Taipei American School

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Taipei American School
Taipei American School Seal
Location
800 Chung Shan N. Road,
Section 6,
Taipei 11152
Republic of China (Taiwan)

Coordinates 25°6′57″N 121°31′48″E / 25.11583°N 121.53000°E / 25.11583; 121.53000Coordinates: 25°6′57″N 121°31′48″E / 25.11583°N 121.53000°E / 25.11583; 121.53000
Information
Type Public independent school
Established 1949
Superintendent Dr. Sharon D. Hennessy
Faculty 269
Enrollment 820 lower school,
586 middle school,
885 upper school
Campus Urban, 15 acres (61,000 m2)
Color(s) Blue and gold
Mascot Tiger
Team name Tigers and Tiger sharks
Tuition NT$626,310 for middle and upper school
NT$564,730 for lower school
Website

Taipei American School (traditional Chinese: 台北美國學校; simplified Chinese: 台北美国学校; pinyin: Táiběi Měiguó Xuéxiào; Wade–Giles: T'ai-pei Mei-kuo Hsüeh-hsiao; abbreviation TAS) is a private independent school with an American-based curriculum located in Tianmu (T'ien-mu), Shilin District (Shih-lin), Taipei City.

Founded in 1949, the school served as a U.S. Department of Defense contract school during the U.S. military presence in Taiwan from the 1950s to 1970s. Upon the termination of diplomatic relations between the United States and the ROC in 1979, TAS was reorganized into a private international school. The school is operated by the Taipei American School Foundation under contract to the American Institute in Taiwan, the United States' quasi-embassy in Taiwan.

Most graduates of TAS go on to attend colleges and universities in United States, although some choose to attend schools in other countries. As required by ROC law, TAS admits only students who hold foreign (i.e. non-ROC) passports.

History[edit]

The first meeting of Taipei American School took place on September 26, 1949, in the basement of Presbyterian Theological Seminary at Zhongshan North Road, with eight students. This marked the beginning of the "missionary era" where Taiwanese and American medical missionaries were instrumental in founding TAS and providing it with students. The first class of students included American, European, and Taiwanese students.

By 1951, the influx of missionaries and business people escaping from the communist victory in mainland China caused enrollment to grow to 120 students. By 1952, TAS was forced to relocate to Nong'an East Road to provide space for the growing student population.

In 1953, the U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group was established in Taiwan. This brought to the island a large number of U.S. military personnel. Along with these military personnel came their families, including children needing an American-style education. TAS became the school for the children of the U.S. military personnel. In the summer of 1953, TAS constructed a much larger campus at Chang'an East Road.

In 1956, TAS graduated its first class of 14 seniors. By then, the Chang'an campus had approximately 50 faculty members and 1,000 students. In 1957, Mr. Wayne Nesbitt served as the first superintendent of the school.

In 1959, TAS purchased a 22 acre (89,000 m²) site in Shilin for a new campus. In March 1960, the kindergarten and lower school moved into a 36-classroom 5-wing complex on the site. The upper school remained at the Chang'an campus until 1964, when the last upper school facilities were completed. By 1969, TAS enrollment reached its highest point ever with nearly 3,000 students.

Bordered on two sides by a river, the Shilin campus was prone to flooding during the typhoons experienced on Taiwan when the protective dikes were breached. Cleanup took several days as classrooms were dried out and mud and silt was removed.

In the 1970s Taiwan's transforming economy brought foreign businessmen and overseas Chinese into the local economy, setting the stage for TAS's later transformation, even as enrollment shrank dramatically as U.S. military pulled out of Taiwan. By the late seventies, student enrollment dropped to approximately 700 students. Within a few years, enrollment started to increase again as overseas Chinese with foreign passports arrived in Taiwan searching for American educational facilities for their children. By the early eighties, the majority of students were ethnically Taiwanese and also U.S. citizens.

In September 1989, TAS relocated to its present campus in Tianmu. To obtain use of the government land in Tianmu, TAS exchanged title to its Shihlin property for a long-term lease on the Tianmu site at a concessionary rent.

The 50th anniversary of Taipei American School was celebrated in 1999. As part of this celebration, TAS published a book documenting the history of the school: "Ties That Bind", authored by former director Richard Vuylsteke. In 2009, TAS celebrated its sixtieth anniversary.

