An American Educational Model
Our objective is to prepare individual children to take leadership roles as adults. They will gain the language skills, self-confidence, responsibility, and self-reliance that a person needs for success in the western educational environment.
The American Education Model used employs a dynamic core-curricula and integrates families and communities into the school, while respecting and honoring cultures and traditions. The curriculum is structured just as it would be at a high-quality school in the United States (U.S.). This approach means that students learn to think critically, adapt to a rapidly changing world, and continue to learn throughout their lives. Every student receives sound preparation in quantitative analysis, communication skills, and cross-cultural understanding, while also pursuing their own special academic interests. In addition to an American curriculum, our students in Pakistan learn Urdu and Islamiat. It is this holistic approach to learning that makes American education special —and which makes our graduates so appealing to American colleges and universities.
In fact, even the seating arrangements are designed to facilitate learning as an interactive process. Classrooms are set up with four students facing each other in clusters so they can work with one another. The teacher does not lecture from the front of the class but moves around to work with each student. Rather than the old ‘Sage on the stage, the teacher is the guide on the side!’ It is a whole different perspective on education.
Bridging The Cultural Gap
By expanding their learning networks through online collaboration with experts and other students from around the world, children develop an increased depth of understanding of our global society. Interactive worldwide video conferencing and computer facilities are available to help students connect with their counterparts in the U.S.
From the third grade up, we hold yearly summer camps in the U.S. to expose them to the American educational environment and help them learn about scientific developments. This exchange enhances cultural sensitivity and mutual respect among the children of both countries.
Experienced and Certified Faculty
Teachers promote a personalized learning environment where students are individuals, not numbers, and both individual and team accomplishments are valued. With a strong support team of a staff doctor, nurse, social worker, psychologist and counselors, students are free to grow and thrive to their utmost abilities. Our student to teacher ratio is ten to one.
AISS is the first American school in Pakistan, which brings qualified and certified teachers from the U.S. who follow American standards of education. Dr. Steven Levy, the Dean of Education, has over forty years of educational experience as the Chairman of the New York City Taskforce for Quality Inclusive Schooling. Principal Mark Rozic has administered schools in several countries including the U.S. The school also recruits teachers from the U.S. as visiting instructors. These guest teachers observe classroom instruction and provide feedback on the curriculum and teaching practices.
In addition to our American faculty on campus, we have faculty members from Syria, Canada, New Zealand and Pakistan who receive on-the-job development credits through American universities and are trained in the latest American teaching methods. And, we require that staff employed at every level pass an English language test to ensure consistency.
The George Washington University (GWU), School of Human Development and Education has partnered with AISS to make available a comprehensive professional development program for faculty, and has created a sophisticated curriculum ranging from literacy, conflict resolution, and peace-studies. Five courses upgrade faculty content knowledge and instructional expertise, develop capacity in the use of interactive technology, and establish professional collaborations with U.S. faculty. GWU Professor Judy Findlay leads the program.
The school was launched in 2007 with just seven pre-school and kindergarten students. Today, there are one hundred and twenty-five students from pre-school through seventh grade and expected enrollment is one thousand two hundred students over the next five years. After three years of operation, the retention rate has been ninety-five percent. Our largest class, in the 2010-2011 school year, is Pre-Kindergarten with sixteen students.
Our target demographic is both the lower-income class, and lower-middle income class. More than eighty-seven percent of students receive financial aid through the American International School System Foundation.
State of Art Campus and Facilities
With a $10.2 million investment, AISS built one of the most modern and state-of-the-art campuses in Pakistan that can fully accommodate students on an expansive eleven-and-a-half acres of land. The campus provides opportunities for extra-curricular activities such as indoor and outdoor sports, horseback riding, martial arts and music classes. The campus contains an amphitheater, swimming pool, cafeteria, a hi-tech auditorium, libraries, a main computer lab and computers in all classrooms. AISS is the first Pakistani educational institution to be handicap accessible.
In addition to classroom education, the facilities are used for other advanced educational and civic activities sponsored by the school. This will include basic and advanced teacher training for our staff and teachers from the Pakistani school system as well as mentoring programs for children and adults. Civic activities include community outreach and the use of the facility as a community center.
In 2011, the school will begin construction of an on-campus dormitory to house faculty and students. This facility, within our safe and secure campus, will help attract American and other international staff while also extending our reach to students from other provinces. The dormitory will feature thirty fully-furnished residential apartments for faculty and one hundred-fifty rooms for students.
AISS intends to open ten satellite schools in the following two years; five in the Punjab province during 2011 and five in Sindh during 2012. The main campus will serve as a hub for the satellite schools. Along with having its own faculty and administration, each satellite school will be linked via videoconference to the main campus, and with U.S. educational institutions. Thus, the satellite schools will leverage existing infrastructure and resources, develop strong community ties through Parent-Teacher Associations, recreational activities, and conduct evening academic and educational vocation courses for parents. In addition, the school physician will provide free medical services to the communities at-large.
Also, in 2011, AISS is hopeful to begin construction on thirty acres of land in the city of Kamez, Tirana to serve as the main campus in Albania, which is scheduled to open in 2012, and acquire land in Cairo, Egypt, which is scheduled to open in 2013. In addition, AISS is working to produce schools in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.