We joined AIS last august coming from another immersion school. We were surprised by the academic level here and at first my sons were struggling because af the level of expectations. But teachers worked with us and were realy great at bringing my sons to a level of excellence that was evidently missing at the other school. Christophe, the school head is fantastic ! Very approachable and truly dedicated to the school. He helped us a lot to fit in and to making us feel part of the community. When considering international education, AIS is a no-brainer. Just look at their alumnis... Their 5th graders go to the best middle school every year such as St Stephens. That is always a good sign, when you see the end-results... AIS defintively delivers !!!
Our daughter is in her second year at AIS and we love the school, teachers & the parent community. The after school activities are also excellent which allow our child to receive some wonderful and varied experiences without running all over town. Piano, gymnastics, sport ball, tennis, cooking classes, yoga, etc. We love AIS and will be sending our son there as soon as he turns 3 years old!
Austin International School is the only private school of its kind in Austin. The academic standards are really high and we love the fact that our child has been completely immersed in a trilingual curriculum since the age of 3. Most importantly our child loves the school and his teachers. He is so proud to read to us in three languages (he just started 1st grade) and he is already talking about the graduation trip abroad in 5th grade! Honestly if you want to broaden your child's perspectives while giving him/her the best education, look no further.
I'm glad to have my 3 children at AIS I can see they are happy because they feel loved and care, the staff is great, the teachers are committed and enthusiastic, and the school community is awesome. Besides they are speaking english, spanish and french!
This is Austin's international school, a place where children come from many backgrounds to grow and thrive in a tri-lingual curriculum and dynamic multicultural learning environment. Parents, teachers, staff and the board work collaboratively to make it the best independent school in our city for students ages 3 through fifth grade.
The collaborative environment of our school attracts passionate teachers from all around the world who bring unique international perspectives and instruct in their native languages. As part of our innovative approach, each class of students is taught by a team of three teachers sharing insights and collaborating on the growth of each individual student. Multiple teachers draw from their international backgrounds to expand the range of teaching tactics utilized in the classroom to provide more valuable direction and meet the needs of a diverse student body. This innovative approach provides the flexibility, open mindedness and adaptability to better serve the needs of your child.
My husband and I placed our kids at AIS this year, and are pretty disappointed with the lack of academic challenge. Sure, learning two new languages at once is challenging, but academics should not be neglected as a result. Despite this school's status as a private school, there is huge resistance to challenging or even remotely stimulating kids who may be advanced academically to the peers in their class year. Heaven forbid your child is ready to learn spelling, multi-digit addition or subtraction or multiplication before it comes up in the year level curriculum. You'll be doing that yourself at home. And, please, don't bother with the summer program. We were shocked to find it no better than a day care. We were also surprised to find that so many events at the school are designed for the adults (parents and administrators) rather than the kids (who end up getting shunted to "child care" - usually watching a video - during these events. After-school programs are really great at AIS with a lot of variety, but we wish the school day had a lot of academic creativity and interest.
My husband and I enrolled our daughter at AIS because we wanted a secular school that would proactively prepare her for her role in a multicultural world. Neither of us spoke French or Spanish, but that didn't matter. Our daughter is now in 2nd Grade at AIS, and her fluency in both languages is impressive. Perhaps more impressive, given the language immersion format, are her skills in reading, writing, and comprehending English. We are thrilled with her progress and with the level of dedication from teachers and staff. Things aren't always perfect, of course, but perfection is an impossible goal when each parent has such different expectations for their child. Most important for me, personally, has been AIS's commitment to continuous improvement. The new Head of School is one such improvement; there have been many positive changes under his direction. And the gorgeous new campus, located near the Domain, is a vast improvement over old facility. Still, a nice campus means nothing without a superb staff and curriculum. AIS has all of that, which is why we keep returning. They teach children to be autonomous thinkers and responsible, global citizens who celebrate diversity.
I've been a parent at AIS for 5 years, and a member of the Board of Directors for 3. AIS is still a young school and has been through many changes in the past few years. We brought in a new Head of School in 2010, who has made many improvements to the academic programs, including bringing in more qualified teachers (some turnover is unavoidable because some teachers are in the US on limited visas). We recently moved into a beautiful, spacious new building. AIS is a very unique school, combining French and American academics with French, English, and Spanish languages. Academic expectations are high, but also appropriate for children's ages. Humanities and arts are just as important as science and math. Most importantly, students are taught how to think and problem solve, not just memorize to pass tests. Fifth grade students travel to a sister school in France each year, a very valuable experience. The parent community is very involved and parents know each other well. My children entered with no knowledge of French or Spanish, but now speak, read, and write like natives. They've come to know children from all over the world. We've been very happy with AIS.
