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Course Outlines

Tokyo International Progressive School follows the American Common Core standards for learning in grades 4 - 8. The Common Core standards may be reviewed here:

Our high school curriculum mirrors that of the University of Nebraska High School.


Students in senior high school do a combined program with the American Common Core standards, whilst completing courses required to graduate with an American High-school Diploma.

To ensure the acquisition of a high school diploma, a student’s course requirements can be accommodated on an individual basis. Students registered for a typical program take:

Complementary Courses complete the students’ program and are designed by teachers to include student interest, and teacher’s areas of passion. Information and Computer Technology, Performing Arts, Journalism, and Student Council is a sampling of the types of Complementary Courses that are accessible to our students. Each student has PE for four periods per week.


Letter GradeMark RangeGrade Point
F69 or below0.0

The TIPS high school diploma consists of:

  • English Language Arts: 40 credits
  • Social Studies: 40 credits (including American History, American Government, and Multicultural Studies)
  • Mathematics: 30 credits
  • Science: 30 credits
  • Physical Education: 30 credits
  • Career and Finance: 10 credits
  • Complementary Courses: 30 credits


This math course will equip students with logical concept development, critical thinking and efficient problem solving skills. Mathematical concepts are closely related to our daily lives, so it is essential to strengthen the foundation of math in many ways. Students will solve problems step-by-step and learn how to decide which operation to use in word problems.

Social Studies:
Through this course, students will learn the basic tools and concepts of geography such as Earth’s physical features, people’s ways of life, cultures, types of governments, and the world’s natural resources. It is important to understand our planet Earth, and how people living here affect the environment. Students will also learn how Japan relates to the world.

This course will introduce students to diversity of life, electricity, and exploring extreme environments. Students will develop fundamental skills of science and technology and gain an understanding of how society is affected by technology. Our course stresses how to express a point of view about solutions that differs with other opinions.

English Language Arts:
This English course will introduce students to genres of English literature such as fiction, nonfiction, short stories, poetry, drama, and folk literature. They will also learn fundamental skills to become better readers, writers, and thinkers. Students will broaden their perspectives through literature.

Grade 7 math continues to build students’ mathematical foundations while introducing new concepts that will help students prepare for more advanced math classes. Topics include factors and multiples, ratios and rates, coordinates and linear graphs, perimeters and areas, and an introduction to algebra. The course is designed to broaden students’ horizons and help them begin to see how the math learned in class can be applied to real-life problems.

Social Studies:
This course introduces the subject of Social Studies by giving students a complete overview of the world’s main events from Medieval times to today. Students will broaden their knowledge of the world by working in different disciplines such as History, Geography and Language arts to understand the course’s topics from a variety of points of view. The ability to work on different levels and to develop the complete vision of what World History is are the main goals on a course aimed at giving students the tools to comprehend societies and people both past and contemporary.

Grade 7 Science is an integrated course covering both the Natural and Physical Sciences. Exciting topics in Biology, Chemistry and Earth Science such as the different ecosystems, characteristics and properties of matter, and the composition of planet Earth are not only learned through class discussions but through experiential learning such as laboratory experiments and grade level field trips. The Science course aims to help students understand their responsibilities to the Earth’s ecological balance, develop abilities and skills that are useful in everyday life, encourage safe working practice, and promote respect to the environment. Classroom activities provide constant opportunities for students to identify valid sources of information, work effectively with group members and use technology to access, filter and retrieve information effectively.

English Language Arts:
This course introduces the main literary genres such as Fiction, Nonfiction, Drama, and Poetry. Students will learn the main features of each genre and how to recognize them whether they will be reading a short story or an essay. Students will begin to develop critical thinking and literary analysis skills as well as build their vocabulary. Continuous attention to grammar and syntax will complete the course as students will improve their ability to express their thoughts and ideas both in a written and in an oral form.

