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 3 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.
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, Next Generation Science Standards, and MCREL standards for Social Studies. The school offers French as a foreign language PK to 12, as well as Art, PE, and Music. All students learn Computer Programming from grade 1 through high school, including robotics for secondary students. The curriculum is written, published, and available to all families. 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), Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) testing, and the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA).
Faculty: In the 2020-2021 school year there are 8 full-time overseas-hired faculty members and a full-time director. This includes one full-time expatriate teacher for the high school program. There is a trained teaching assistant in every classroom. AISF recruits the majority of its teachers and the Director from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and Europe.
Enrollment: On the first day of the 2020-2021 school year we expect 64 students in PK to grade 12.
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 and K in a large, open-space learning environment on the ground floor. In 2011, AISF completed a wing that includes four 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 (the same company used by the U.S. Embassy), shatter-proof film on all exterior windows, a safe haven which is properly shuttered with steel doors meeting U.S. Embassy security standards, and 24/7 radio connection to the U.S. Embassy through the Embassy’s network.
Finances: For the 2020-2021 school year, annual tuition rates are as follows: PK: $6,500; grades 1-4: $11,000; grades 5-8: $12,000 and high school: $15,000 (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.
Information and statistics are current as of September 2020 and are provided by the school.