AISK Stories

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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 Certificate or Diploma, or any possible combination of those certifications, ensuring your child a path here in Jamaica, in the United States, and the wider international educational community. With a 98% success rate (8% of our students go on to the Ivy League), we are confident in our ability to bring out the best in your child.

Alumni

Kristina Harris Brown
Class of 2011,
Student of Veterinary Medicine

AISK is unique in many ways. The smaller class sizes allow for a closer personal relationship with teachers who really take time to cater to each student’s needs. This one-on-one help is not only aimed at helping students, but parents as well. 

College preparation is one such area where AISK really helped me. The guidance and assistance I was given in choosing a college was unmatched. I had never heard of the college I eventually chose until a college fair that was held by AISK. Also, The IB program, admittedly, is extremely challenging but it introduced me and prepared me for college level educational expectations. 

AISK’s relationship with technology has been extremely beneficial in expanding my learning. Having a laptop in classes to use for taking notes and preparing projects elevated learning in the classroom and prepared me with practical technology skills that I used throughout college and every day. This has been particularly useful during this age of online education due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

There are many things I could say about the time I spent at AISK, but to put it into just one word – unforgettable.

Read more alumni stories

Students

Zane 
Grade 11
Class of 2023

AISK is an amazing school for multiple reasons. Whether it’s the teachers, the academics or the sports; they all form the school we know and love AISK. It offers an amazing academic program and to make it even better, it offers a diverse amount of sports.

They embrace children learning what they love and finding what they love and that is something that definitely makes the school stand out. It gives kids an opportunity that not many people can have. AISK feels like a place I can look forward to and the idea of school stresses most people out, but AISK manages to make it a much more pleasant thought.

I think the teachers help to make AISK as great as it is. They always interact with the students and make them have fun. They know how to have the perfect balance between having fun and teaching. They make the classroom experience more enjoyable.

For the two and a half years I’ve been at AISK, I have enjoyed it so much and I really am glad that I have been given the opportunity to be here. 

Read more student stories

Parents

Shakira Walton
Class of 2025 and 2027

This is my fourth year at AISK.  It has been an amazing journey thus far. The first day of school my son jumped into the car and said “Mum, School was EPIC!” My eyes filled with tears. I said it was what? He repeated it again and started chatting about all the amazing things he had learned and what he could do. I, for the first time in my life, was completely speechless. This continued all year. The thing that stands out the most was, and still is, AISK's sincere interest in all the details of his life. Every bump in the road, big or little, is met with love, concern, and a new and improved strategy. AISK is always accountable and always looking for ways to enhance the learning experience of each child; not just the smartest, most popular, (and sorry to say) the most connected child, but each and every child. From the guard waving good morning to you at the gate, to the canteen staff who are genuinely concerned about your child eating a nutritious meal and not wasting their food. I am continually blown away. 

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CAZ' BLOG

Dr. Casimer Badynee
Elementary Principal

I think we all know the drill of the pre take-off safety and security “lesson” before heading anywhere on an airplane. “Ladies and gentlemen, we request your full attention as the flight attendants demonstrate the safety features of this aircraft... You must fasten your seat belt by inserting the metal fittings one into the other, and tighten by pulling on the loose end of the strap. To release your seat belt, lift the upper portion of the buckle…”  This lesson is taught a lot!  In fact, the US Federal Aviation Administration handles about 45,000 flights a day, which means the lesson is taught to airline passengers about 45,000 times a day.  

Recently, I ventured back to the US for a family wedding, and I used this opportunity to examine the pre-flight lesson. In many ways, the pre-take-off demonstration is a lesson with intentional learning objectives and outcomes. I purposely observed passenger engagement level, and it appeared (from my perspective) that there was very little engagement and that most passengers were not even remotely interested. I’m sure this is not surprising to anyone reading this blog.  

