American International School Lusaka
Overall GradeHow are scores determind?
- 7.4Professional Development
- 7.5Settling In
- 7.5After Arrival
The facilities of the school adequately provide for a positive learning/working experience.
School provides adequate access to teaching materials without any extra expense by the teacher (books, lab supplies, art supplies, materials, copying, etc.
School is well funded to provide students and faculty with adequate materials to support their course offering.
Parent community is actively involved in supporting the school's mission and their child's education endeavors.
Classroom student to teacher ratios are kept low.
Students are generally of high aptitude.
Student interactions with faculty are primarily characterized by respectability.
Students are of diverse ethnicity.
Administration positively supports faculty in a professional manner.
Administration actively encourages a dialogue concerning school related issues.
Administration is actively engaged in developing/supporting/maintaining a clear school vision.
Administration makes sure that the financial stability and integrity of the school is well maintained.
Administration/Ownership uses school funds to support the well being of the school.
Salary scale is competitive.
Salary provides the opportunity to save appropriately.
Salary provides the opportunity to travel during vacation.
Salary scale provides for vertical and horizontal movement based on years of experience and/or units/degree's earned.
School provides a quality health insurance plan that covers all major medical (health, vision, dental.
School provides retirement benefits that are competitive.
School provides a health insurance plan that covers international travel/coverage.
School provides for faculty child tuition benefits.
School provides strong support for maternity benefits.
School provides an adequate amount for end of contract airfare cost.
School provides an adequate shipping allowance.
School provides quality available housing or a housing stipend that affords quality housing.
The proximity of housing in relation to school location is within an acceptable distance of travel.
Options of moving housing during the course of contract is acceptable.
Colleagues foster a welcoming environment to new faculty.
School hires a diversity of family structures (Singles, couples, families.
Colleagues foster a professional environment that supports growth.
Colleagues foster a personal support structure in place of family.
City the school resides in provides opportunities for things to do without having to travel
City the school resides in provides easy opportunities to travel to other places.
Local culture is apparent in the city/country in which the school resides.
Local culture of in which the school resides is open to integrating expats into local customs and traditions.
City/Country in which the school resides does not exact personal restrictions on lifestyle choices.
City/Country in which school resides provides for potential tax benefits.
Quality of local health care is excellent.
Cost of living in the city/country where school resides is reasonable.
City the school resides in has excellent infrastructure for mass transportation (e.g. - is a car required.
City/Country in which the school resides provides for adequate personal safety.
School makes available a variety of professional development opportunities.
School makes available funds to support continued development.
Time is specifically set aside in the calendar for faculty and staff formation.
Faculty and Staff are encouraged to professionally grow by the school.
Faculty and Staff are encouraged to experiment, implement, and bring up new ideas for classroom innovation.
School meets you on arrival and escorts you to accommodations.
School provides an adequate orientation to the school and local culture upon arrival.
School provides an allowance to support the transition.
Facilities of the school were well represented during the hiring process.
Contract is honored based on what was agreed upon during the hiring process.
School actively maintains a dialogue and support structure to make sure basic needs are being met.
The other reviewer did an excellent job. Our director, in his second year, hasn't advocated for teachers and support staff to the board as much as I thought he would. Don't call our lack of pay increase (3% when the inflation rate in the country is about 8-12%) a "calling." We are professionals and should be treated as such with a competitive salary as Zambia is a VERY expensive place to live. Travel anywhere will cost a minimum of $500. Additionally, you must have a car which is not only expensive (upkeep, maintenance, and fuel--it's about $10/gallon currently), but it's also very dangerous and a scary endeavor. All that said, Zambia is a quiet and peaceful country with lovely, gentle, and welcoming people. The weather is fantastic! Lusaka itself is a bit of a dump, but most activities are centered around family time (birthday parties, braiis, etc.) so you don't venture out in town too much. This brings up my next point. Lusaka is a very family-oriented city. Further, AISL is a very family oriented school; currently there are ~5 single teachers in the entire school. AISL itself is very well-appointed; situated about 15 minutes outside of town on a beautiful campus. The children are lovely, if a bit under-achieving. There are tennis courts, pools, a fantastic performing arts center (the nicest in the country), and a great gym. The school community is also lovely; there isn't much parent involvement in the secondary but the primary school seems to have a great parent base. Secondary is in it's first year under the leadership of Russ Menard and he is one of the best administrators I've had the pleasure to work for: transparent, succinct, and he trusts his teachers. He has a good vision for the school and teachers want to elevate their performance to mirror Mr. Menard's vision. All in all, it's been a wonderful experience. The board seems to drive the financial bus here, so don't expect to be able to save too much (especially considering that, in order to explore and stay sane, you *must* get out of Lusaka for the long holidays), but the students and colleagues are generally great: kind, friendly, and laid-back.
Administration has its shares of positives and negatives. At the moment there seem to be more cons than pro. The director is in his second year and, while saying all the right things (and I think believing them) he took a number of missteps and miscalculations last year. There is hope he can rebound. The upper-school principal is new and so far, no news is good news. The primary school principal is who he is, and his warts won't change. Lusaka is a lazy place, better for families than singles. Lusaka is an expensive city to live in and travel from, but the climate can't be beat, Zambians are wonderful and it's an easy though unexciting life outside of school. Much of the housing is great, but if you're single, you're not getting the best of it -- families are closer to school, private homes with yards vs. apartments. There's not a lot of love for the board after years of meagre step increases to salary while the school is over-enrolled, building frantically and raising tuition.