General School Procedures

I. Academic Expectations

The AISM administration and faculty have high expectations for the students. They are expected to meet their responsibilities and take an active role in their education by:

  • Being to class on time,
  • Being prepared for class,
  • Being attentive in class,
  • Participating in activities, and
  • Completing all assignments.

II. Admission

Students are admitted to AISM after parents complete the necessary Admission Form that includes the students’ former report cards. Admittance is subject to final approval by the Director and/or Admission Committee.

The following policies are in effect concerning admission to AISM:

  • Students must be 3 years old on or prior to October 31sr the year they enter ECE I
  • Students must be 4 years old on or prior to October 31st the year they enter ECE II
  • Students must be 5 years old on or prior to October 31st the year the enter ECE III/Kindergarten

GENERAL ADMISSION GUIDELINES:

Students who are entering the Early Childhood Education Program must provide the school with vaccination records.

The admittance of children from the diplomatic community will take precedence over children of non- diplomats when the class limit of twenty has been reached.

Students who come from a local Liberian institution (on a different academic caldendar) will be evaluated over a two-month period. At the conclusion of this time period, a determination will be made as to the placement of the child and the acceptance of credits from the previous school. The children will be placed in the appropriate grades based on their age and academic level.

The school is presently not staffed to meet the needs of children with learning disabilities. A child will not be admitted if they require Individualized Education Program that our present staff is not able to fully and adequately meet.

Students who have a record of disciplinary problems will not be admitted, and current students can be dismissed for similar reasons as per school policy.

The medium of instruction at AISM is English. In order for students to progress academically, they must be able to communicate in the English language. Parents of students who are admitted with an English proficiency below what is needed in class may be asked to provide additional tutorial support after school.

III. School Day

The school day for students is 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The After School Activities Program runs from 3:45 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.

IV. After School Activities Program (ASAP)

The school organizes an After School Activities Program for students in ECE II and higher. These activities are scheduled each afternoon from 3:45 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Most activities change on a quarterly basis, and students are encouraged to change activities in order to experience a wide-range of opportunities.

Students who are on campus must be supervised at all times. Only students registered for and participating in an activity may remain on campus after 3:30 p.m. All other students must either be picked up by their parents or take the bus service home.

V. School Dismissal and Pick-up

  • Please make certain that your child is picked up from school at the appropriate dismissal time.
  • Please keep in mind that young children may become upset if they are not picked up on time.
  • Kindly call the school’s office if you will be late.
  • All ECE students must be picked up from our gate by a registered adult. Older siblings (under 18 years old) may not pick up ECE students.
  • No students of any grade level are permitted to go home with another student unless the parent has sent in written permission beforehand or called the school’s office to inform the Director General.
  • Students are not permitted to make calls from the School Office at dismissal time to make their social plans. All students are told to go home first and then make their plans with their parents.

NO student is permitted to stay after school unless they are involved in an after-school activity or sport. Students must be picked up promptly when the activity ends.

VI. Attendance

In order to be successful in their educational program, students need to attend classes every day. While an occasional absence will not affect a student’s development, repeated or extended absences may. It is expected that parents plan holidays around the school calendar in order to convey the message to students and teachers, that you, as parents value their work and efforts.

If a student is absent for more than 10 days in a semester, they may not be able to receive academic credit for that semester.

  • Absences: When your child is absent from school, please call the school early in the day to inform us that this is the case. For security reasons we want to ensure that your child is safe and not unattended between home and school.
  • Tardiness: Parents must ensure that students arrive at school no later than 8:25 a.m. Classes begin at 8:30 a.m. promptly.
  • Planned Absence: Planned absences while school is in session are highly discouraged. If the necessity arises, parents are asked to give the office and teachers several days notice.
  • Vacations and Other Extended Absences: Parents are encouraged to arrange their vacations to coincide with the school’s calendar. When this is impossible, parents are asked to notify the office and teachers immediately to arrange assignments for the expected time of absence. It is the responsibility of the students and parents to insure that any material missed during the absence is covered. Teachers are not required to take more than normal time to assist the student in make-up work. When a student is absent due to sickness, arrangements can be made with a sibling or another student to take the assignments home to the sick student.

A student will not be readmitted to school following an absence without a note from the parents. This note is to be turned in to the office. When a child is tardy they will also need to report to the office first or they will not be admitted to the classroom.

VII. Class Preparation

Students are expected to arrive to every class prepared. This includes bringing textbooks, notebooks, pens and/or pencils, homework, gym clothes, and any other materials assigned by the teacher. Consequences for failure to be prepared are at the discretion of the individual teacher.