I want to examine the traditional pre-flight safety demonstration and share with you my thoughts on why passengers do not engage in the lesson. The typical pre-flight lesson consists of lectures, demonstration, possibly practice, and thinking skills supporting the following learning objectives: 

  1. Passengers will successfully fasten and unfasten airplane seatbelts.

  2. Passengers will identify emergency exits closest to their seats.

  3. Passengers will successfully place an oxygen mask on.

  4. Passengers will successfully place a life vest on.

  5. Passengers will recognize when to close electronic devices and/or use electronic devices inflight.

  6. Passengers will know the rules and consequences for smoking on an aircraft.

As I review the learning objectives with an instructional leadership’s perspective, a few things concern me. First, six learning objectives to master in a short amount of time may not be the best way to plan a mini-lesson. Targeted learning objectives designed for more than one lesson might achieve stronger learning results for students (the passengers). Second, many of the learning objectives offer low level thinking strategies, focusing more on recall than anything else. Bloom's Taxonomy or Webb’s Depth of Knowledge offers the instructor an opportunity to build lessons focusing on critical thinking skills and construct discussions focusing on analysis, synthesis, and  application. And finally, the stated learning objectives seem to ignore prior knowledge and expertise. Students (passengers) are expected to do the same thing, achieve the same learning outcomes, and engage in the same learning objectives despite their aptitude or mastery of content.

As I sat through it, I spent time mentally evaluating the flight attendant’s lesson and selected instructional practices. Hands-on activities and demonstrations are often valuable strategies when designing lessons. The pre-flight lesson attempted to engage the learning in hand-on activities. Unfortunately, participation in the demonstration was not encouraged (almost never encouraged on a plane) and the hands-on component was not student-centered or engaging.  The lesson was “scripted” and void of personality or style. It is clear the instructor (flight attendant) memorized the lecture and demonstration. The delivery of the lesson was “flat” and “mechanical.”

In assessment, the learning objectives seem obvious; however they are not explicitly stated. The flight attendants share little excitement for learning or an attempt to connect the content with the passenger (although one could argue that surviving a plane crash might be motivating enough!). Finally, two major components are missing from the lesson: checking for understanding and closure. 

What makes lessons engaging and dynamic? I believe lessons need to support inquiry and/or critical thinking, recognize students grow and learn differently, and connect content to a learner on a personal level. Teachers need to share an excitement for learning and a passion for individual growth. An excitement for learning should permeate the learning environment with authenticity and enthusiasm. And finally, at times the learner assumes the “driver’s seat” along with the teacher and at other times the teacher may sit in the “passenger seat” as the student leads.  Mutual learning and teaching are essential within dynamic lessons.  Learners make the best teachers and develop engaging lessons.

It is disheartening to note that the lesson I observed on the plane resembles many lessons in a lot of schools. Most lack differentiation, are absent of teacher personality or style, promote passive student engagement, and ineffectively integrate assessment strategies. This is a sad commentary of the majority of our learning institutions.

However, there is a difference at AISK! 

The AISK Dynamic Learning Paradigm (ADLP) leads teaching and learning. It is made up of three distinct values: Inquiry-based Learning- students learn first by asking questions, and learn best by following our curiosity; Differentiated Instruction- each child’s learning style is different, and so we need to approach each one a little differently, too; and Personalized Learning- students learn best when we can connect lessons on a personal level to who we are, what we love, and how we live.  These are the 3 building blocks that form teaching and learning strategies.  The ADLP tool is used to craft intentional learning experiences for all types of learners.  

Walking through any AISK classrooms at any given time, the observer would see active student engagement, enthusiastic teachers, and lessons connecting with a child’s passion and aptitude.  At times teachers are leading and/or following the learner.  AISK teachers are learners.  And AISK students learn to ask questions, develop passions for subjects and learning, and foster a sense of ownership with their learning.  At AISK, there is a symbiotic relationship between teaching and learning. Once you experience this relationship… you will never look back!