American International School of Kuwait
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|The American International School of Kuwait|
|Elementary School Principal||Brian Head|
|Number of students||approx. 1,853|
|School color(s)||Green, blue and white|
|Athletics||All major highschool athletic programs.|
The American International School of Kuwait is a private school located in Meidan Hawalli, Kuwait, offering education from grades K to 12. The school has been a member of IBO since 1993. The school's curriculum is based mostly on the US curriculum, however religion and Arabic classes are provided due to the Ministry of Education's requirement. The school has a review in the Good Schools Guide International, which states, "The school has a relaxed yet purposeful air to it throughout," adding, "Given that a majority of the students do not speak English as a first language, they do reasonably well."
History and programs
The American International School of Kuwait was founded by Dr. Kamil Al-Rayyes, on September 4, 1991. It first opened in Surra, but in 1995, it moved to its current location in Salmiya, block 11, known as Maidan Hawalli. During the summer of 2004, AIS officially became an MYP school. The MYP system is for grades 5-10. After becoming an MYP school, many changes started to form. In 2005, AIS became an authorized Primary Years Programme (PYP) school. The school is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The school is also a member of the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools (NESA).
The American International School of Kuwait has been an International Baccalaureate World School since September 1993. It offers the IB Primary Years Programme, IB Middle Years Programme and IB Diploma Programme (DP). Currently, AIS educates 1700 students.
The school is the only fully authorized (kindergarten through grade 12) IBO World School in Kuwait (the only other school in Kuwait offering any type of International Baccalaureate is the American Creativity Academy; however, they only offer it at high school level). There are several thousand schools world wide that offer the IB Diploma, but fewer than 200 offer the IB programmes from kindergarten through high school. AIS Kuwait has been authorized by the IBO to offer the Middle Years Programme(Grades 6 through 10) since 2004 and the Primary Years Programme (KG through Grade 5) since 2005.
Campus, classes and activities
The American International School of Kuwait has undergone many changes over the years, the most noticeable being those made to campus. A state of the art theater style auditorium was built and it has a capacity of about 1,000 people. Many new classrooms were built and existing facilities, such as the bathrooms, were remodeled. The school sees continual improvements to the campus and has gone through major renovations each summer. In 2004, the new Kamil Al Rayes Theater was built. By 2005, the canteen was rebuilt, and the gym was replaced completely.
The school offers a wide range of classes, such as Math, English, History, Science, Individuals & Societies, Arabic, French, Drama, Fine Arts, Band and Design. All classes are taught by teachers who are mostly Canadian or American, though there are some other nationalities. The IB diploma is offered, as well as the PYP and MYP programs implemented.
AIS has Under-14 teams, Junior Varsity, and Varsity teams for several sports. The sports teams participate and sometimes host a national competition between other schools in Kuwait called KSAA (Kuwait Schools Activities Association). AIS used to be a part of a regional competition known as EMAC. As EMAC folded in 2011, AIS was involved in ISAC but now (as of 2014) participates in NESAC (Near East Schools Activities Conference) instead.
Approximately one half of AIS students are Kuwaiti. Twenty-five percent are also Arabic nationals from other countries, and the remaining quarter are non-Arabs. Students of all nationalities study Arabic, either as a first (for Arab nationals) or foreign language (non-Arab nationals), as required by the Kuwait Ministry of Education. Muslim students, regardless of nationality, are also required by the Kuwait Ministry of Education to study religion.
The school uniform for the grades K-11 consists of a white shirt with the AIS logo on it and navy blue pants, skirt or dress, and as of recently, an ID tag. The uniform must be purchased through the school, from an on-campus store, however the ID tag is given complimentary to students, but purchasing a custom lanyard is acceptable. Uniform regulations restrict girls to wearing skirts that cover their knees. Boys are only allowed to wear pants. Although the regular school shirt is white, seniors and KG-1 students are allowed to wear red shirts as well. Every year the administration allows the seniors to create their own senior shirts as an effort to make the seniors feel more special.
Graduates of AIS Kuwait attend English language universities around the world including Harvard, MIT, Yale, Stanford, Johns Hopkins University, UC Berkeley, Cornell, McGill and the University of Toronto. Roughly half of the approximately 120 graduates attend universities within Kuwait and the Middle Eastern region. The other half begin university abroad with the majority attending American schools. The graduating class of 2011, according to information provided at the graduation, received acceptances in more than seventy North American universities.