This course prepares students for the rigors of high school math. Topics include exponents, factoring, quadratics, congruence and similarity, the Pythagorean theorem, and data analysis. As students prepare to enter high school, this course will provide them with the mathematical skills necessary to ensure that they will be able to succeed in future math courses.

Social Studies:
The Social Studies course aims at giving students a comprehensive view of the world by giving them the skills to exchange information between subjects to develop the complete vision of our world’s different societies. Students will learn about societies and histories from all around the world (Europe, Asia, Africa and Americas), and to compare and contrast their similarities and differences. Geography, History and Language Arts will contribute in creating a dynamic framework in which local histories and artistic expressions all will be seen as parts of the world we live in.

Grade 8 science topics include cells and systems, optics, fluids and dynamics, and water systems on Earth.

English Language Arts:
This course furthers students` ability to understand different literary genres and to analyze texts and essays. Students will keep on developing critical thinking skills in order to put each account in the right historical and cultural context. Studying authors and their biographies will help students in deepening their understanding of literary devices and tools. Paramount attention will be given to grammar, syntax, and vocabulary as students will be required to express themselves in a proper way according to different types of assignments.

Tier A - First Year Algebra
First Year Algebra will help students understand the meaning of variables and how we use them to represent numbers. In this course, students will learn how to solve many equations and inequalities with one or two variables. They will also learn how to graph equations and come to understand the relationship between a graph and its equation. Most importantly, this course will give students a basic understanding of Algebra — how numbers and variables work together. The goal of this course is to refresh the Algebra skills students already have (even if they may not realize they have them), challenge their minds to learn more difficult material, and build new mathematical knowledge through problem solving. Students may need to use the equation editor feature in their word processing to complete the projects for electronic submission. Please be aware that students are responsible for learning to use these tools and for completing all parts of the projects prior to submission. A scientific calculator is required for this course.

Tier B - Basic Math
This course is specifically designed for students who need to develop understanding and skill in using basic arithmetic. Students will study the four basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers) and learn to solve both equations and word problems involving these operations. The interpretation of word problems is covered thoroughly in this course. The additional topics of estimating, rounding, factoring, prime and composite numbers, and Greatest common Divisors and Least Common Multiples are also introduced to provide a foundation for further study in the second semester of Basic Mathematics.

Social Studies:
Geography allows people to find the answers to their questions about the world and understand the links between people and places. While studying about physical and human geography of the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Africa, students will explore the relationships between people and their physical environment, and analyze the interactions between the culture and geography of selected regions.

This course also focuses on the people, places, physical features, and unique characteristics of Europe, Asia, Australia, the island nations of the Paci c, and Antarctica. Students will learn valuable information about the world we inhabit today including how and where people live, and how their lives are changing in response to their physical environment, their governments, and their economic systems. Students will learn that Geography is not just the study of our physical world, but also the study of interactions between humans, their land, natural resources, weather, and ecosystems. throughout the course students use such geographic skills as reading and drawing maps, analyzing charts and diagrams and interpreting technical vocabulary.

This course provides an introduction to the basic principles of physics, chemistry, Earth science, and space science. Students will use basic mathematics in these areas as well as logical methods and practical applications. Topics covered include the nature of science, motion, forces, Newton’s Laws, energy, work and machines, electricity, magnetism, energy sources, waves, light, sound, Earth’s internal processes, weather, and climate. Both hands-on Labs and Virtual Labs that allow students to experience the application of concepts, interactions, and processes are included.

English Language Arts:
This course introduces three aspects of language arts: literature, grammar and composition. In the literature segments, students read short stories, poetry, folk tales and nonfiction. The emphasis is on enjoying and understanding various types of literature. In the grammar and composition lessons, students deal with parts of speech, characteristics of sentences and paragraph development. The course encourages the development of research and communication skills.

