My son has attended Awty since kindergarten. He is now about to graduate, and I have seen the school adapt to a very different culture over time. Increasing student enrollment, balancing an intense construction campaign, and maintaining a high academic standard of excellence whilst balancing student life development. My observation is that my son is well-rounded. Influenced by many cultures and races - and he is not defined by what a person has but who a person is - and I congratulate Awty and its teachers and administration for paving the way to helping form and develop students to be thought provoking achievers. Generally negative comments are made by those who have understood the "system" and instead wish to change a tried and true formula that is traditionally entrenched in sound academic disciplines. Awty is not for everyone, but I am proud to share that my son speaks 3 languages fluently and has exposure to two others in addition to flourishing in an IB / AP program that has yielded him many additional opportunities - not to mention the international cadre of friends he has forged over the years.
Awty is not an international school but an American prep school with an international character. The entrance exams/admission rules are over the top for international parents. I had 2 kids in the waiting pool and in the end, one got in and there was no spot for the other one. And they had us wait until school started to finally let us know and kept our hopes up all the time! So this year I have two kids at two different schools. They are not really trying to keep families together :-( My daughter goes to the British School and the overall experience there is much better. A more welcoming friendly school and more suited for expats. And more fun for the kids, while the academics are still excellent. So I am moving my other child to the British School as well. At Awty you are just a number, no one cares. All they care about is grades, grades and grades. They are so arrogant. I wrote a letter why I am taking my son off, no reaction nothing!
As a student who recently graduated, I can attest to the high quality of the education I received. The teachers, from K-12 take an active interest in students and really want to help students succeed both scholastically and general. This is especially true towards the high school years, where I personally developed close relationships with several teachers. Because the school is relatively small, principals have a very strong influence on the actual student body. It is very comforting to know that the high school principal knows every one of his students names. Because of this strong link between the principals and the students, the students have the ability to talk to their principals about almost anything, including being overworked, any problems they might have with teachers, and any other significant problems. Finally, the academic programs are extremely challenging. While the Pre-K and elementary schools are not exceedingly challenging, middle school and high school are much more difficult; especially with the IB program in the 11th and 12th grades.
I guess you could call me a disgruntled former parent. I was once a student there, and wanted an Awty education for my own children, so I started them in pre-k and stayed 3 years. Without getting into all the particulars that left me on the outside, I'll say this: * The school didn't raise any flags about performance (French proficiency in our case) until it was too late * They were unwilling to inconvenience themselves to take remedial action * They showed no loyalty to my family * They didn't put a priority on the child's best interests * They lied about teacher's evaluations of my child * They encouraged me to quit the school * They insisted I couldn't afford to stay and later denied me any financial aid * They hid behind policy and testing and were clearly more interested in protecting their metrics and their endowments than they were in serving a loyal Awty family Some of these things were done by administrators who are now gone, but not all of them. And the Proviseur and the Headmaster didn't do anything to make it right when we escalated to them at the end.
I am French and had all kind of tests on my son for his admission to the school...I found it hard to believe that a little boy has to pass so many tests at this age...If ths school was so great, and promissing why wouldn't take no chances to prepare the any toddler for a better education...I believe the school have a great program but don't take no chances for those who could be greater....
I have been an Awty parent for 7 years now, and could not imagine my children attending a better school in the Houston area. They have a well rounded and complete education that challenges them academically as well as in extra curricular activities. I am confident that my children will leave Awty with native skills in at least two languages, which will prepare them well for college and for the future.
This is by far (way far) the best school in Houston and clearly one of the best in the US. No other school prepares children for the world the way Awty does. The curriculum is rigorous and demanding. Children are challenged. I am exceedingly happy with the school.
Our children have been at Awty International for over six years. It had a wonderful cultural and language environment and our children leave Awty speaking multiple languages. However, we were very disappointed in the 5th grade. Two of the fifth grade teachers were repeatedly rude to students, to parents...and it was defended by the Awty administration. Many long term students and parents are voting with their feet and leaving Awty for better private and public schools in the city. This would not be tolerated in other schools and is an inappropriate way to prepare the students for middle school....
The Dutch program of Awty receives support from the Dutch Ministry of Education only when the child attends three or more hours of classes. During a meeting in the beginning of the schoolyear the parents are invited and the Dutch Board explaines the parents this point. We receive every four years a Dutch Inspector of Education who writes a report about the Dutch program. For more questions about this you can contact the Dutch teachers at Awty.