Parent Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
AAS’ name is the Anglo-American School yet British and American students account for less than 25% of the student body. How does AAS, as an international school address different curricular approaches from different countries?
This will vary according to their home country; however, AAS is completely in line with the programmatic approaches of other international schools in our region as well as around the globe. Depending on country of origin and region of origin there may be differences. Such differences are generally due to timing related to when certain concepts are introduced and reinforced, as well as when students are exposed to new concepts.
What can students and parents expect if they relocate to another overseas destination in relation to education?
Due to the close relationship AAS has with counterpart schools in ECIS (European Council of International Schools) and CEESA (Central Eastern European Schools Association), parents should expect students to do well regardless of where they are posted. This is especially true in that AAS’ focus is on the habits of learning and understanding, which are transferable to different environments regardless of the content.
In Rubicon Atlas, available for parents via our website. However, the best place to learn more about a child’s instructional program is always the classroom teacher as a first stop.
Teachers are expected to teach the school’s standards and programs for each grade level and subject. However, the techniques, pace, and delivery may be differentiated according to the needs, interests, and readiness of the students.
My son was in grade two last year and his sister is in grade two this year - the program looks different now - how can this be?
AAS embarked on a very tight curriculum update cycle. Changes were made according to our accreditation standards, curriculum cycle and through the introduction of new courses. Nearly every program has been upgraded since 2011. For example, after researching best practice and examining student data, the school began new maths and writing programs in the autumn of 2013.
Our program is very similar to other international schools. In addition, we carefully vet each program (from our initial research of the IB Diploma Program to our writing program in K-5) to make sure we are using the best available program and resources to support student learning. Middle School programing is aligned with the European League for Middle Level Education (ELMLE) and the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE). AAS is also accredited and authorized by organizations widely regarded as gold standards in accreditation and school authorization, namely the Council of International Schools (CIS), the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Moreover, AAS students consistently perform above the world average and international school average with respect to common assessments such as the IB exams and MAP tests. For example, AAS students IB Diploma pass rate is 97% (with most years being 100%) and the world IB Diploma pass rate is 78% to 79% from year to year.
The school conducts MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) tests from the NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) in grades two through ten. The specific tests are in Mathematics, Language Usage and Reading. MAP is an adaptive test, which means questions get more difficult as the student answers more questions successfully and vice versa. Thus, in a way, each student sits a personalized test. The school uses MAP results (among many other assessment tools) to monitor individual student growth and trends in a larger group's performance (for example, if a group of students consistently struggle with say figurative language, then changes to the approach of figurative language can be made). It is important to note that while MAP does provide growth information it is still merely a snapshot of student performance growth, not unlike the difference between one photo versus a feature length movie. It serves as an outside assessment that gives us feedback about students as well as longitudinal data about our programs. In June, the school distributes individual MAP test reports to students and parents. The MAP test has become widely used in international schools because it provides information on student growth in addition to merely a number in relation to a normed test. While this snapshot is helpful, the best indicator of student growth and performance is and will continue to be complex and a composite of many data points - namely, daily-observed performance in relation to the curriculum standards and social, behavioural expectations. For more information about the MAP test as it relates to parents, please see the following links - MAP for Parents and MAP Overview. To help further understanding, each year the school conducts a presentation on MAP as well as assessment in general.
Our school offers instruction in four languages at this time: English, Spanish, Bulgarian, and French. The backbone of our language program is the Common European Framework of Reference, which is what most international schools in Europe are using.
Our school has a trimester reporting calendar, in which parents receive specific information about their child’s progress every 12 weeks. There are also two parent (or student) conferences held each school year. Greater details regarding the above are found in the AAS Family Handbook under the subtitle “Assessment and Reporting in Action” as well as the broader heading title of “Communication.”