Sure Path to University
The academic program at AISK is designed to help your child succeed, wherever they go from here. Our dual-diploma system allows for a United States High School Diploma, an International Baccalaureate Diploma, or Certificate or any possible combination of those qualifications, ensuring your child a path to university admission in the United States, in addition to the wider international educational community.
The first is the IB Courses program, that allows students to pursue only the academic subjects that interest them. Students may take from one to six subjects in the IB Courses option. This path is perfect for the student who may have athletic or creative talents that they may have to devote an inordinate amount of time to hone their skills, as well as the student that may want to deepen their study in only a few academic areas.
IB Diploma Program - Diploma
Taking the IB Diploma Program further, students completing a full IB Diploma receive credit for many university-level courses, shortening their college career by up to an entire year. The six courses also includes a demanding core curriculum that requires students to take their education outside the classroom, incorporating group activity, creativity, and community service into a rigorous academic education.
The Extended Essay (EE) is a 4,000 word research paper and allows for the independent investigation, analysis and evaluation of an area of personal interest. The EE is designed to develop skills which other programs of study do not; these include the ability to find and critique information, and reflect on the process to develop critical thinking and organizational skills which can then be transferred to paper and thesis writing at the tertiary level and a skill to take into a career.
This is the first opportunity for students to delve into academic research. Students select a subject from those being studied on their individual Diploma, and together with their supervisor they develop a research question which leads to an in-depth research journey in order to answer that research question. Additional skills which will develop on this journey are selection, analysis and evaluation of appropriate evidence which enables them to answer the research question with minimal guidance.
Theory of Knowledge (ToK) is unlike any other course you have taken at school. While it is a requirement for the IB Diploma, it's a course designed to benefit everyone with its focus on real issues and what we can know about them. Many people find the course a bit strange at first. While you likely are accustomed to learning concepts and skills at school, you might not be as accustomed to the questioning involved in ToK. For example, while you might learn in Chemistry what the hybridization of the C=C double bond in ethene is, in ToK you might question "How can we know that a theory like hybridization in chemistry is true and will not be supplanted by a new theory in a few years?". In short, TOK asks the kind of tough, open-ended questions that require a lot of reflection and analysis because they don’t have simple answers and you can’t look them up in a book or just ask your teacher. It is this kind of questioning and thinking that is required in the world beyond school.
TOK seeks to answer two questions:
- How do we know?
- Why does this matter?
And, it focuses on the following skills that help us to navigate and make sense of our world:
- Being comfortable with ambiguity, uncertainty and questions with multiple plausible answers,
- Developing an awareness of your own perspectives and reflecting critically on your beliefs and assumptions,
- Fostering open-mindedness and develop intercultural understanding,
- Seeing and making connections between academic disciplines by exploring underlying concepts and by identifying similarities and differences in the methods of inquiry,
- Prompting you to consider your values, responsibilities and ethics.
Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) is at the heart of the IB program, and focuses on the holistic
development of our students and is life-changing! At AISK, the CAS program reflects a merger of
our core values with the IB Learner Profile and empowers students to
- develop and fulfill their social responsibility,
- develop a healthy lifestyle
- explore their imagination and innovativeness.
Students are encouraged to develop their interests and passions in this sphere of the program and it is often described as the most engaging part of school life. Students participate in all three strands:
- Creativity allows students to produce or perform an original piece,
- Activity requires participation in a sport or exercise program and
- Service facilitates caring for those most in need and/or the environment.
Students also design a CAS project where they make connections to their academic courses and reflect on global issues before identifying and selecting an authentic need. Interestingly, the CAS project promotes the development of life long skills including collaboration, problem-solving and decision-making. CAS is also carefully interwoven with the other core components of the program, the Extended Essay (EE) and Theory of Knowledge (TOK), as it encourages and develops research skills while enabling students to question their own assumptions of their knowledge of the world. CAS is a requirement for the award of the IB Diploma and to fulfill AISK graduation requirements.
Overall, CAS allows for students to enjoy the experience of the IB program as it complements their academic studies while developing their personal and interpersonal skills.
There is built in faculty support to aide students throughout this 2-year course of study. This core team along with the highly specialized and experienced faculty, train college-bound juniors and seniors with the important skillset that will serve them in university and beyond.
Theory of Knowledge
Michelle Ingham Extended Essay
The first opportunity for students to delve into academic research, the Extended Essay allows for the independent investigation, analysis and evaluation of an area of personal interest. Students select a subject from those being studied on their individual Diploma, and together with their supervisor they develop a research question which leads to an in-depth research journey in order to answer that research question. Selection, analysis and evaluation of appropriate evidence which enables them to answer the research question with minimal guidance are just some of the skills which will develop on this journey. It is a challenge, with the outcome being a 4,000 word research paper, is designed to develop skills which other programs of study do not; these include the ability to find and critique information, and reflect on the process to develop critical thinking and organizational skills which can then be transferred to future study
I’m always inspired through helping students to get to know themselves, build their own confidence and maximize their potential - inside and outside of the classroom. I joined the AISK family in 2015 when AIM was contracted to provide college counseling for the high school students. I am the founder of AIM, and the college counseling coordinator at AISK. Our team includes Stephanie Barrett, Head Counselor and Tiana Chung, Essay consultant. What stood out to me about AISK as a school was the level of commitment to student success and the resources and support available to the community as a whole. I’ve been a college admissions consultant for over 11 years. Just before that I spent 7 years studying in the US and UK; at Phillips Academy Andover, then at Princeton University and finally at the School of Advanced Study, Institute of Commonwealth Studies. I planned to work within the Government or perhaps the UN or Worldbank. Before starting AIM, I was a Senior Policy Analyst at the Ministry of Education and a tutor in the Department of Government at UWI. I discovered my passion for helping students in the college application process as an interviewer and alumni liaison to Princeton’s admission office.
I LOOOOOOVE those moments when I have nothing at all to do, but I do want to learn how to make floral arrangements.
Helping students perfect the art of expressing their personalities and passions through writing, specifically for the college applications, is one of my specialties. Something I have been doing since 2018. I am a graduate of Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics, and minors in Biology and Africana Studies. I am more than familiar with the demands of college admissions based on my own experience and was recruited and trained by Nicole McLaren Campbell while still a student at Vassar. A semi-professional dancer turned "Math Brain" turned word wielder, I also utilize my writing skills as a freelance Copywriter and Digital Marketing Associate, also helping to manage AISK's social media presence!
I love food and spend much of my free time curating content for her Caribbean food-based blog and podcast, WongaGyal.