The Association for the Advancement of International Education is the primary professional organization in the United States for American international schools. Membership is comprised of school heads, administrators, counselors, teachers, professors and professionals who provide services for international schools. Its mission is to provide forums for discussion and resolution of common issues, to promote advancements in school leadership, educational research and best practices, to develop partnerships with institutions and associations worldwide, and to foster networks of personal and professional relationships.

AAIE holds a major conference each year in the United States that is attended by several hundred delegates, including overseas school directors, stateside superintendents, regional education association executive directors and officers of U.S. accreditation agencies. In addition, this annual international education meeting attracts university personnel, College Board representatives, book publishers and many other individuals interested in Department-assisted overseas schools. The meeting affords OS staff opportunities to meet with many school directors from the various regions, set up school-to-school partnerships and develop and nurture various OS initiatives. Examples of these opportunities include sessions that bring together OS staff and regional association executive directors with members of the College Board project and the Advisory Committee on Exceptional Children and Youth. In 2010, the conference was held in Boston and was attended by over 500 delegates and included 60 exhibitors and three keynote speakers. In 2011, it will be held in San Francisco.

The highlight of the 2010 44th annual conference was a presentation by Marie Jean-Baptiste, director of the Department-assisted Union School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She related the effects of the earthquake on the school, the structural damage that made it unusable for the foreseeable future, temporary and interim classes being held at a private and remote setting and the use of the school’s playgrounds for temporary shelters for over 1,000 survivors. Thanks to an outpouring of help from around the world, including the international school community, the school reopened in September.

In 2010, AAIE sponsored two summer institutes:

  • Ensuring Student Success: Creating Classrooms with Brain and Heart Appeal was held on the campus of NOVA Southeastern University, Miami, Florida. It offered workshops on the heart and brain connection; on aligning the curriculum to students’ strengths, talents, ethics, personality and passions; and on the premise that learning should be fun, conceptual and applicable.
  • Challenge and Engage Your Most Able Students, sponsored by both AAIE and the Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University, was held at the Mt. Washington campus of Johns Hopkins. Fourteen participants from eleven schools drafted plans to strengthen offerings for highly able students. The plans, developed in the context of school mission statements, addressed issues of student identification, curriculum adaptation, out-of-school resources, program design and delivery, effectiveness metrics and buy-in strategies. Countries represented were Japan, Taiwan, Estonia, Mexico, Bangladesh, Bucharest, Singapore, Greece, Norway and Saudi Arabia.

Additional information can be found at AAIE’s website www.aaie.org.