This is school is ok. If you want soem languages then I guess your money can be worth it; otherwise it has a lots of floss, and both my hsuband and I work in education and are educators. There are plenty of little things we are not ahppy with, especially the way the school si run.
What is the current status of teacher qualifications as of now (Sept. 2011). What is done/has been done to ensure an improved and continually improving academic level?
We couldn't be happier about AIS. My wife and I both work in education -- she is a middle school teacher with two masters degrees (Curriculum and Instruction and Library Sciences) and I have a JD and currently getting my master of C&I. We completely agree with the path of this school, its multi-cultural identity, and the progress our daughter has made there. Our daughter's teachers are very responsive and attentive to our child, and very accessible to us. We have been very pleased with the updates/reports they issue and progress we've seen.
Give me a break...."very involved and supportive parent community" If they could get over themselves, maybe! I have never before been involved in such a competitive environment. An entirely new parent organization last year, due to high turnover! I can't say that parent involvement is a positive that I would list for Austin International School. Yes, involved, but in a negative way! Too much conflict!
overrated! Don't waste your money! Most of the teachers are not qualified to teach in the US, let alone Texas. The turnover is high, and most of them are only qualified to teach in France. I pulled my daughter out after learning how unqualified the teachers really are. One of the Spanish teachers just recently became certified, she has been teaching there for years! Two years ago they hired another teacher from Spain, she of course didn't last long, her experience was with teaching adults, not our children! Right now they have a French teacher that is two years away from receiving a degree. I don't know about you, but I believe my child deserves an education from qualified professionals, this is not dress rehearsal! My daughter will never get a second chance at her elementary education!
My daughter loves AIS. I'm impressed with her academic and social acheivements while attending AIS. She is learning and is a happy student. I would highly recommend this school! The school is expanding to middle school and my daughter will have the opportunity to grow with AIS.
My child has benefitted greatly from being a student at AIS. Because of the small class size, teachers are able to closely monitor the progress of the students. My child has learned a lot (in 3 languages) not only in the classroom but also by experiencing different cultures firsthand through schoolwide activities such as the international week and science fair. The academic program is very challenging under which my child thrives. Leadership and management at the school is very strong and I am pleased with the new head of school's vision for AIS. The AIS parent community is very involved and supportive.
This school is a joke, don't waist your money. One of the most expensive private schools in Austin, largely not one of the best. They said they would provide a special English program for my daughter but did not even taught her the ABC. Some teachers don't even correct homework. They bill daycare even though she doesn't go to daycare. They leave children speaking and playing in classrooms while the teacher does who knows what at his desk, not paying attention to kids. Now my daughter is left alone with a computer to learn English... What a disappointment and a waste of time for my daughter! Definitely not a great school!
I am writing this comment as a school administrator. Since 2004, Austin International School has progressed through significant changes and is quite a different place from the earlier years. Since 2004, new management, including a new executive director and board members, has been installed. The school is now fully accredited by the French Ministry of Education, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and will be accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) in 2010. In spring of 2009, the school entered into a partnership with the Spanish Ministry of Education to share teaching resources and school support, and to refer qualified Spanish teachers to AIS. The enrollment has increased to about 145 students. The staff has increased in quanitity and quality, and continues to draw talented native-speaking teachers from France, England, America, Mexico, and more. Curriculum has advanced in keeping with these changes.
This will be the second year for my daughter, who will start 1st grade next year. She had four teachers this past year; two french, one spanish and one english. Some teachers are better than others, but we have been happy with most. Besides the language immersion, we also chose this school because it is secular, and diverse ethnically and culturally. Our daughter LOVES her school.
I currently have 2 children in the program, this being our 3rd year to attend. The family community here is tremendous - diverse, not pretentious, friendly, willing to help the school in any way possible. This school is going through a lot of growing pains right now, and in my opinion is causing the quality of education and level of control to faulter somewhat. The mutli-lingual program at the pre-school/kinder level is wonderful. The emphasis is more heavy French than I would prefer into the older grades. The staff is very culturally diverse. I have noticed that they sometimes have issues controlling their classrooms. Overall you can't beat the full language immersion program.
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