American International School of Rotterdam

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The American International School of Rotterdam
American International School of Rotterdam (2).JPG
Type Private International School
Established 1959
Director Neal Dilk
Faculty Approx. 60
Grades Pre-K (3 year olds) through Grade 12
Number of students 260
Athletics Baseball, Softball, Basketball, Swimming, Track and Field, Volleyball
Mascot The Shark
Arts Music, Theater, Photography, Visual arts
Nationalities 40+
Languages taught 8

The American International School of Rotterdam (AISR) is an International school in Hillegersberg, Netherlands, a family-friendly green area of Rotterdam. Hillegersberg is near to the beautiful Het Lage Bergsche Bos (Woods) and ten minutes from the 'Rotterdam The Hague' Airport. The modern school building is on a secure campus and has the very latest of facilities. Children can attend the school for a maximum of 15 years, from Pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade.


AISR was founded in 1959 to educate the post-war growth of American families brought to the area by the U.S. Military and international business. Over the following fifty years, the military presence in the area declined and the school has focused on becoming a more internationally minded school catering for a much more culturally-diverse population.

The school is governed by a Board of Trustees appointed for 3-year terms and operates under the auspices of the "Stichting (Private Foundation) The American International School of Rotterdam."

AISR is a member of the Northwest European Council of International Schools] (NECIS) and the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE). The American International School of Rotterdam is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS). AISR is also an IB World School and as such has met and maintains the standards set out by the International Baccalaureate Organization. AISR has introduced the internationally recognized International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC).

The school Director is Neal Dilk, who joined AISR in 2011.

The school has four academic areas, Early Learning and Elementary (Elementary Schools) Middle and High School (Secondary Schools).


As with most schools, admissions to AISR are made with an agreement that the student's needs, academic, social and physical can be met. The language of instruction is English and students can ultimately achieve a US High School (AISR) diploma as well as having the option of earning the IB (International Baccalaureate) diploma.

ESL support is provided, but in the High School a reasonable knowledge of academic English is required. A child applying for the Pre-Kindergarten One Program must be three years old prior to October 20. Similarly, a child applying for the Pre-Kindergarten Two program must be four years old prior to October 20. A child must be five years old before October 20 to enter Kindergarten; and six years old before October 20 to enter Grade 1.

The school does not discriminate on the basis of nationality, creed, or ethnic origin in its admissions policies or administration of its educational programs. They welcome diversity. Applicants to the school are selected on the basis of previous academic records, standardized test scores, level of English ability (beginning at grade 5) and the personal academic interview. The Admissions Committee members makes the final decision regarding entrance to the AISR.


Early Learning and Elementary Schools[edit]

The core academic subjects of Language Arts (English), Mathematics, Science and Social Studies are taught by home grade teachers.

In addition, students’ learning experiences are enriched by specialists in a range of mother-tongue languages and Dutch as a Foreign Language, computer studies, music, art, library, physical education, and English as an Additional Language (EAL). The faculty encourages students to value and respect the variety of different cultures represented in the school community.

Early Learning

Grades: Pre-Kindergarten 1 (PK 1) and Pre-Kindergarten 2 (PK 2) (approximately ages 3–4)

In Pre-Kindergarten 1 and 2, children do a variety of activities and learning strategies for growth and development over the year. Coupled with the traditional academics such as recognizing numbers and letters, children experience many hands-on activities and field trips to learn the fundamentals of geometry, measurement, cultural awareness, problem solving and gross and fine motor development.

Elementary School

Grades: Kindergarten and 1-5 (approximately ages 5–10)

AISR offers an engaging curriculum to challenge students for future success in life. Students are involved in authentic learning opportunities where they develop problem-solving skills and a natural curiosity for the world around them. This combined with our small classes and individual support for students ensures student success.

In Language Arts and Mathematics, we use the Common Core Standards as the basis for our curriculum. The International Primary Curriculum guides the Social Studies and Science curricula using a theme-based, integrated approach.

Language Arts

Reading Workshop: We help students foster a love of reading and give them chances to practice reading strategies independently and with guidance. Students read a range of texts for a variety of purposes.

Writer’s Workshop: Our students write every day for real purposes about things that interest them. Students learn the craft of writing through practice, conferring and studying mentor texts. The ultimate goal is to develop lifelong writers.

Words Their Way is a developmental spelling, phonics, and vocabulary program. Words Their Way is intended to be a part of a balanced literacy plan that includes fluency, comprehension and writing. Word study is implemented as a small component of the literacy plan, but it is also interwoven in actual reading and writing texts.


