AISM Overview and History
Over 40 years ago -- with the arrival of a large expatriate community involved in everything from missionary work to mineral excavation -- a need arose to provide an education for expatriate children. Thus, American Cooperative School came into being. Starting out with just a handful of students, ACS evolved into a school of over 600 students and was known as one of the top American-International schools in Africa. Shareholders of the school were, and continue to be; multi-national companies, members of the diplomatic community, and qualified local Liberians in search of a quality U.S. Education. A change in the economic and political climate during the late 1980’s and 1990’s discouraged many of the multi-national companies and diplomatic community from remaining in Liberia. When they left the country, the school population declined, and with the onset of Liberian Civil War, the school closed in 1988.
On October 8, 2007, after five years of peace in Liberia, the school reopened under a new name: The American International School of Monrovia. For the 2014-2015 school year, AISM anticipated over 150 students. However, the Ebola Crisis of 2014 led to a virtual shut down of essential services in the city of Monrovia, which led most international missions and embassies to issue an “ordered departure.” As a result, the Board of Trustees took the difficult, but prudent, decision to close AISM’s doors (under Government Decree that all schools in Liberia be closed until further notice) to ensure the safety of its teachers and pupils.
It was with great excitement that the Government of Liberia allowed all schools to open once again in early February of 2015, for AISM’s eight continual year of operation, signaling the containment of the Ebola virus, and the resumption of normal life, in the country of Liberia.
The crisis, however, did take a toll as the American International School of Monrovia looks to open its doors for the 2015 School Year with between 70-80 students in our Early Childhood Education program (ECE) through Upper School. Approximately 90 – 100 students are anticipated for the 2016 – 2017 School Year.
Recently, as the economic, political and health situation in Liberia have turned the corner and business conditions have improved, there has been a direct increase in enrollment due to the fact that companies and the diplomatic community brought in more expatriate workers and their families.
The American International School of Monrovia is a modern air-conditioned facility that, in the future, could once again enroll well over 600 students. Presently, there is ample classroom space for all of our students. In addition to the main school building, our facilities include a basketball court, gymnasium and weight room, and a soccer/baseball field. The curriculum is North American, the medium of instruction is English, and the student/teacher ratio is 6.7/1. AISM is in the pre-accredited stage by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. We have completed our 5-year strategic improvement plan, which will culminate in a visit from educational experts from around the world, in April of 2016, and result in a renewed U.S. certification for the next five years.
Monrovia is Liberia’s largest city with a population of just under a million. Although we are a capital city, Monrovia has a rustic urban feel. There are modest swim and tennis clubs; there are several nice restaurants, adequate shopping close at hand, two fitness gyms, and high-quality housing with central air conditioning. On long weekends and vacations there is a diversity of environments to explore. Picturesque African beaches, the highlands of the dense jungle interior, and rain forests are all within driving distance.
Theme for 2016 - 2017: “Year of the Mountain Zebra”
It is hard to believe how quickly time flies, as it is indeed my honor to be part of the AISM community for a sixth year.
AISM is a unique school, with a unique history that I am truly very fortunate to be a part of. The school is a vital part of Liberia’s reconstruction effort, after the country experienced both a period of civil unrest during the 1990's, and the Ebola Health Crisis of 2014. As her Excellency, the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf wrote in May of 2006, authorizing the reactivation of the school:
“As you know, the Government of Liberia considers the re-opening of ACS (now AISM) an important demonstration of confidence in the future of our country. The resumption of school activities at AISM would also remedy a major constraint on the repatriation of Liberian professionals who want to return home with their families and children.”
It is with great confidence and with great purpose that AISM begins its 10th year of operation, in bringing our students a quality, and fully accredited, International Education to this historic school site.
This is … AISM!!
“Year of the Mountain Zebra” – Transition and Transformation! School Year ... 2017 – 2018.
In 2012, AISM left its cocoon to soar to new heights during our Year of the Butterfly.
In 2013, we worked together during the Year of the Horse to help our students make measurable student progress.
… In 2014, during the Year of the Chameleon, we adapted and evolved to assist our students in meeting challenging new environments.
In 2015, we maneuvered and adapted to best meet our students' needs during the Year of the Swallow.
Last year, The Year of the Emperor Penguin allowed us to shelter and provide for our learning community.
This year, as we embark on the tenth anniversary year of the rebirth of our educational program, we are pleased to welcome the Year of the Mountain Zebra. Like the Mountain Zebra, our student population has continued to rise, as our students have proven to be nimble learners who can adapt to challenging environments. On the other hand, Mountain Zebras live in tight-knit families, just like AISM!
The challenges that we have faced since we first left our cocoon, some five years ago, have given us plenty of opportunities to learn, change, transform, maneuver and now expand to meet our students’ individual learning needs.
