Kuwait Enterprise Awards 2017

8 MEA MARKETS / Kuwait Awards 2017 , American International School (AIS) is a thriving school providing a student-focused learning environment and an organization that is known to be mission-driven and highly engaged in the wider Kuwait community. David Botbyl, Superintendent, talks us through the school and how it works to support its students and prepare them for the lives they have ahead of them. Best International School 2017 In 1992, when Dr. Kamil Al Rayyes opened AIS within the Kuwait community, his hope was to offer both Kuwaiti and international students alike an education that would lead to either local or international post-high school learning. David explains how the school works to achieve this aim through its current approach. “At AIS, we represent a diverse learning community and are continuously focused on engaging students to graduate college- ready. From Kindergarten to grade 12, learning engagements require students to think deeply about the world around them, to inquire and debate, and asks them to take action to impact their local and global communities. Students use both traditional and progressive means to demonstrate their learning. We are committed to future-readiness and have invested heavily in our information technology infrastructure to create opportunities for both staff and students to engage and collaborate intensively inside of our school, but thoroughly take advantage of networking outside of the AIS campus. “As an International Baccalaureate World School we are part of a global network of premier schools offering a rigorous and balanced program of study. We offer three of the four IB Programmes: the Primary Years Programme from Pre-K to grade 5, the Middle Years Programme from grades 6-10, and the Diploma Programme from grades 11 and 12. Each of the programmes provides our leadership and teaching staff a framework for how we deliver our educational program. Within this framework, we are able to connect our students to the local Kuwait context to ensure that they develop an appreciation for their local customs and traditions while expanding their knowledge from an international perspective. Indeed, internationalism is a driver of our educational philosophy and a reason why our parents choose our school from a vast and growing number of options in Kuwait.” Another key factor that sets the school apart is its balanced curriculum and student focus, as David is keen to highlight. “AIS’s reputation as a school that nurtures and achieves balance through opportunities for students within, and as an extension of, the school day through athletics and activities is the reason why we stand out in the educational community in Kuwait. We offer a wide array of athletic activities and are upstanding members of both local and international athletic associations. Our activities include academic games and Model United Nations, a globally-recognized activity that brings students together in large conferences across the globe. “Our school’s arts programs are known throughout the country with our Band program having grown significantly in both number and quality in the past five years. Our Visual Arts program is annually recognized through a culminating art show designed and led by several of our grade 12 students and we annually celebrate our commitment to the Fine Arts Night by bringing together students across the school to celebrate the arts with our families and the community.” Being based in Kuwait offers the school many great opportunities which David is keen to showcase. “Kuwait offers us a rich opportunity to provide our students with a stellar education mindful of culture and tradition. We embrace the development of multiple languages and provide students with a program in support of both the mother tongue (usually Arabic) and English. Students also have the opportunity to develop proficiency in the French language. “The Kuwaiti culture is one we highlight throughout the school year in programming that celebrates the Arabic language and Kuwaiti holidays and commemorations. Our annual International Day festival highlights the learning we embrace at AIS that is rooted in mutual understanding and learning from another’s perspective. Islamic traditions and the appreciation of one’s faith is also a significant part of the student and adult experience. We have a large staff of over 350 with over 200 of those coming to Kuwait from other countries. At AIS, we take pride in offering our international staff a lens to better understand our local Kuwaiti and Arabic culture and to be positively impacted from their international experience as a result. This broad intercultural experience that we offer at AIS opens doors and has certainly led us to see ourselves as the best international school in Kuwait.” Ultimately David is incredibly proud of the success AIS has achieved so far, and foresees ever greater prosperity moving forward, as he proudly concludes. “Overall, we are extremely proud of our school and the learning experiences we offer students each and every day. We value learning and understand that to become knowledgeable, we must in turn accept the challenges that we have in our journey to become educated. The hopes and dreams of our Founder, Dr. Al Rayyes have been realized and we take both our Mission and commitment to the larger Kuwait educational community seriously.” KU170005

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