Our mission is to provide a culture of educational excellence, a nurturing environment, and an atmosphere of open communication. We aim to prepare a diverse student body for higher education; to inspire our youth to realize their potential; to foster life-long learning, tolerance, personal integrity, and democratic values; and to prepare our students to become responsible adults, with respect for different cultures and beliefs.
We aspire to be a world-class international school with a culture of high expectations, high performance and accountability.
AIS serves some eight hundred students from sixty countries, with about half of the total American or Austrian. The school is divided into three divisions -- Elementary (preschool to grade five), Middle (grades six, seven, and eight), and High School (grades nine to twelve). The typical class has twenty students, with many language classes considerably smaller.
Because of the international and transient character of our student body, the average stay at AIS is four years, with approximately 200 new students admitted each year. Many students, however, spend eight years or longer with us. Our Parent-Teacher Forum makes a great effort to help new families adjust to a new environment.
Our international parent community is predominantly affiliated with embassies, international organizations, and international corporations. Our local parents tend to work in private businesses or professions such as medicine and law.
The core of excellence at AIS is the talented faculty of teachers and administrators. Each of the three academic divisions is headed by a trained and experienced principal. In addition, the senior management team includes a Director of Athletics, Activities, and Events, a Director of Technology, a Director of Admissions, and a Business Manager. There are also trained and experienced counselors in each of the three divisions and librarians for the Elementary and Secondary schools. A full-time nurse-practitioner oversees the school's health unit.
The teaching faculty numbers over 100 persons. Over 70% of our teachers hold advanced degrees, with several having earned doctorates. A substantial majority (almost three-fourths) are U.S. citizens, but the school does have teachers of 10-15 other nationalities, including faculty from Europe, Australia, Canada, the Middle East, the Far East, and South America. The teachers at AIS are dedicated professionals with a commitment to on-going development, as demonstrated by frequent attendance at regional and international conferences, IB training, and subject-specific workshops.
AIS faculty range in age from 27-66, with an average and median age of about 46. The average stay of a teacher at AIS is over ten years, which greatly enhances the school's stability and continuity.
AIS is located in the Neustift-am-Walde area of Vienna, adjacent to the famous Vienna Woods, and provides an instructional setting in the midst of the physical beauty of the surrounding hills, forest, and countryside. On our 10-acre (4 hectare) premises there are seven interconnected buildings housing Elementary, Middle, and High Schools.
Overall, there are more than 70 classrooms, seven science labs, art studios, music rooms, four computer labs, two libraries, a theatre, two gyms, a cafeteria, health unit, and a separate sports hall (which houses three indoor tennis courts or two basketball courts or ten badminton courts). There are various offices for counseling, the International Baccalaureate program, division offices, technology, and faculty departments. The exterior facilities include a soccer field, a running track, an elementary playground, an outdoor tennis court, and an outdoor amphitheatre.
The land for the school was bought by the U.S. government in the late 1950s, using U.S. government funds obtained through the Marshall Plan, and the school occupies the premises in perpetuity. The school is built along a sloping hillside, making for many different levels and stairs. Because of this, AIS is not easily accessed by a student or parent with physical challenges.
AIS has approximately 870 personal computers, including one desktop computer lab, five mobile laptop labs, and forty laptops for check-out in the Secondary Library. Through our 1:1 laptop program, which will continue to expand, all students in grades five through ten already have a take-home personal computer. All classrooms have ceiling-mounted video projectors and SmartBoards -- touch-sensitive screens that replace the traditional chalkboard and facilitate digital manipulation of images and text.
At AIS computers are seen as a necessary tool for teaching and learning.