The American International School of Freetown (AISF) began as a U.S. Embassy-sponsored school in 1986. It is a non-profit, private, coeducational day school, which offers an educational program from age three through high school to students of all nationalities. All instruction is in English. For grades PK to grade 8, the school year is divided into three trimesters, beginning in September and ending in June. AISF offers high school education, grades 9 to 12, using an online system for academic courses with onsite electives in PE, Art, and Computer Programming. The high school year is divided into two semesters with the same September through June start and end dates as the rest of the school. For our virtual high school experience, we offer learners a choice between the Virtual High School or the University of Nebraska High School.
Organization: The school is governed by a six-member Board of Directors elected to two-year terms by members of the AISF Association. The association elects five members, and the U.S. Ambassador appoints one voting member. Membership in the association is automatically conferred on the parents or guardians of children enrolled in the school.
Curriculum: AISF has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools since 1994. The current accreditation was renewed in May 2018 through May 2025. The school’s standards-based U.S. curriculum follows Common Core language arts and mathematics; Common Core standards are also used in middle school social studies and science. In early childhood and elementary school we employ the International Early Years and International Primary Curricula. These two curricula do not affect the Common Core standards approach to mathematics and English language arts. The school offers French as a foreign language PK to 12, as well as art, PE, music, and programming. AISF’s aim of “preparing students for success in an ever- changing world” influences all aspects of the school program. All teaching materials are imported from the U.S. and the U.K. Parent involvement and a strong partnership between families and school are at the core of the school’s identity. The school is also affiliated with the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE), the College Board (SAT & TOEFL), Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) testing, the International Early Years and International Primary Curriculum, and the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA).
Faculty: In the 2022-2023 school year, AISF has 24 total staff including 7 teachers, 2 of whom are U.S. citizens, 0 host-country nationals, and 5 third-country nationals. Our overseas faculty come from the United States, Australia, the UK, Nigeria and Romania. The Director is a Canadian-British dual national. Our specialist teachers are Sierra Leonean Guinean, Belgian, and South African and the teaching assistants and support staff hail from Sierra Leone. The vast majority of our faculty hold master’s degrees and all hold teaching certification. The countries of certification are the United States, Canada, the UK, and Romania.
Enrollment: At the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, enrollment was 77 (Early Childhood/KG: 13 Grades 1-4: 24 Grades 5-8: 29 High School: 11). Of the total, 25 were U.S. citizens, 11 were host-country nationals, and 41 were third-country nationals.
Facilities: AISF’s elevated, airy, wooded school site overlooks Freetown and the Atlantic Ocean. The main school building houses grades 1-8, primary and secondary libraries, an 18-station media center, art room, large multi-purpose room, and administrative offices. The Early Childhood Center (ECC) houses students in PK in a large, open-space learning environment on the ground floor. In 2011, AISF completed a wing that includes 4 classrooms and a multi-purpose room. The school is fully air-conditioned, and the grounds contain a small grass playing field and outdoor playground equipment. Both the ECC and the main building feature covered outdoor play areas. Security measures in place include a razor-wired perimeter wall, a contracted 24-hour international guard service, shatter-proof film on all exterior windows, two safe havens meeting U.S. Embassy security standards, and 24/7 radio connection to the U.S. Embassy through the Embassy’s network.
Finances: For the 2022-2023 school year, annual tuition rates are as follows: PK: $6,885; grades1-4: $12,420; grades 5-8: $13,500 and high school: $15,810 (includes all resources). (All fees are paid in U.S. dollars.) In addition, the school charges an annual capital levy of $1,500 for students in KG and above. There is also a one-time development fee of $4,000 also levied from KG through high school upon initial enrollment.
Special Needs: Download the Special Needs Profile (Special Needs Sierra Leone, Freetown) for this school to learn more about their capability to support students with exceptionalities.
This Fact Sheet is intended to provide general information. Prospective users of the schools may wish to inquire further of A/OPR/OS or contact the school directly for more specific and up-to-the-minute information. Information and statistics are current as of September 2022 and provided by the school.