American International School Riyadh: Excellence in Education

In the heart of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, stands a beacon of excellence in education – the American International School Riyadh, often referred to as AIS Riyadh. This prestigious institution has been synonymous with quality education …

American International School Riyadh: Excellence in Education

In the heart of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, stands a beacon of excellence in education – the American International School Riyadh, often referred to as AIS Riyadh. This prestigious institution has been synonymous with quality education for years, offering a holistic learning experience that prepares students for a global future.

In this article, we will delve into the various aspects that make AIS Riyadh an exceptional choice for parents seeking the best for their children.

American International School Riyadh (AIS Riyadh)

American International School Riyadh (AIS Riyadh)
American International School Riyadh (AIS Riyadh)

The American International School – Riyadh (AIS-R) is an independent, non-profit, co-educational day school located in North Riyadh Exit 5, next to Al Bustan Village Compound.

The school was established in 1963 and offers an American-based curriculum with a focus on international perspectives, following US national standards including the Common Core for English Language Arts and Mathematics, Next Generation Science Standards for Science, National Core Arts Standards for Fine and Performing Arts, C3 for Social Studies and AERO Common Core+ for other specialist courses.

AIS Riyadh is more than just a school; it’s a nurturing ground for future leaders, innovators, and global citizens. Established with a vision to provide an American-style education enriched with international perspectives, AIS Riyadh has consistently delivered on its promise of excellence.

With a diverse student body, world-class faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities, it has become a benchmark for quality education in the region.

The pursuit of excellence in education is paramount in shaping the leaders of tomorrow. AIS Riyadh understands this importance and strives to provide an educational environment that fosters critical thinking, creativity, and a deep understanding of global issues.

Excellence in education isn’t just about academic achievements; it’s about molding well-rounded individuals who can thrive in an ever-evolving world.

Read Also: Education for Expat Children in Saudi Arabia

Academic Programs

A. American Curriculum

The American International School – Riyadh (AIS-R) follows an American-based curriculum with a focus on international perspectives.

The school offers a range of academic programs, including English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Sciences, Social Studies, and World Languages.

The curriculum is designed to prepare students for higher education and beyond, with a focus on critical thinking, problem-solving, and global citizenship.

B. International Baccalaureate (IB) Programs

AIS-R offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme for students in Grades 11 and 12. The IB Diploma Programme is a challenging and rigorous program that prepares students for university studies and beyond.

The program is designed to develop students’ intellectual, personal, emotional, and social skills, with a focus on international-mindedness and intercultural understanding.

C. Extracurricular Activities

AIS-R students have the opportunity to be involved in a wide variety of activities through the After School Activities (ASA) program. Students may enroll in activities in a variety of subjects throughout the year, such as athletics, computers, music, fine and performing arts, etc.

In addition, there are a wide variety of clubs that offer service opportunities and develop leadership skills, including Student Council, Model United Nations, TED, and Eagle Ambassadors, to name a few.

The school also boasts a fine and performing arts program that includes student-written and directed performances as well as opportunities to engage in a variety of performances.

D. Specialized Programs

AIS-R has a Special Needs Profile to support students with exceptionalities. The school is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive environment for all students, and the Special Needs Profile is designed to meet the unique needs of students with exceptionalities.

The school also offers college counseling to help students choose an appropriately challenging schedule based on taking either the full IB Diploma or a different academic track.

Faculty and Staff

The American International School – Riyadh (AIS-R) has a dedicated staff comprising teachers, administrators, and support personnel who contribute to the school’s vibrant community. The school’s leadership team plays a crucial role in its operations, with individuals like Colin Boudreau serving as Superintendent, Mike Romard as Elementary School Principal, Ann Olsher as Elementary School Associate Principal, and Travis Klump.

AIS-R is proud of its diverse community, where the recognition of cultural differences and the promotion of global citizenship are core values. The school also provides support for students with exceptionalities through its Special Needs Profile.