Campus[edit]

Guy Lott, Junior Auditorium
Indoor swimming pool
Middle School Gym
TAS track and field
TAS atrium

The current 15-acre (61,000 m2) campus, completed in 1989, consists of a four-story complex with approximately 200 classrooms. In September 2010, TAS broke ground for the construction of three new buildings on its current campus: the new upper school building featuring science and technology classrooms with research and robotics laboratories, the Liu Lim Arts Center, and another gymnasium with covered and outdoor tennis courts.

Facilities include:

  • Wireless campus
  • 700-seat auditorium, a small theater, and lecture hall
  • A blackbox theater
  • Instrumental practice rooms
  • Cafeteria with two hot meal lines, a snack bar, a salad bar, a pizza bar, a baked potato bar
  • An outdoor Fitness Cafe beside the upper school library
  • Three gymnasiums, which are used for basketball, badminton, indoor volleyball, robotics competitions, and large informal school assemblies
  • An indoor 25m swimming pool
  • Indoor rock climbing room
  • Tiger Health and Wellness Center
  • Indoor tennis courts and terrace outdoor tennis courts
  • Three dance studios
  • Outdoor basketball courts and confidence course
  • A softball field made of artificial turf(installed in 2009)
  • An artificial turf field surrounded by a 400m track
  • Five libraries: lower school, middle school, upper school (Joanna Nichols Information Commons), Mandarin, and audio visual (AV)
  • Video production studio and computer lab
  • IT department with two student help desks supporting the grade 6-12 one-to-one laptop program
  • Lower school computer labs and netbook trolleys
  • Middle school and upper school robotics labs, with CNC milling machines, lathes, bandsaws, 3D printers, laser cutters, and full complement of hand and power tools supporting programs in MATE underwater ROV, Robocup soccer Junior, FIRST FRC, and VEX
  • A separate recreational area for seniors in what is called the Legacy Commons
  • A space for informal meetings, parent coffees and assemblies in what was formerly used as the Faculty Dining Room.

The independently operated Taipei Youth Program Association (TYPA) is located at TAS and uses the campus facilities. The school is located directly across the street from Taipei Japanese School.

Organization[edit]

TAS is divided into three divisions: lower, middle, and upper schools. The lower school (elementary) includes pre-kindergarten (known as Kindergarten A), kindergarten, and grades 1 through 5. The middle school (junior high) includes grades 6 through 8. The upper school (high school) includes grades 9 through 12. Each division is run by a principal and 1 or 2 assistant principal(s).

The superintendent serves as school head. The Taipei American School Board of Directors a hybrid board consisting of nine elected Board members and two appointed Board members. Elected Board members serve for three-year terms and appointed Board members serve for four-year terms. Board members serve without compensation and have the primary task of formulating and evaluating all school policies and overseeing the school’s financial affairs. It is their responsibility to see that the resources are in place to support excellence in all areas, always prioritizing the interests of the students first. The Board meets monthly and invites parents and faculty to attend these meetings. Board members are elected by the Taipei American School Association, which consists of all parents or guardians of children attending TAS.

Student body[edit]

The combined KA-12 school enrollment is approximately 2,280. TAS abides by the Republic of China Foreign Schools Law, which requires all international schools to only admit students who hold non-ROC passports.

Academics[edit]

The thinker is located in the main Lobby, after stints at other locations on campus.

The Upper School offers 24 Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Additionally, the school also offers 35 International Baccalaureate (IB) courses and IB diplomas.

The lower school is PK to Grade 5, the middle school is Grades 6-8, and the upper school is Grades 9-12 which is a college preparatory program leading to a TAS U.S. high school diploma or an International Baccalaureate diploma. Almost 100 percent of TAS graduates continue their education at a college or university, the vast majority in the United States. TAS offers support services for mild learning needs.

Blue & Gold[edit]

"Blue & Gold" redirects here. For other uses, see Blue and Gold (disambiguation).

The "Blue & Gold" is the school newspaper of TAS. It is also a member of the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA). Produced monthly, the newspaper is usually eight A3 full-color pages. Previously known as Paws, the Blue & Gold newspaper has won awards from the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA). In 2012, the paper also announced an online website as well as a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account to further connect with readers.

Notable alumni[edit]

Sports and organizations[edit]

Affiliations[edit]

TAS participates in competitive sports and cultural exchanges with the following Southeast Asian international schools:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]