Tier A - Geometry
This course is designed to help students develop reasoning skills using geometric terms and processes, concepts of logic, and applied problem solving. Topics covered in this course include patterns, inductive and deductive reasoning, models, points, lines, coordinate planes, parallel lines, measuring angles, basic constructions, reasoning and proofs, parallel and perpendicular lines, congruent triangles, and relationships within triangles. Frequent skill checks and reviews will help ensure that students get the most from this course. This course uses many of the problem solving skills and equations learned in First Year Algebra. Students who have not completed at least one year of algebra may need to review linear and quadratic equations and relationships.

Tier B - General Math
Students develop an understanding of fractions, decimals and percentages, and develop skills using these operations. They learn to handle data through graphs, scientific notation and means of comparison; and they apply their understanding of concepts, operations and data to practical problems in interest, insurance, taxes, banking and budgeting.

Social Studies:
This course is an introduction to world history that traces human development from ancient times to the beginning of the eighteenth century. Students will learn the facts, concepts, and principles they need to gain a better grasp on the history, culture, political, social, and economic developments of many different societies around the globe. Special attention is given to the civilizations that developed in the Middle East, India, China, Africa, and Latin America as well as those in Europe and North America.

This course focuses on the history of nations and regions around the globe from about 1700 to the present. Students begin by examining the main figures and political views of the Enlightenment, the impact of the revolutions around the globe, and the Industrial Revolution. e study of political systems and the growth of Western democracies and global imperialism then help set the stage for understanding the causes and effects of world-wide conflicts in the twentieth century. Finally, this course will examine the global political, social, and economic issues, as well as international relations in today’s world.

Anatomy & Physiology and the Science of Nutrition
Anatomy and Physiology is a detailed study of the human body, its parts and structures, and how these function together to create and sustain human life. In this course we will start with an introduction to terminology, human development, and body processes, then move on to the functioning of cells, tissues, and systems. With these basics to build on students will compile an extensive vocabulary of anatomical terminology as they navigate the various systems of the body, building toward a more complete understanding of the human body.

In this course, students will learn what nutrition is and why it is important. is course will give students the knowledge and tools they need to make nutrition choices that will lead to a healthy lifestyle. e course focuses on the impact of nutrition on the human body, weight management, the function of nutrients and the interactions between nutrition and physical activity in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

English Language Arts:
Students continue to develop their skills in the three aspects of language arts. In the literature segments of the course, students read short stories, poetry, drama and tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. In the grammar and composition lessons, students study the parts of speech, basic parts and characteristics of sentences, capitalization and punctuation, research skills and the step-by-step development of a paper.

Career Planning:
This course is designed to provide students with hands-on experience in researching careers, making short-term, middle-term, and long-term goals, identifying job opportunities, applying for jobs, and conducting successful interviews. Students will have an opportunity to build a personal portfolio, and they will also learn about workplace relations and personal money management. Students can assess their skills, interests, values, aptitudes, and personalities to determine individual career possibilities.

Personal Finance:
This course provides an overview of how economic systems function and teaches the students about their rights and responsibilities as consumers. Students learn steps for making responsible economic decisions. They also study the basics of personal money management, including budgeting, saving, investing, credit, housing and transportation costs, and insurance. The course is a practical, “real world” guide for consumers in the twenty-first century.

Tier A - Algebra
This course builds and expands on the concepts and tools learned in earlier algebra courses to evaluate and graph functions and equations with two or more variables, differentiate between expressions, equations, inequalities, and absolute values, use the quadratic formula to write and solve quadratic equations and functions, solve radical functions, and work with matrices. A graphing calculator is needed to complete this course.

Tier B - General Math
In this course students will develop mathematical skills that apply to common business activities, operations and transactions. The topics include whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percentages, ratios, proportions, rounding, estimation and metric measurement. Business applications such as money records, wages and pay rates, job benefits, commissions, budgeting, and home and transportation costs are studied. Any basic-function or business calculator may be used with this course. Students will need access to a scanner to submit the projects for this course electronically.