Some key members of the school’s staff include Nestor Valencia, Creative Arts Media Manager, Kristy Cressey, Kindergarten Teacher, Christopher Scott Watson, Sarah Adlouni, Muhammad Zubair Sultan, Melissa Al-Ahmad, Ahmed Abdeltam, David Roach, Sundae Witkowski, Lucinda Summers, and Bryan

Faculty & Staff Number
Total Staff 181
Total Teachers 105
US Citizen Teachers 49
Host-Country National Teachers 2
Third-Country National Teachers 54
Full-Time Male Teachers 22
Full-Time Female Teachers 55
Part-Time Male Teachers 0
Part-Time Female Teachers 0
The American International School – Riyadh (AIS-R) is proud to maintain a diverse community that fosters the recognition of cultural differences and promotes global citizenship. The school’s faculty and staff are highly qualified and experienced, dedicated to providing quality education.
With a commitment to excellence, AIS-R maintains a favorable K-12 student/faculty ratio of 12 to 1, ensuring students receive personalized attention and support from their qualified teachers.
Facilities and Resources

The American International School – Riyadh (AIS-R) has a range of facilities and resources that support student learning and well-being. Some of the key facilities and resources available at the school include:

  • 130 classrooms, 120 of which have Interactive Flat Screens
  • 12 science laboratories
  • 3 technology labs
  • 5 STEM labs and 1 Robotics Lab
  • Learning Commons that provides relevant, dynamic, and intercultural resources that support curriculum and student interests
  • Health Services that are committed to providing the most up-to-date health and resource information for the AIS-R community
  • Dining Halls where purchases are subtracted daily and recorded in each student’s food services account, which may be checked online at any time
  • Athletics and Activities that are an integral part of the school setting and are designed to broaden the students’ experiences

The school also has a diverse community with a mindset that fosters the recognition of cultural differences and global citizenship

Read Also: American International School of Jeddah

Admissions

A. Admission Process

The admission process at AIS-R is designed to identify students who will thrive in the school’s dynamic and diverse learning environment. It typically involves the following steps:

  1. Inquiry and Application: The process begins with parents or guardians expressing their interest in AIS-R. They may initiate inquiries through the school’s website or by contacting the admissions office directly. If you are interested in making inquiries about the American International School – Riyadh (AIS-R), you can visit the school’s website at https://www.aisr.org/ and use the general AIS-R email address: info@aisr.org or call +966 (0)11 459 7500 during opening hours.
  2. Application Submission: Families complete the application forms, providing details about the student’s academic history, previous school records, and any standardized test scores. The application form may also require personal statements or essays to understand the student’s goals and aspirations.
  3. Entrance Assessment: Depending on the grade level, students may be required to complete an entrance assessment or interview. These assessments help evaluate a student’s readiness for the AIS-R curriculum.
  4. Interview: In some cases, an interview may be conducted with the student, and in some cases, with the parents or guardians, to better understand the student’s interests, needs, and fit with AIS-R’s educational approach.
  5. References: AIS-R may request references from previous schools to gain insights into the student’s academic and behavioral history.
  6. Admissions Decision: After reviewing the application, assessments, and interviews, the admissions committee at AIS-R makes a decision regarding the student’s acceptance.
  7. Acceptance and Enrollment: If the student is accepted, the family is notified, and they can proceed with the enrollment process, which typically involves submitting enrollment forms, providing health records, and paying any necessary enrollment fees.

B. Tuition and Financial Aid

The tuition fees at the American International School – Riyadh (AIS-R) vary depending on the grade level of the student. The school offers financial aid to families who demonstrate financial need.

However, the school does not offer financial aid to cover the full cost of tuition. Families who are interested in applying for financial aid should contact the school’s admissions office for more information. It is important to note that the school does not participate in the US Federal Student Aid program

C. Scholarships

AIS-R recognizes and supports outstanding student achievements through scholarship opportunities. These scholarships aim to recognize exceptional academic performance, leadership skills, artistic talents, or community contributions. The specific criteria and availability of scholarships may vary from year to year.

