Japhet School

National School of Character

Preschool - 8th Grade

Preschool - 8th Grade


Japhet School was founded in 1973. It opened at a time when public education institutions were removing the teaching of values from the daily lives of schoolchildren. Japhet’s six original trustees were parents and educators who were devoted to the idea that character instruction and strong academics went hand in hand. A commonality among these parents is that they all attended the same church, and Japhet began with 27 students who were Christian Scientists. School and church, however, remained completely separate in the lives of our founding families. Religion never was, nor is today, taught at Japhet School. In 1996, because the school was recognized as an exemplary school for teaching both academics and character, our trustees voted to open Japhet to all children. Today Japhet is an independent, co-educational day school for children of diverse backgrounds. Faculty, staff, and trustees also represent a variety of life experiences.



School opened. All children, at that time, attended Christian Science Sunday Schools.


Granted non-profit, corporate status as an elementary K-8 school.


Moved into a Lamphere School District building in Madison Heights, Michigan, which we would occupy for 37 more years. Japhet developed a character quality curriculum that became integrated into our academic curriculum.


Infant/toddler and latchkey programs started.


Full-service, licensed day care center opened. Introduced computer curriculum. Received provisional membership in the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS).


Received full membership and accreditation by ISACS.


All children, regardless of religion, were invited to enroll.


Japhet completed Self-Study and renewed full ISACS accreditation.


Japhet honored by the country of Ghana with a personal visit, recognizing a student-led service project to supply books to Ghana’s schoolchildren. General Motors looked to Japhet educators for lesson plans on environmental stewardship. Target Corporation named Japhet as an Outstanding School in America.


Japhet honored as a National School of Character by the Character Education Partnership as the first Michigan school and first independent school in the country to win this award. Japhet schoolteacher assists school in England develop its own character education program.


Japhet hosted our first character conference entitled “Promoting Student Character, Integrity and Leadership” with Hal Urban.


Japhet co-sponsored with Birmingham Public Schools the conference entitled “Building Schools and Communities of Character” with Thomas Lickona; approximately 800 attended, and since this time BPS has had schools designated as National and Michigan Schools of Character.


Prepared Self-Study for third ISACS re-accreditation.


Hosted our 3rd Annual Character Conference entitled “Building a Family of Character” with Chick Moorman and break-out sessions from Japhet educators. Joined the Troy Chamber of Commerce.


Granted ISACS reaccreditation until 2014. Created Strategic Plan. Hosted 4th Annual Character Conference with Chick Moorman, and presented at a character conference for Detroit and Pontiac schoolteachers. Piloted Algebra 1 as standard mathematics course for eighth-graders (and younger students as appropriate).


Japhet celebrated 35 years. Hosted 5th Annual Character Conference with Sean Hogan-Downey. Implemented Robert Andreasen, Marjorie Hale, Henry Buelow, and Winnie Buelow Merit Scholarships. Piloted revised Science and Math curricula in all grade levels, meeting or exceeding current Michigan and national benchmarks.


Japhet recognized as a Michigan Green School. Japhet teachers and staff presented on the benefits of character education in various venues. Piloted Writers Workshop in elementary and middle school grades, and revised Social / Global Studies curriculum that meets or exceeds current Michigan and national benchmarks. Japhet hosted our 6th Annual Character Conference, which will focus on helping teachers, parents, and children make ethical decisions while using the Internet.


Japhet recognized as a Michigan Evergreen School. Japhet sponsored Metro Parent Magazine conference titled “Growing Up in Today’s Crazy World: Strategies for Dealing with Crushes, Frenemies, Gossip and Bullying,” featuring two Japhet speakers.


Created GJS Scholarship and Leadership Scholarship – new merit scholarships for current students. Entire faculty and staff engaged in writing the Self-Study for our fourth ISACS re-accreditation. Full staff attended national ISACS conference titled “Innovation.”


Hosted ISACS Visiting Team and was granted ISACS re-accreditation through 2019. Began search for new, permanent building for 2013-2014 school year.


Celebrated 40th anniversary and purchased our own building in Clawson, Michigan. Installed an all new, completely wireless IT system for student and staff benefit. Technology upgrades and student impact included a mobile Chromebook lab for integration in all classes, multiple wireless access points, code instruction, an all-school celebration of Computer Science Education Week, and more.


Experienced a successful first year in our new building. Hosted the Cruise for Character, which brought friends of Japhet School together in celebration and support of Japhet School’s mission to integrate the teaching of character with academics.


Engaged the Japhet community to develop a new 8-year Strategic Plan for the prosperity and continued improvement of Japhet School. All staff attended the AIMS conference centered on innovation and Google for Educators conference.


Japhet students earned both first and third places in the Optimist Oratorical Contest in Grosse Pointe. Progressed on action steps outlined in our Strategic Plan, bringing growth in enrollment activity, ensuring continued financial health, and meeting the educational and professional needs of our educators.


Launched “Play and Learn,” a toddler program at Japhet School. Invited muralist Alex Cook to paint — with help from Japhet students, parents, and community members — a beautiful mural inside Japhet School. Launched the Mohan Legacy campaign to pay off the school’s mortgage.


Earned our 10th year designation as a Michigan Green School. Japhet School is an Evergreen school, the highest available award. Paid off the school’s mortgage in full. Launched a summer STEAM camp for children in Preschool through 8th grade.

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Our Mission

Japhet School's mission is to nurture and prepare each child for life by integrating character education with a strong academic program.

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