Awty International School
|The Awty International School|
|7455 Awty School Lane
|Type||Independent, Private, International School|
|Motto||An International School for an International World|
|Head of School||Ms. Lisa Darling|
The Awty International School is a private school located in Spring Branch, western Houston, Texas, United States, for students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12. With a bilingual program for French-speaking students from France and other countries, Awty is the largest international school in the United States and the largest private school in Houston.
Awty opened at 3736 Westheimer Road on September 10, 1956. Originally a pre-school, it was founded by Kathleen "Kay" Awty. The school initially had 27 students at the kindergarten and prekindergarten levels.
The school moved to 1615 Garrettson Street in 1960. It served grades preschool through six by 1970, and by that same year there were 250 students. The upper school division opened in 1975, and in 1976 four female students graduated from high school, forming the first graduating class. In 1979, Awty merged with the French School of Houston and began offering a bilingual program. That year, the school moved to its current campus.
On the school's 50th anniversary in 2006, a $5 million athletic complex including a 1,400-seat stadium, 85 parking spaces, and tennis courts was constructed.
Affiliations and accreditation
Awty is affiliated with the Mission Laïque Française. Agencies accrediting Awty include the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS), the Council of International Schools (CIS), the Ministry of National Education of France, and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands.
Awty is also a member of National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS), Houston Area Independent Schools (HAIS), and Texas International Baccalaureate Schools (TIBS).
The school has programs tailored to students who speak specific native languages. The school has English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Dutch, German, and Italian native language programs. All Awty students are required to take foreign languages. The foreign languages available include French, Spanish, and English.
The campus, with 15 acres (6.1 ha) of land, is in Spring Branch in western Houston. It is in proximity to the intersection of the 610 Loop and Interstate 10, and is northwest of it. The campus buildings together have 120 classrooms.
A three-story, 65,000-square-foot (6,000 m2), 33-classroom facility, called the Levant Foundation Building, is located near the school's entrance. Opened in 2012, the building includes administrative offices, a dining hall, two art rooms, and a digital photography room. This new facility replaced many temporary buildings. It and a five-story parking garage were the first phase of a four-phase, $50 million building program consisting of facilities designed by Bailey Architects. The second phase of the project was completed in 2014 with the opening of a new elementary building, which includes a computer lab, a media room, an infirmary, two art rooms, and a teacher's lounge and workroom.
Awty historically relied on the use of temporary buildings, and elementary school classes were originally located in the school's original building, "Big Blue."  Demolition of "Big Blue" was completed in August, 2014  to make way for the new Student Services Center.
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As of 2014 the school has over 1,550 students. This makes it the largest international school in the United States and the largest private school in Houston. As of that year the students originate from the United States, France, and 48 other countries. About 40% of the students are American, 30% are French, and the remainder originate from other countries.
Coach Lindsay Youngdahl is the head of Awty's athletic department. The athletic campus, Awty Field, is located at 1255 North Post Oak, adjacent to the main campus. Its opening ceremony was held on April 22, 2008. The athletic compound includes a stadium with 1,400 seats, four tennis courts, a press box, a polyethylene soccer pitch, 80 parking spaces, locker rooms, a storage facility, offices of coaches, and a concessions stand. In addition it has a running track that circles around the other facilities. The track is 400 metres (1,300 ft) long and has eight lanes. It has wide turns and a Beynon 1000 urethane surface. Stuart Holden, a midfielder for the Houston Dynamo and an alumnus of the school, attended the 2008 opening ceremony.
Prior to the opening of the athletic compound, each athletic team practiced in a different place. The tennis team played home games at tennis courts of other schools in the 5A district of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, and the tennis team practiced at the Memorial Park Tennis Center at Memorial Park. The track team historically practiced at several different stadiums of TAPPS 5A schools; in 2008 the team was practicing at the St. John's School. The soccer teams played only "away" games (games held at other schools or stadiums) before the opening of the new compound, and they practiced in a soccer field on the Awty premises. Annette Baird of the Houston Chronicle describes the former soccer field as "an undersized bumpy pitch".
Currently, students competing in swimming at Awty practice at Dad's Club.
Awty Athletics Team Championships
|TAPPS Girls Swimming||2011|
|TAPPS Boys Swimming||2014|
|TAPPS Girls Swimming||2014|
|TAPPS Girls Cross Country||1991|
|TAPPS Girls Cross Country||2005|
|TAPPS Girls Cross Country||2007|
|TAPPS Boys Cross Country||2009|
|TAPPS Girls Cross Country||2012|
|TAPPS Girls Cross Country||2013|
|TAPPS Boys Tennis||1996|
|TAPPS Boys Tennis||1997|
|TAPPS Boys Tennis||2002|
|TAPPS Boys Tennis||2003|
|TAPPS Boys Soccer||1988|
|TAPPS Boys Soccer||1989|
|TAPPS Boys Soccer||1990|
|TAPPS Boys Soccer||1996|
|TAPPS Girls Soccer||2003|
- Stuart Holden (Class of 2003) - midfielder for the Houston Dynamo and Bolton Wanderers.
- Clint Smith (Class of 2006) - writer, poet, and activist.
Ryan Harlan- NCAA National Champion in the Decathlon
- Hughes, Kim. "Awty school marks its 50th." Houston Chronicle. September 8, 2006. Memorial News. Retrieved on May 17, 2014.
- "About Awty" (Archive) Awty International School. Retrieved on May 16, 2014.
- Behrens, Tom. "Awty building planned for elementary grades." Houston Chronicle. November 19, 2013. Updated November 26, 2013. Retrieved on May 16, 2014.
- Farrar, Ross. "International school pupils to perform." Houston Chronicle. Sunday, April 16, 1989. Section C p. 1W. NewsBank Record Number 04*16*616464. Available from the Houston Public Library website with a library card.
- "Accreditations, Affiliations, & Memberships" (Archive). Awty International School. Retrieved on May 17, 2014.
- Wilkinson, Emily. "Houston private schools struggle with boom in applicants." Houston Business Journal. April 18, 2014. Retrieved on May 18, 2014.
- "Spring Branch Schools" (Archive). Spring Branch Management District. Retrieved on May 18, 2014.
- Baird, Annette. "Awty starts expansion project." Houston Chronicle. June 14, 2011. Retrieved on May 17, 2014.
- Baird, Annette."Awty International opens new $7 million sports complex." Houston Chronicle. May 19, 2008. Retrieved on May 17, 2014.
- "Texas Monthly's Guide to Private Schools Part Two." Texas Monthly. Emmis Communications, October 1974. Vol. 2, No. 10. ISSN 0148-7736. Start page 83. Cited: p. 89. "The Awty School/ 1615 Garrettson, Houston 77027"
- "Uptown Houston" Map (Archive). Uptown Houston. Accessed July 22, 2008.
- "Awty International picks interim head to lead school." Houston Chronicle. February 4, 2014. Retrieved on May 15, 2014.
- Hveem, Todd. "Athletics: Awty to inaugurate new stadium Tuesday." Houston Chronicle. April 20, 2008. Bellaire Sports. Retrieved on May 17, 2014.
- Cain, Josh (Associate Editor). "Meet the new headmaster of Houston's largest K-12 private school." Houston Business Journal. April 18, 2014.
- "Texas." Engineering News-Record (ENR), ISSN 0891-9526, 03/1998, Volume 240, Issue 13, p. 51 "[...]A new performing arts and athletic center for The Awty International School is being built by Brookstone Corp. Located at 7455 Awty School Lane in Houston[...]"
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