VIII. Homework Policy – General

ECE I, II, III - may have homework on occasion

  • Grades 1-3   15 - 30 minutes per night
  • Grades 4-5   30 - 45 minutes per night
  • Grade 6        45 - 60 minutes per night
  • Grade 7         1 - 1 1/2 hours a night
  • Grades 8 +    1 1/2 - 2 hours a night

ESL students may need more time to complete their assignments, but should never spend more than 3 hours per night.

IX. Grading

ECE I, II, III: The report reflects three areas of growth: intellectual, social and emotional.

Grades 1 – 4: The report is an attempt to individualize the reporting so that it reflects the child’s progress in relation to individual ability and effort. Marks used are “above grade level”, “at grade level”, and “below grade level”, also “outstanding”, “satisfactory”, and “needs improvement”. Please note that these are “criteria based” and vary based on student performance.

Grades 5 and higher: Students receive academic grades depending on the individual subject areas.

GRADING SCALE



There are three trimesters of approximately 13 weeks in length. Report cards are sent home at the end of each marking period. Reporting students’ progress is enhanced by parent conferences throughout the school year. Progress reports will be issued to all students at the midpoint of each quarter regardless of how the student is performing in class.

X. Conferences

Student Led Conferences are scheduled following the distribution of the first and third quarter report cards. Students are encouraged to lead the academic conference. This is a time for parents, students, and teachers to talk about student progress and to plan strategies to help students be more successful. Parents are also encouraged to schedule conferences at any time during the year if they feel there is a need to do so.

OPEN HOUSE

Open House is scheduled in September and is a time for parents to visit the school on a less formal basis. Teachers will have children’s work on display as well as materials used for daily instruction. Open House is not a time for parents to discuss their own children and their progress. Individual conferences may be scheduled with the teacher at any other time to meet this objective.

XI. Partnership

In order to help students develop to the best of their potential, AISM believes that a home-school partnership is vital. Parents can help the school by:

  • Going directly to the teacher when there is a question or problem
  • Expecting students to do their own work
  • Providing a separate area for study
  • Taking an active interest in what students are doing in class
  • Not bringing items forgotten by a student to school
  • Not taking students out of school for family vacations, etc.
  • Attending Open House and Parent Conferences
  • Becoming an active, positive member of our AISM community.

In order to maintain a parent-school partnership for the students, it is important for all of us to maintain good communication.

XII. Medical Emergencies

First Aid for minor scratches, cuts, bruises, etc. will be administered by a teacher or front office. In the case where a student is injured, but it is not a medical emergency, parents will be contacted to come to school and take the child home or to a doctor and/or a clinic for further evaluation.

It is very important that parents make sure that emergency contact numbers are current.

MEDICA TIONS

If it is necessary for your child to take medication while at school, please do the following:

  1. Send a written note to the office informing us that this is necessary.
  2. Give the precise medication, time, and amount that should be taken.
  3. State that you are giving school personnel authorization to administer the medication.

Otherwise, students should not be taking any kind of medication at school.

XIII. Classroom Events

Activities other than those considered part of the curriculum will be kept to a minimum. For example, birthday parties during academic hours are prohibited. AISM must maintain the integrity of the curriculum. It is asked that classroom events be approved in advance by the Teacher and Director.

XIV. School Phone

The phone is for the use of school employees and for school business only. Students may use the office phone only in the case of an emergency. Forgetting something at home is not an emergency and parents are requested to help teach their students to be responsible by NOT bringing work they left at home.

XV. Student Dress Code

  • The AISM dress code is based on traditional student polo shirts with slacks or skirt. Jeans are also acceptable.
  • Students may wear any color athletic shoes or the traditional black or brown shoes. Sandals (flip-flops) or bare feet are not acceptable.
  • Students are expected to have appropriate clothing for physical education classes. Students are also expected to exhibit good hygiene.
  • Hats may not to be worn in the building.

XVI. Music Players & Cell phones

The use of cell phones, iPods, and music players are prohibited in the school buildings at all times. Students may carry a cell phone, but it must be turned off during class time. Parents are asked to remind students to keep the cell phone in a safe place. AISM cannot be responsible if it is lost or taken.

XVII. Discipline Policy

The purpose of the Discipline Policy is to create an effective learning environment in which the rights of everyone are respected and the needs of all are fulfilled. The goal of the disciplinary system at AISM is to stimulate self-discipline through reflection on how individual actions affect others and to establish procedures on dealing with breeches of expected conduct.

GENERAL CONDUCT

Students enrolled in the school shall conduct themselves in a manner, which will bring credit to themselves and the school. Conduct expectations have been established with the intent to guarantee the welfare and safety of everyone. Guidelines are designed to help promote responsibility, reasonable order, and the good citizenship skills of each student.

CITIZENSHIP CODE

The American International School of Monrovia promotes an environment where everyone is expected to be a good citizen and is appreciated regardless of race, religion, personal beliefs or individual differences. All members of the school community are expected to be respectful at all times.