Social Studies:
American History
This course discusses the development of America from the colonial era until modernity. This includes European exploration and the collision between different societies (including European, African, and Native American). The course also explores the formation of the American government and how democracy in the United States affected thought and culture. Students will also learn about the influences of the Enlightenment on different cultural groups, religion, political and philosophical writings. Finally, they will examine various reform efforts, the Civil War, and the effects of expansion, immigration, and urbanization on American society.

Biology includes a basic understanding of biology, basic chemistry, structure of cells and how they communicate, energy conversions, cell reproduction, genetics, gene expression, genetic engineering, origin of life, changes in organisms, ecosystems and succession, environmental problems and solutions, and the classification of living things. They will explore the structure and function of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and plants. They will investigate the diversity and development of invertebrate and vertebrate animals and learn about the anatomy and physiology of the human body.

English Language Arts:
The historical development of American literature from the colonial period to 1900 is the central theme of this course. Students gain an understanding of the ideas that fostered the growth of the United States and of the ways in which its literature became distinctively American. Students develop composition skills by analyzing the literary selections and applying the basic organizational pattern of a good essay.

This course provides a detailed examination of algebraic and inverse functions, graphs, exponential and logarithmic functions, conic sections, matrices, determinants, complex numbers, and discrete algebra. The textbook is recommended but optional. A graphing calculator is required for this course. The calculator listed with the course and its Guidebook may be purchased from the high school, although the high school will not provide specific instructions in calculator use.

The course provides a “bridge” between the skills learned in General Math and those more advanced concepts students will learn in First Year Algebra and Geometry. This course provides an introduction to algebraic expressions and integers, decimals, factors, exponents, fractions, ratios and percents. The course is designed to build upon what students already know, and provide them the background and readiness for Algebra and Geometry. Students are encouraged to print the activities and complete them on paper or to buy the print syllabus.

Social Studies:
American Government
Students analyze the American federal system of government as outlined by the Constitution of the United States. The constitutional rights guaranteed to American citizens, as well as the relationship of citizens to states, are discussed in detail as students study state and local government, and examine the structures of the 50 state governments.

In this challenging course students gain an understanding of basic economic concepts by examining historical and current examples of economic principles at work. They study the role and workings of the market in modern capitalistic economies and analyze how government controls the market in response to the will of society. Finally, other economic systems are compared to the market systems in free societies.

The course presents an introduction to principles and procedures in chemistry. Students study scientific measurements, chemical names and formulas, states of and changes in matter, numerical relationships in chemical reactions, trends expressed in the periodic table and the behavior of gases. Students calculate empirical and molecular formulas, write and balance equations, determine mole and mass, interpret chemical equations and gain insight into the various models of the atom. This course contains both hands-on labs and multimedia activities to provide an in-depth investigation into the subjects presented.

English Language Arts:
Students read many of the great works from the Anglo-Saxon period through the eighteenth century. They gain an understanding of the development of English literature as they study Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and selections from Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, and Paradise Lost. Students work on improving their writing skills by preparing papers that analyze the literary works.

Japanese Language and Culture
Japanese Language and Culture provide students with a strong foundation of the Japanese language combined with an appreciation and understanding of Japanese culture and tradition. Based on the level of Japanese the student already has, the language course will assist them in improving written, oral and listening skills. As part of this students will take a number of field trips to help them engage with a variety of cultural customs and language learning experiences.

English as an Additional Language
This course assists second language learners grasp the fundamentals of the English language to ensure that they are able to engage with the academic work of the school. The course encapsulates written, oral and listening elements of the language to ensure that the student gains the skills necessary to be successful.

Students will participate in the development and production of the school newspaper. By the end of the course, students will have gained skills in interview techniques, opinion and factual writing, photography, and design and layout.

Information and Computer Technology
This course teaches students about the use and function of computer technology. Students will develop their wordprocessing ability as well as gain an understanding of a wide range of computer-based skills including; 3D design, programming, game design, protective software, and artistic computer design.