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AIS-Salzburg Newsletter

Dear AIS-Salzburg Community,

Yesterday, the 2020-2021 study body of AIS-Salzburg started their academic work and entered their classes for the first time.  There seems to be a very high level of excitement and anticipation in the school given the fact that most have not been allowed in a classroom for face-to-face instruction for more than six months.  Of course the many and various COVID-19 requirements in place put a damper on things a bit, but nothing can really stand in the way of adolescent enthusiasm, can it?  We are hoping for a safe, healthy, challenging and rewarding school year!

We hope you enjoy this week's newsletter.

Headmaster McLean

2020-2021 School Year Preview

Now that the boarding students have settled in and our first two days of classes are coming to an end, we are excited to report back on some positive numbers and an overall positive outlook, despite the challenges we have faced and will face for some time to come.  

For the first time, as far back as we can remember, there are more new students than returning students. This is most likely due to our dramatically-increased online presence which showcases many positive features of our wonderful school.
Additionally, during these unprecedented times, our small, caring, family-like community is quite appealing to any parent who is concerned for their child's health but also realizes that –in the grand scheme of things– a pandemic is for the short-term and quality education is a life-long investment. Regardless of the reasons behind this increase, the new students to the school are already bringing a lot of positive energy and seem eager to join the community.
The increase in new students has undoubtedly led to an overall increase in our student population as well.  There are presently 10 more students enrolled than last year at this time and the number of applicants who wish to join in November or January has also seen a significant rise recently.  Whether these student applicants actually join us or not will be dependent, of course, upon the level of health threat here in Salzburg at that time.

Not only are the student body numbers up, but also are the number of nationalities represented. Currently, we have 27 nationalities represented at AIS-Salzburg for the 2020-2021 school year. Of these nationalities, there are no more than 8 of any one nationality, thus emphasizing the "international" in the American International School-Salzburg name.

Even with this increase in the student body numbers, our student:teacher ratio remains below 6:1; maintaining a critical aspect of our 44-year old academic program which has resulted in many success stories and a high number of graduates who were not only very well-prepared for university studies, but went on to achieve great things in their personal and professional lives

There are other interesting facts about the 2020-2021 AIS-Salzburg student body:  The male-to-female ratio of almost 1:1; a large 'bulge' of students in grade 11; and, potentially, a very large graduating class in 2022. If this trend continues, it is possible we see a split senior class for the 2021-2022 school year in order to keep the classroom sizes small and the level of learning as high as possible.

What the numbers can't tell you, is that the overall feeling and atmosphere within the school this September is positive and focused this first week.  It is quite apparent that everyone—both the staff members and students—are happy to be here and get on with their education next to friends and with their teachers.

Meet Our New Resident Assistant, Kathy Horvat

Where are you from?

I am originally from Ontario, Canada, but I am also a Hungarian citizen, with family residing in both Hungary and Serbia. I consider Europe my second home!

What is your academic background?

I have two degrees from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. I completed my Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biopsychology/Neuroscience, followed by a Bachelor of Education with a concentration at the intermediate/senior level. I am qualified to teach biology, science, and geography!

Do you have any prior experience working with teenagers or in education?

My genuine drive for educating youth is a direct result of the experiences I have been privileged to be part of. I have had the opportunity to gain a variety of teaching experiences through my placements, where I independently taught subjects in Biology, Science, and Geography from grades 7-12.  Additionally, I worked as a residential youth counsellor for over two years. During this time, I was responsible for organizing and leading weekly programming activities, while facilitating therapeutic counselling that promoted a respectful and supportive team environment. Lastly, I have tutored and mentored high school students for numerous years from diverse populations.

Have you lived or travelled abroad before?

Due to my family roots in Europe, I have travelled to several countries throughout the continent. While in Canada, I moved to Alberta one summer and fell in love with the mountains and nature. After living in the Canadian Rocky Mountains for several months, I am now excited to explore the surroundings of Austria.

What attracted you to the job at AIS-Salzburg? 

What attracted me to AIS-Salzburg was the small size.  I knew I would feel welcomed into a community that I could grow with. Also, with the numerous learning opportunities that AIS-Salzburg offers (engaging classes, weekend activities, and excursions), I knew this school was the right fit for me. 

What are your first impressions of the small AIS-Salzburg community?

My first impressions of the small AIS-Salzburg was the immediate connection to my colleagues and students. It really does feel like home, with everyone offering their guidance and help as I navigate the next chapter in my life!

To learn more about resident life at AIS-Salzburg go to:

Video Slideshow; First Week of 2020-2021

In this first week of the 2020-2021 school year, students were welcomed to the school as always, with open arms and a ton of information to start them on the right path for a successful school year. With many new safety policies and procedures introduced, we are very pleased that everyone has adapted quite well thus far.

After boarding students arrived on Monday and Tuesday with negative COVID-19 tests in hand, separate orientation meetings were held for day students and boarding students on Wednesday, where much information was exchanged about how the school year will function given that approximately 25% of our student body is non-resident. With countless hours spent by our Corona Crisis Team on creating this COVID-19 Strategy and Traffic Light System, we hit the ground running on Thursday with the first day of classes.  

In the video slideshow below, some of these new undertakings are visible such as regular ventilation in rooms, classrooms held outside when the weather is nice, staggered lunchtimes, day students at the front of the class, and desk dividers whenever needed.

News & Upcoming Events

September 11th: Volleyball & Soccer Team Tryouts. Students interested in joining the girls' volleyball or boys' soccer team depart for practice at 4pm today. 

September 18th:  Deadline for Athens/Greece Fall Excursion.
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