The American International School Kuwait (AIS) has continuously improved its program and its facilities since its inception in 1991 after the liberation of Kuwait from the Iraqi invasion. In 1995 AIS was authorized by the IBO to offer the prestigious IB Diploma and it became a fully authorized IB World School in 2007-2008. There are more than 3,000 IB Schools around the globe, but fewer than two hundred of those are authorized kindergarten through grade twelve. We share that distinction with pride and a great sense of accomplishment.
The label “Great school” is not just our self-assessment; it is not just a widely held public view. It is also based on data collected on student performance by objective outside observers. The work of students in the PYP and the MYP is externally moderated by the IBO thus providing critical feedback to teachers. The Diploma Programme in grades eleven and twelve culminates in rigorous world examinations. Ninety percent of our graduates complete one or more IB courses and they perform near or above the world average. Most of our senior students are full diploma candidates. Many gain first year university credits by scoring well on these exams.
In addition to the rigorous IB standards, the process of continual betterment is fueled by solid data. In 2008, in collaboration with the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (a regional agency which accredits schools and universities in the USA), the improvement of student literacy and critical thinking were adopted as strategic objectives. Each year students take the International Schools’ Assessment (ISA) in grades 3, 5, 8 and 10 and their performance is compared to baseline data compiled since 2008. In most areas the trend in student performance is upward and we take remedial action where it is not.
One objective of our School Improvement Plan is to make AIS a paper wise campus and to enhance student performance through digital technology. The first installation of fiber optics at AIS was in 1995. iPads were distributed to all AIS staff in 2011 in preparation of school wide deployment in 2012-2013, and AIS became a fully covered Wi-Fi campus to support the school wide use of iPads as educational tools. This technology helps us stay digitally connected to the parents who are, according to our stated mission, the “first teachers of the child”. MOODLE, teacher blogs, and an interactive web presence enable us to optimize that relationship on a daily basis.
High turn over of teachers. Many new teachers with little or no experience. Being an IB world school is the reason it gets one star. The owners are the adult children of a doctor from Lebanon who served the ruling family. Being the children of a doctor does not qualify you to lead a school. AIS is a business instead of an academic institution and it shows.
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