To apply for scholarships, students typically need to submit additional scholarship application materials along with their regular admissions application. These materials may include essays, portfolios, or evidence of achievements in their respective areas of consideration. The scholarship committee reviews these applications and selects recipients based on merit.

Scholarships can provide financial relief to families and offer students the opportunity to excel in their chosen fields while receiving a world-class education at AIS-R. It’s advisable for interested students and their families to check with the school for the most up-to-date information on scholarship opportunities and eligibility criteria.

Student Life

A. Diversity and Inclusivity

The American International School – Riyadh (AIS-R) has a diverse community with a mindset that fosters the recognition of cultural differences and global citizenship.

The school values diversity and inclusivity and strives to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students.

The school celebrates cultural diversity through various events and activities, including International Day, which is a day dedicated to celebrating the different cultures represented at the school. The school also has a Special Needs Profile to support students with exceptionalities.

American International School Riyadh - Global Citizenship
American International School Riyadh – Global Citizenship

B. Clubs and Organizations

AIS-R students have the opportunity to be involved in a wide variety of activities through the After School Activities (ASA) program. Students may enroll in activities in a variety of subjects throughout the year such as athletics, computers, music, fine and performing arts, etc.

In addition, there are a wide variety of clubs that offer service opportunities and develop leadership skills including Student Council, Model United Nations, TED, and Eagle Ambassadors to name a few.

The school’s clubs and organizations provide students with opportunities to explore their interests, develop new skills, and make new friends.

American International School Riyadh - Clubs and Organizations
American International School Riyadh – Clubs and Organizations

C. Sports and Athletics

The American International School – Riyadh (AIS-R) is committed to offering team and individual sports designed to broaden the students’ experiences.

The school has an extensive athletics program, participating in a variety of tournaments both inside and outside the Kingdom, giving students a myriad of opportunities to travel and play sports.

The school offers a range of sports, including basketball, soccer, volleyball, swimming, and track and field. The school believes that athletics is an integral part of the school setting and is committed to the development of each student through academic, athletic, and artistic/cultural endeavors.

American International School Riyadh - Sports and Athletics
American International School Riyadh – Sports and Athletics

Parental Involvement

A. Parent-Teacher Association (PTA)

The Parent-Teacher Association, commonly referred to as the PTA, is a vital component of parental involvement at AIS-R. Here’s a breakdown of how it functions:

  1. Formation and Membership: The PTA is typically composed of parents and teachers who are committed to enhancing the educational experience at AIS-R. It is a voluntary organization, and parents are encouraged to join to actively participate in their child’s education.
  2. Communication Hub: The PTA serves as a central communication hub between parents and the school. It facilitates regular interactions, updates, and dialogues between parents and teachers.
  3. Support and Volunteering: PTA members often engage in various activities to support the school community. This may include volunteering at school events, fundraisers, or assisting with organizing extracurricular activities.
  4. Advocacy: The PTA may advocate for the needs and concerns of parents and students within the school. They can voice feedback, suggestions, or concerns to the school administration in a collective manner, helping to improve the overall educational experience.
  5. Events and Programs: The PTA often organizes or assists in organizing events and programs that benefit the school community. These can include family fun days, educational seminars, or workshops for parents.
  6. Fundraising: The PTA may be involved in fundraising efforts to support various school projects, enhancements, or initiatives. Funds raised can contribute to improving the school’s facilities, resources, or extracurricular programs.