RESPECTING OTHERS

AISM strives to provide a safe and supportive environment for all of its students. Therefore, the following behavioral expectations have been established.

Fighting and/or physically abusing another person are subject to a minimum of one-day suspension. It is also always inappropriate to:

  • Harm another person verbally
  • Use language which is considered offensive on campus Take something that belongs to someone else
  • Cheat, copy, and/or plagiarize
  • Vandalize the school environment.

STUDENT RIGHTS

Each student has the right to the following:

  1. A meaningful education based on high academic standards which meet the individual needs of the student within the limitations of the American International School of Monrovia.
  2. Physical safety and protection of their property, including the right to practical School facilities.
  3. Appropriate dialogue with teachers, counselors, administrators and other School personnel.
  4. Protection from Discrimination and Harassment.
  5. Due process procedures regarding their alleged involvement in an incident of misconduct.

STUDENTS ́ RESPONSIBILITIES

Rights come with responsibilities. Students are responsible to:

  1. Attend school regularly.
  2. Be on time for classes.
  3. Come to class with the necessary books and materials.
  4. Complete Homework assignments and meet deadlines.
  5. Wear proper and appropriate school attire.
  6. Respect the rights of others.
  7. Be respectful to teachers.
  8. Abide by classroom and school rules.
  9. Cooperate with school staff at all times.
  10. Respect people and property.
  11. Use proper language.

DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES

When students are disciplined in the classroom or are referred to the office for disciplinary reasons, the student shall be:

  1. Advised as to the particular misconduct and the basis for accusation
  2. Given an opportunity to explain his/her version of the situation prior to any action being taken.

All staff, including the Director, will apply these procedures.

CORRECTIVE ACTIONS

Corrective actions are at the discretion of the Director, but generally will follow the following steps. Repeated misbehaviors will be treated more seriously.

  • First offense: verbal warning, and possible further consequences as deemed necessary by teacher and/or director.
  • Second offense: meeting with director, and parents contacted.
  • Third offense: one-day suspension.
  • In the event of cheating, a student will not receive credit for the assignment or test.

PARENTAL/GUARDIAN NOTIFICATION

A parent or guardian will be contacted in a timely fashion, informing them when corrective measures have been taken that involve loss of privileges, time outs, in school suspensions or other similar actions. If a child is to be suspended from school, notification to the parent is required prior to implementation.

EXCEPTION TO THE PROCEDURES

It is understood that immediate removal from the school premises without benefit of the above procedures may be initiated by school personnel, should a student’s continued presence in the school pose a danger to persons or property, or be an ongoing threat of disruption to the academic process. The parent or guardian shall be so advised as soon as practical.

XVIII. Service Learning Program

A Service Learning Program that will be developmental and relevant is being developed. Working with parents, AISM will strive to provide meaningful opportunities for students to give service, in order to help them become caring and humane global citizens.

XIX. Monthly Newsletter

The school newsletter, The Penguin Post will be distributed at the end of each month. The intent of the newsletter is to keep parents informed about school activities, announcements, calendar changes, and general school news.

XX. Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)

The PTO is an organization that supports the operation of the school and serves as a liaison between the school and the parent community. The PTO also organizes several yearly activities in order to:

  • Bring the community together
  • Raise funds to help improve the school program and facilities

XXI. School Fees

The American International School of Monrovia is a non-profit organization that has the sole purpose of providing a quality educational program for enrolled students. Student tuition fees comprise over 90% of the revenue required to run the school’s short and long-term operations.

The school board sets the tuition fee for the school on an annual basis. The tuition and fee schedule for the following academic year will be established according to estimated student enrollments, available financial resources and budget requirements, no later than April 1st.

Before a student is admitted, parents/guardians will be advised of the current fees and procedure for payment:

  • The capital levy fee is paid once, at the time a student is accepted for enrollment at AISM.
  • All students will be assessed a full term’s tuition regardless of when they enroll in the School for the academic year.
  • Tuition may be assessed on an annual or biannual basis.

The school fees include the costs of classroom instruction, participation in the After School Activities Program, the costs of basic classroom materials such as textbooks, workbooks, construction paper, and any school required assessments.
Students are required to provide their own notebooks, pencils/pens, and other specialty items required by the individual teachers.

XXII. Withdrawal from AISM

Parents need to formally withdraw their children from school when they move, in order to receive report cards and transcripts.

Please present the school with a letter stating the date the child is to be withdrawn, and complete the withdrawal form in the office two weeks in advance. This will provide enough time to prepare transcripts and departure documents. Failure to give advance notice will delay these documents, which will be necessary to enroll your child in the next school.

Upon a child’s withdrawal from school, the school will provide the parents with the original documents in the student’s file. These include any parent deposited documents or school generated documents.

Please note that the school is not responsible for providing any documentation that involves the Liberian Ministry of Education.