“The challenges that we have faced together, as a community, will clearly give us plenty of opportunities to continue to learn, change, adapt and transform!”
Full Policy Manual found available at:
The American International School of Monrovia’s mission is to offer its present and ever-changing student population a challenging curriculum (designed to meet or exceed U.S. Standards), while enabling AISM's student body to achieve their full social, intellectual, emotional and physical potential. Our intellectual community teaches values and good manners, is dedicated to academic excellence, demands responsibility and promotes the power of collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.
The American International School of Monrovia is committed to providing a high quality English language education, rooted in an American oriented curriculum for students from a wide range of nationalities and cultural backgrounds, within the city of Monrovia, Liberia.
The School pledges to maintain educational excellence and, in order to reach this goal, will:
• Provide a safe, nurturing and friendly environment for all students.
• Recognize the uniqueness and worth of each child.
• Teach the information, skills and processes that prepare students to function effectively in a rapidly changing world.
• Encourage students and cultivate in them an inquisitive nature as well as the love of learning so that both become life–long activities.
• Teach students the methods and disciplines necessary to be able to utilize effective study habits for the rest of their lives.
• Provide instructional programs that stimulate and challenge students, providing for their present and future needs, while consistently stretching the limits of their abilities.
• Help and encourage students to develop personal values, which enable them to be responsible members of society and as such to make their own decisions as informed individuals.
• Impart an understanding of the complexity and interdependence of people, cultures and the environment.
• Take advantage of the cultural diversity within the School and the community.
• Make full use of the opportunities and resources available to the school in any country.
• be aware of the often transient nature of our pupils and prepare them to transfer successfully to any other of similar level and quality educational institution.
•Encourage and recognize the importance of cooperation and communication between home and school.
INSTRUCTIONAL GUIDELINES AND OBJECTIVES
The American International School of Monrovia will strive to provide quality education that will permit and assist every student:
1. To acquire a mastery of the basic academic skills.
2. To master verbal and mathematical communication skills.
3. To acquire a positive attitude toward learning.
4. To acquire the greatest possible understanding and appreciation of oneself and the world around us.
5. To acquire an understanding and appreciation of persons belonging to the many social, cultural, and national groups different from his/her own.
6. To learn to be a responsible citizen, aware and responsive to the needs of others.
7. To understand how to keep healthy-both emotionally and physically.
8. To receive the opportunity and the encouragement to be successful and creative in one or more areas.
9. To understand and appreciate human achievements in the natural sciences, the social sciences, the humanities, and the arts.
10. To prepare for and live in a world of rapid change.
11. To require knowledge and skills that will help all students compete in a global economy and allow them to lead lives with integrity and satisfaction both as global citizens but also as individuals.
To achieve these goals, the curriculum of AISM will reflect the following guidelines:
1. The curriculum will be American, modified where possible to provide as international a perspective as possible.
2. The curriculum will provide a rigorous, challenging and consistent program that will capture students’ interests but will also prepare them for lifelong learning.
3. The curriculum should be complete and balanced within the limitations of resources and facilities.
4. The curriculum in each subject should reflect a coherent, orderly progression through the grades.
5. Because many students attend our School only a few years, the curriculum should be designed to permit students to enter this School and other schools with minimum academic dislocation.
6. Within the limits of our resources, the curriculum should offer special opportunities to meet the needs of all students.
7. The curriculum should be enriched by taking full advantage of our situation in an international setting.
8. The curriculum should be continuously reviewed by the professional staff and periodically evaluated for the Board to ensure that it meets the needs of our students and in order for it to be improved.
AISM 2017 - 2018
Early Year Program and Early Childhood Education Homeroom Team:
Ms. Mariana Cabrera
Ms. Gabriela Cabrera
Ms. Jennifer Oestreicher
Ms. Williametta B. Smith
Lower School Homeroom Team:
Ms. Mayah Selli
Ms. Kerry Kay Rowe
Ms. Cheryl Flah-Kiahon
Mr. Andrae Parchment
Ms. Melissia McGraw
Upper School (Grades 6-10) Homeroom Team:
Ms. Irene David T.
Ms. Siji Binoy
Ms. Suba Srikumar
Ms. Viola Johnson
Ms. Serdia Holcombe
Ms. Gabriela Cabrera
Specialists/ Support Programs:
Ms. Casian Morgan
Ms. Matsue Wiles
Mrs. Jihane Fazah
Mrs. Sara Metwary
Ms. Gabriela Cabrera
Ms. Hassia Trudeau
AISM 2017 – 2018
Mr. Arun Gopalan: Accounts Manager
Ms. Viola Johnson: Teaching Principal
Ms. Cheryl Flah-Kiahon: Testing and Reading Coordinator
Mr. Jeff Trudeau: Director