B. Parental Engagement

Parental engagement goes beyond the formal structure of the PTA and represents the active involvement of parents in their child’s educational journey. Here’s how it works at AIS-R:

  1. Open Communication: AIS-R encourages open and ongoing communication between parents and teachers. This includes regular parent-teacher conferences, meetings, and opportunities for parents to discuss their child’s progress and any concerns.
  2. Homework and Assignments: Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s learning by assisting with homework, assignments, and projects. This engagement fosters a supportive learning environment at home.
  3. Participation in School Activities: Parents are invited to attend school events, performances, and sports activities in which their child is involved. These events provide an opportunity to celebrate achievements and be an active part of the school community.
  4. Curriculum Support: AIS-R may offer resources and guidelines to help parents understand the curriculum and learning objectives. This empowers parents to support their child’s learning effectively.
  5. Parent Workshops: The school may organize workshops or seminars for parents on various topics related to education, child development, and parenting strategies. These workshops equip parents with valuable insights and tools to support their child’s growth.
  6. Parent Feedback: AIS-R values input from parents and seeks feedback on school policies, programs, and initiatives. This input can contribute to continuous improvement and alignment with parental expectations.
  7. Involvement in Extracurriculars: Parents are encouraged to support their child’s participation in extracurricular activities, whether it’s in sports, arts, or clubs. This involvement helps students develop a well-rounded skill set.

Overall, parental involvement, both through formal channels like the PTA and informal engagement, is pivotal in creating a supportive and enriching educational environment at AIS-R. It strengthens the school-community partnership and ultimately benefits the students by enhancing their educational experience.

Read Also: International Schools Group in Dammam

Alumni Success Stories

The American International School – Riyadh (AIS-R) has a growing alumni community, with many success stories to share. Here are some examples of AIS-R alumni success stories:

  • Julia Riedmeier: Julia Riedmeier is an AIS-R alumna who graduated in 2018. She is currently studying at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where she is pursuing a degree in International Relations and Arabic. In a video interview on the AIS-R YouTube channel, Julia credits her time at AIS-R with preparing her for the challenges of university life, including time management, critical thinking, and cultural awareness.
  • AIS-R Alumni Community: According to the AIS-R website, 90% of the school’s alumni are living outside of Saudi Arabia, and the alumni community continues to grow. The school’s official alumni network provides a platform for alumni to connect with each other, share memories, and post job opportunities.
  • Sports Banquets: The AIS-R Instagram page features photos of the school’s annual sports banquets, which celebrate the success of all the school’s sports teams. The banquets provide an opportunity for current students and alumni to come together and share stories about their experiences at AIS-R.
  • College Scholarships: The AIS-R website notes that the school is committed to the development of each student through academic, athletic, and artistic/cultural endeavors. Many AIS-R alumni have gone on to pursue higher education, and some have received scholarships to attend universities such as Ball State University.

Overall, AIS-R alumni have gone on to achieve success in a variety of fields, including higher education, international relations, and athletics. The school’s alumni community continues to grow, and the school is committed to supporting its graduates as they pursue their goals and aspirations.

You can also find reviews and ratings of AIS-R on websites such as Reddit at https://www.reddit.com/r/intschoolreview/comments/155jlje/american_international_school_riyadh_saudi_arabia/

Conclusion

AIS Riyadh’s commitment to excellence in education sets it apart as a premier institution in Riyadh. Its dedication to providing a holistic educational experience, coupled with a global perspective, ensures that students are well-prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

If you aspire to provide your child with the best in education, we invite you to explore the AIS Riyadh community and discover how your child can excel academically, socially, and personally in this enriching environment.

FAQ

  1. How does AIS Riyadh promote diversity among its students? AIS Riyadh actively promotes diversity by admitting students from various cultural backgrounds and fostering an inclusive environment through programs and initiatives that celebrate differences.
  2. Can you elaborate on the scholarship opportunities available at AIS Riyadh?
    • AIS Riyadh offers scholarships to exceptional students who exhibit outstanding academic or extracurricular achievements. These scholarships aim to recognize and support talent within the school community.
  3. What are some notable alumni achievements from AIS Riyadh? AIS Riyadh alumni have achieved success in fields such as business, medicine, engineering, and the arts. Some have become entrepreneurs, leading professionals, and influencers in their respective domains.
  4. How does AIS Riyadh prepare students for a globalized world? AIS Riyadh prepares students for a globalized world by offering International Baccalaureate programs, promoting cultural awareness, and encouraging students to engage in international exchanges

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