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The AIS Way

Welcome to Austin International School! We are a unique international community of learners where children and teachers come together from all over the world to learn in French, Spanish, and English.  Austin International School is committed to guiding every student toward becoming a positive contributor to the global community. Our academic program fosters independent thinkers, builds confidence, and cultivates a lifelong joy of learning through inquiry and exploration.

Based on the well-regarded French National Curriculum and aligned to the Common Core State Standards, we deliver a rigorous trilingual program with an international focus. At AIS we teach  curriculum across three languages seamlessly, allowing a sincere dialogue between cultures and languages, developing critical thinking, and enhancing collaborative skills.

We look forward to working with you as your children travel down a path of academic and personal success and we invite you to contact us if we can be of any assistance along the way.

Curriculum Framework

At Austin International School, much like we deliver our instruction across three languages, we do so across three curriculum standards.  At the heart of our program is the French National Curriculum and it is supported by the Common Core Standards, The International Baccalaureate Standards, and the ACTFL Language Acquisition Standards.This curricular framework allows our students to follow a holistic program delivered through a multicultural and multidisciplinary lens, promoting critical thinking, academic excellence, and social-emotional development. 

This ensures that students will be able to make a smooth transition into the American or French education systems -- or anywhere in the world -- after AIS. Small class sizes and a low student-to-teacher ratio enable a supportive learning environment and individualization of the program.

At the heart of the AIS program is the French National Curriculum published and maintained by the French Ministry of Education. The French National Curriculum has a longstanding tradition of academic excellence and encouraging student preparedness for undergraduate studies in countries across the globe. AIS employs top rated educators who are specifically trained in the delivery of the French national curriculum, but who are also prepared to work in collaboration with teachers from other systems to enhance their lessons through seamless integration of other pedagogical methodologies, resources, and experiences.

Learning is divided into a series of cycles prior to entry into high school (le lycée):

  • Cycle des apprentissages premiers (PS, MS, GS)
    • Early learning cycle (Pre-K3, Pre-K4, Kindergarten)
  • Cycle des apprentissages fondamentaux (CP, CE1, CE2)
    • Foundational learning cycle (1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades)
  • Cycle de consolidation (CM1, CM2, 6e)
    • Consolidation of learning cycle (4th, 5th, and 6th grades)
  • Cycle des approfondissements (5e, 4e, 3e)
    • In-depth learning cycle (7th, 8th, and 9th grades)

Learning objectives for each grade level and each subject are established by the French Ministry of Education and common resources are provided to all schools around the globe. By learning in this system, students may transfer comfortably between French National Curriculum schools around the globe.

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) is designed for students aged 11 to 16 (approximately grades 6 through 10). It provides a framework of academic challenge and life skills, delivered through eight subject groups, integrated through global contexts and key concepts. The MYP aims to encourage students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world, preparing them for success in further study and in life.

Key components of the MYP IB include:

  1. Interdisciplinary learning: Encouraging students to see the connections between subjects.
  2. Community service: Making a connection between what is learned in the classroom and the community.
  3. Personal Project: Completed in the final year of the programme, allowing students to demonstrate the skills they've developed throughout.
  4. Assessment: MYP assessment standards are consistent around the world. In order to assess student work, teachers match the student's performance against pre-specified assessment criteria based on the objectives of each subject group. 

The MYP is intended to prepare students for the further challenges of the IB Diploma Programme and the Career-related Programme.

The objective of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Initiative, developed in the United States, is to establish the minimum language and mathematical proficiency levels that college-bound students should have at each grade level, starting from Kindergarten. AIS has adopted the most important and relevant components of this initiative and through their collaborative work, AIS's educators establish curricular links between the French National Curriculum and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). As an independent educational institution, AIS enjoys the flexibility to adopt and adapt the standards that are most relevant to our students and their learning.

The CCSS skills-based components for each subject area are:

  • English Language Arts: reading; writing; speaking and listening; language; media and technology. The standards in this area also work to develop literacy skills in social studies, sciences, and technical subjects.
  • Mathematics: make sense of problems and persevere in solving them; reason abstractly and quantitatively; construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others; model with mathematics; use appropriate tools strategically; attend to precision; look for and make use of structure; look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

Students' progress against these standards is measured three times annually through the computer-based Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) tool. The MAP results provide instructors and families with important information about student growth against these standards and also allow for a comparison against schools similar to AIS.

For more information about these elements of our curricular framework, please consult the websites of the Common Core State Standards Initiative and NWEA's Measure of Academic Progress.

For the language acquisition components of our academic program, AIS has adopted the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages' (ACTFL) standards for 21st century foreign language learning. The standards outlined by the organization are focused on developmental goals in five areas referred to as The Five Cs of Foreign Language Education. ACTFL defines the Five Cs as follows:

  • Communication “is at the heart of second language study, whether the communication takes place face-to-face, in writing, or across centuries through the reading of literature.”
  • Cultures. “Through the study of other languages, students gain a knowledge and understanding of the cultures that use that language and, in fact, cannot truly master the language until they have also mastered the cultural contexts in which the language occurs.”
  • Connections. “Learning languages provides connections to additional bodies of knowledge that may be unavailable to the monolingual... speaker.”
  • Comparisons. “Through comparisons and contrasts with the language being studied, students develop insight into the nature of language and the concept of culture, and realize that there are multiple ways of viewing the world.”
  • Communities. "Together, these elements enable the student of languages to participate in multilingual communities at home and around the world in a variety of contexts and in culturally appropriate ways."

MAP Results

Austin International School students (green bar) continue to demonstrate excellent performance on the MAP Growth assessment, performing—on average—approximately one grade level above their peers in schools across the globe (blue bar), sometimes much more. Moreover, AIS students continue to demonstrate a competitive edge against their counterparts in American private schools (red bar). Below, you will find AIS results data for the areas of reading (KG and up), language usage (2nd and up), mathematics (KG and up), and general science (3rd and up).