Leysin American School
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (July 2010)|
|Leysin American School (LAS)|
|Director||Dr. Marc-Frederic Ott|
|Average class size||14 students|
|Student to teacher ratio||8:1|
|Color(s)||Black/dark blue, white and beige(pants only)|
|Athletics||11 Interscholastic Sports
11 Interscholastic Teams
|Mascot||Le Chamois (Mountain Billy Goat)|
Leysin American School (also called LAS), founded in 1961 by Fred and Sigrid Ott., is a co-educational independent boarding school focusing on university preparation for grades 8–12 (as well as optional PG and 13th grades). Roughly 340 students attend the school and English is the language of instruction. It is located in the alpine resort village of Leysin, Vaud, Switzerland, two hours east of Geneva. The international school is home to students from sixty countries. Approximately 12% of students are American. Students pursue either the American high school diploma  or the International Baccalaureate, with additional options of individual IB classes to suit particular interests. LAS also offers an extensive summer school, a pre-high school program for grade 8, and an ESL program. In October 2010, the school celebrated its fiftieth anniversary and officially inaugurated the opening of the newly renovated Grand Hotel which was originally built in 1892 and houses IB students. LAS facilities include various classroom layouts (including open-plan classrooms in the IB facility), a media center, libraries, blackbox theater, performance hall, computer lab, a new art center, and access to horseback riding, ice skating, tennis, hockey, and swimming. The faculty to student ratio at LAS is 1:8 and the average class size is 14. LAS employs 72 full-time faculty, of which almost all live on campus; 95% are native English speakers, and 70% hold advanced degrees.
Throughout the year students and faculty take educational trips to destinations around the globe. Due to the ease of European travel, students often take weekend trips to other countries in Europe and other parts of the world.
There are mandatory trips referred to as Cultural Trips, which take students to numerous countries, including Romania, Croatia, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, and many more. Leysin is a two hour train ride away from Geneva, and an hour from Montreux.
There are eight dormitories for the students, divided by class and by gender. Savoy is the 10th, 11th, and 12th grade boys' dorm. It is home to one of the school’s dining halls, many classrooms, administration offices, and one of the school’s libraries. Vermont is the 8th and 9th grade girls' dorm, and houses the Travel Office and bookstore. Eden is the 8th, 9th and 10th grade boys’ dorm. Beau Site is home to the 10th and 11th grade girls, as well as the Red Frog student lounge. The new Belle Époque campus is home to almost all 11th and 12th grade full IB boys and girls, with the students living in separate wings, and taking classes there as well.
Purchase of Grand Hotel
On June 13, 2008, the Leysin American School purchased the historic 'Grand Hôtel' at the upper edge of the Leysin village. The 10,000 square meter building and 4.3 hectare grounds were developed in 1890, during the Belle Époque period as a lavish hotel and sanatorium clinic for the world's elite families. In the early 1980s, after decades of transition in Leysin from health clinics to education centers, the complex became the home of the American College of Switzerland. Major renovations to the building have been completed and it is now home to the new LAS IB campus. This campus has a dining hall, the Grand Salle ballroom, new Art Center, The Cave lounge for students, a library, computer lab, and the boys’ and girls’ dormitories.
Leysin is a popular ski and snowboard resort town in Switzerland. Taking full advantage of this opportunity during ski season (January–March) LAS allows students to spend the afternoon of Tuesday and Thursday on the mountain, either taking lessons (given by instructors from the town) or free skiing/snowboarding.
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