24 Mar 2021

Co-curriculars Are Not Extra

The year was 2001, and I had just gotten hired at the American International School of Bucharest as a Secondary School Secretary.  The school was located in three different rented villas and the Secondary was on Calea Dorobanti, in a very elegant villa which was quite inadequate for the type of school life that we were dreaming of for our students.  I remember that Mr. Elliott, the Director of Athletics at the time, was one of the most dedicated and committed members of the faculty and still, sporting activities and “after school” activities left a lot to be desired, by virtue of lack of facilities (the building had no gym, there was a bubble that was inflated behind the building). In 2002 the entire student and faculty body moved into the current Pipera campus and the roots of a program that was going to offer our students the proper motivation…

06 Feb 2020

Attachment Theory in Action: Why Strengthening Relationships is Key

You may have heard about the Circle of Security program, which is being run by the AISB counselors, and wondered why we are focusing on learning about secure relationships, and what is attachment theory. Attachment theory was first described by John Bowlby in the 1950s as a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to another. Since this time, a plethora of research has been conducted on the topic.  This research shows time and time again that a secure relationship between parent/caregiver and child is predictive of just about all elements of mental and physical health and well being into adulthood. In fact, the relationship between parent and child is as important as food and physical safety.   Human babies are born significantly more premature than other mammals and therefore are dependent on their caregivers for significantly longer than other animals.  This anomaly means that we developed an intricate…

21 Nov 2019

AISB’s first student-written theater production, Brainstorm, picked up by The Bite

The American International School of Bucharest presents "Brainstorm" by arrangement with Nick Hern Books. "Brainstorm" is an Original Playscript developed by Ned Glasier, Emily Lim, and Company Three, with original material devised by the AISB cast. The play will premiere at the AISB Theater on Thursday, November 21 at 18:00 and another performance is scheduled for Friday, November 22 at 16:30. The first ever script to be written by AISB students, 'Brainstorm' explores the concept of teenage identity, by tackling the subject of daily teenage lives and emotions of different individuals of various ages. Join us to watch this moving rendering of adolescent day-to-day story, as told and acted by our very own AISB students! Lauren D., reporting for AISB's newspaper, the Bite, has picked up this story and tells us all about 'Brainstorm' at AISB. Check out an excerpt below and read more at:

12 Sep 2019

Our Game of Stereotypes

In these early days of school, we find ourselves introducing ourselves a lot. Of course, the conversation starter is often, ‘And where are you from?’ Then we refer to our place of birth and our passport(s) to describe ourselves. For many of us, these labels feel inadequate. We become part of a game of stereotypes. We rarely have time – even if anyone is listening - to describe the intricacies of our culture and personal experience. It’s just easier for me to say, ‘I’m English’. We want to give others something easy to relate to, even if this can be at the expense of the truth.  We have a complicated relationship with the concept of stereotypes. On the one hand, we know that the word itself is a pejorative. It is wrong to stereotype other people and put them into a two-dimensional box. Yet, our brains are excellent pattern recognition…

28 Aug 2019

Cultures and Learning at AISB

International schools are truly remarkable human communities. Every school day, young people from all over our world walk through our doors bringing from home different languages, different habits for speaking and listening and very different social and cultural values. Every year, this extraordinary diversity is re-defined and renewed as over two hundred new students join our community. For some new families, AISB will feel familiar – another international school in an international life. For other families, who have moved from their home country to Bucharest, the norms of AISB may feel very strange indeed.  We are used to measuring this diversity in numbers of nationalities on campus. We have sixty flags represented at AISB. Yet, I don’t believe that such a number does justice to the richness of perspectives in our school. Our cultural diversity is so much more interesting and relevant.  Culture is one of those words in the…

22 May 2019

ELC Principal Reading Recommendation: ‘What Is The Executive Function?’

Here is an interesting infographic from Harvard University - Center for the Developing Child. It helps to explains the importance of developing executive function and self-regulation skills in early childhood and beyond. These are skills needed at every stage of life as they allow us to manage the intake of information, make decisions, and plan with intention and not impulses. Should you wish to explore this topic further, please click this link.  

19 Sep 2017

Breaking the Mold?