Investigations is a research-based program that supports students in making sense of mathematics and helps them learn to be mathematical thinkers. Students are provided with practical work encompassing mathematical areas including rational numbers, geometry, measurement, data, and early algebra with computational fluency as a major goal.

AISR uses the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), a “world class, brain-friendly, comprehensive and practical curriculum, delivering subject, personal and international knowledge, skills and understanding." The IPC provides the support teachers and students need to help elementary children learn as 21st century international citizens. The IPC focuses on academic and personal development, and the development of global awareness. Learning is active and engaging, and, above all, meaningful to children.

Middle School[edit]

The Middle School program at AISR begins in Grade 6. All returning students from the Elementary School will have participated in transition days at the end of Grade 5. They will also have had the opportunity to talk with Middle School students in informal sessions and to shadow a current Middle School student for a day. New students also meet with staff and visit the classrooms during the orientation day procedures.

The school has adopted the International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) as a natural extension to the lower school's International Primary Curriculum (IPC). Students also participate in various “exploratories,” including Drama, Music, Visual Art, Health, Physical Education and Advisory.

Aside from a diverse curricular, involvement with sports dominate the Middle School, along with the High School, but students also can take part in drama production, school band and various other non-academic activities.

High School[edit]

The High School (Grades 9-12) curriculum consists of a core program in English, Mathematics, Science, Modern Languages, and Social Studies. In the pre-IB years of Grades 9 and 10, students make selections that will prepare them for the International Baccalaureate Diploma, a rigorous program that provides a framework for our curriculum and guides our approaches to learning. Those who move into Grades 11 and 12 may choose to participate in the full IB Diploma Program. This program is a university preparation course of study that is recognized as meeting university entrance requirements in over 100 countries in the world.

Students not choosing to participate in the full IB Program usually take one or two IB courses along with other high school courses offered at AISR, that meet the requirements for the AISR High School Diploma. Non-IB courses are taught at the level of a typical university preparatory course found in U.S. high schools and include a range of offerings in laboratory/experimental sciences, mathematics, literature, world languages, history, and electives such as visual arts, music, and media and publications.

The High School's curriculum has been augmented by the development of an online learning lab to enable 'specialized' classes, outside of the regular teaching curriculum, to be accessed. In grades 6-12, all students participate in a 1:1 laptop program

School life[edit]


AISR participates in the Northwest European Council of International Schools (NECIS) sports program. Students can participate competitively against other schools in soccer, volleyball, basketball, swimming, softball, and track and field. There is a "no try-out" policy in place at AISR which simply means that all who would like to take part are encouraged to join a team.

AISR competes in sports with other NECIS high schools on two levels: Junior Varsity and Varsity. The other schools in this conference are: Antwerp International School, International School of Amsterdam, American School of the Hague, American International School of Luxembourg, International School of Düsseldorf, Bonn International School, International School of Hamburg, International School of Stavanger, and Sigtuna International School (Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket) in Sweden.

Students must maintain a satisfactory academic standard in all courses in order to participate in sports. At the end of each school year exceptional students are chosen as AISR's "Athlete of the Year". This honor is not necessarily given to the most talented students, but is rather given to those individuals who have helped their teams, coaches, and themselves during the year. The school also selects and features an "Athlete of the Week".

Global Issues Network (GIN)[edit]

The AISR Global Issues Network (GIN) began in the fall of 2004. AISR was involved in the foundation and evolution of the Global Issues Network – Europe. The creation of this network was greatly influenced by the book High Noon: 20 Global Problems; 20 Years to Solve Them by J.F. Rischard, former World Bank vice-president for Europe.

Model United Nations[edit]

AISR's Model United Nations team has participated in The Hague International Model United Nations and other MUNs for almost 40 years.

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)[edit]

Creativity, Activity and Service are the fundamental components of the International Baccalaureate’s CAS program. In order to obtain an IB diploma, a candidate must fulfill this two-year program. Additionally, college preparatory candidates who are not taking this IB diploma must complete an alternative two year version of this program.

Community of Respect (COR)[edit]

The American International of Rotterdam is committed to providing a caring, secure, positive and respectful environment in which students can learn and develop as individuals and where adults can help them to do so. AISR's Community of Respect actively supports all behaviors that enhance learning and support the development of healthy interpersonal relationships. The Community Of Respect is a school-wide initiative.

Other information[edit]

AISR is working towards becoming an Eco School - and joint the Eco Schools green flag program in November 2012.[1]


  1. ^ "Eco-Schools". Archived from the original on 2013-02-23. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°57′49.3838″N 4°30′10.104″E / 51.963717722°N 4.50280667°E / 51.963717722; 4.50280667