – Holds exceptionally high standards for him- or herself, including a willingness to seek constructive criticism and adjust his or her ways of working;
  • Highly collaborative – Committed to developing highly collaborative, high-functioning teams and to sharing decision-making and distributing authority, when appropriate;
  • Results-oriented – Follows through and completes assigned tasks at exceptionally high levels, often inventing novel solutions to challenging problems;
  • Risk-taker – Models, inspires, and encourages risk-taking, when appropriate;
  • Outstanding communication skills – Excels in communications with all ASIJ stakeholders, verbally and in writing;
  • Listens actively – Possesses excellent interpersonal skills, including the abilities to actively listen and skillfully facilitate productive focused discussions;
  • Culturally sensitive – Committed to respecting and celebrating Japanese culture, while simultaneously working to honor ASIJ’s diversity, including the characteristics that make the school’s students and teachers unique; and
  • Integrity and excellence – Engages in work with integrity and a determination to achieve excellence.


The salary is highly competitive and will be dependent upon the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. Benefits include housing, health insurance, life insurance, home leave, shipping allowance, and ongoing professional learning opportunities.


ASIJ hopes to appoint its new Student Support Director in November 2019. The successful candidate will assume his or her new role in August 2020. Applications will be received until November 15th, 2019. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply sooner rather than later because preliminary interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.


To apply for this position, please submit the following documents to :

(1) a letter of application clearly explaining your qualifications and interest;

(2) a current CV or resume;

(3) a list of 6-8 referees, including current and past supervisors and their contact details;

(4) a one-page philosophy of education and/or leadership; and

(5) a 2-3 minute video introduction (no more!) that shares your interest in the position and what you feel you can contribute to ASIJ. Please upload your video to YouTube, Vimeo, your Google Drive, or another external hosting site and share the link in your letter of application.

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