Schools are traditionally quite static institutions with any changes happening slowly and over time; we are changing!In August, the new Early Learning Center opened its doors and marked a step forward in terms of a building that follows the demands of our curriculum and the educational ethos that we want to create; education in a different setting and molded along early childhood pedagogy. We recognize that children today have different needs and must be educated in new ways adapted to the visions that we can deduce about tomorrow. As any open-minded institution, the questions we are asking ourselves are, ‘how do we propel our students and prepare them for what is happening in the wider world? What does the individual need, what does society need? How do you survive and thrive in both areas? Traditional education did a great service to us in the past and brought us where we are…

15 May 2017

Transforming Education

  As we embark on our Step into the Extraordinary Capital Campaign to engage community support for our next project, the Design and Engineering Center.  Our objective is not just to build additional space for students, but to transform how we teach Technology and Design and break the educational mold on how we encourage our students to appreciate life-long learning. There have been numerous articles written recently concerning the need to change our approach to education that will prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s future job market. In a recent article in The Independent (May Bulman, December, 2016) Bill Gates remarked that there are, ‘three skills … essential for success … it rules out anyone who doesn’t excel in science and numbers’. ‘People with three backgrounds will be the most in-demand in the coming years: sciences, engineering and economics.' Likewise, a recent article in this month’s Washington Post detailed that, ‘bosses believe…

16 Mar 2017


Dear Parents, Over the past few weeks we have presented to students, parents, faculty and staff our ideas and plans for the proposed Design and Engineering Centre. You will all have received a brochure, STEP INTO THE EXTRAORDINARY, (http://www.aisb.ro/capital-campaign/) that outlines the curriculum expectations and plans for re-designing the space vacated by the Early Childhood classrooms when they move to the new building at the start of the next academic year. This space will be a giant leap forward in preparing our children to be more engaged in their learning and inspiring them in the fields of creativity and future employment. This uniquely designed, innovative space with a new way of teaching and learning, will offer students a fully immersive experience. This will be a state of the art learning hub that will combine academics and creativity with the power of doing. Technology, through social media, video games, and virtual…

06 Sep 2016

Confronting the Data

Last week we reported to the community the feedback from the Parent Survey that was undertaken at the end of the last academic year. As with last year’s survey, the participation rate was marvelous and I would like to thank all of you who contributed your thoughts and comments. Such feedback is very important for us to gain perspective on how successful, or not, we are in both the operational and educational aspects of the school. A key Good to Great (Jim Collins) principle is that a school that aspires to be great must confront reality. We must confront the brutal facts, parental perspectives being one of them, in order to be great. It is advocated that unless we face our shortcomings we can never be really great. Whilst we scored better on every metric of the survey compared to last year’s responses, there was one particular data point that needs to be…

01 Mar 2016

Space to engage, prepare and inspire

The world around us is changing rapidly, almost too quickly for my liking, but those who stand still will be left behind as we track towards the future. The current campus has not really changed in the past sixteen years, whilst the world has. For our students to thrive and succeed, we will embrace change, attempt to anticipate what the future might be like in five, ten or twenty years’ time, and respond accordingly. Over the break I read a thought-provoking article that compared the Finnish educational system to that of the United States – not the first time that the Finnish programs have been lauded either! http://hechingerreport.org/how-finland-broke-every-rule-and-created-a-top-school-system/ Whilst the conclusions were not that dramatic – great teachers create dynamic classrooms that focus on student learning – the findings could quite easily be applied to the UK, Australian, New Zealand or Canadian educational systems. The Finnish system is not perfect;…

13 Oct 2015

Spaces that Enhance Learning

Every great school is replete with great teachers; teachers are the face of the school and they put the Mission and Vision into action in the classroom. Everyone understands the importance and effect of teachers on producing a successful learning environment. But how we resource our teachers, the quality of the educational materials, the depth of our professional development program, and the design of the teaching spaces also have a profound impact on the quality of the academic and social instruction. Last summer we made statements with regards to the importance of space in improving the ethos of our school; the all-weather pitch, an upgraded Physics laboratory, a redesigned cafeteria, improved admissions offices, and a restructured entry lobby that will improve entry security are all part of a series of facility developments that will enhance our students’ learning experience. The next phase will incorporate the building of an Early Childhood…

20 Aug 2015

Manners, Mastery and Meaning

Dear Parents, The start of the school year is always a busy time as changes to the campus come to completion and orientation sessions for new and returning faculty turn towards welcoming students for the first day of school. You will have received a number of emails from the Admissions Office detailing such changes, but I thought I would write about the philosophical underpinnings to the changes that we have been planning and implementing over the past nine months. You will notice the new all-weather field, upgraded Physics lab, new furniture appearing in classrooms, lockers for the elementary school students, an Admissions Office and IT Help Desk in the atrium and, until the Fall break, a temporary entrance to the school as we upgrade the main entrance to enhance the security process for visitors to AISB. Thus, we have begun a systematic upgrade of the physical resources, both within and…