Governance, Ownership, and Management
The Carlucci American International School of Lisbon (CAISL) is governed by the Fundação Escola Americana de Lisbon (FEAL). FEAL consists of three Trustee representatives. The Trustees--Visteon Portuguese and the American Embassy in Portugal--played a major role in taking the school in 1995 from a for-profit to a not-for-profit structure and continue to appoint representatives to the Board. There are three Trustee Representatives appointed from the American Embassy (2 representatives) and Visteon (1 representative). Each Representative has a three-year term of office which is renewable at the discretion of the Trustee.
For the 2016-2017 school year, the Trustees are represented by Martin Schwartz and Michael de Mello (American Embassy) and Paula Sá (Visteon Portuguesa), Michael de Mello also serves as the President of the Board.
Management of the School is delegated by the Board to a Director, Blannie Curtis, who assumed the position in the 1997/98 school year. She is assisted by a Senior Management Team (SMT) consisting of Katie Morris, Elementary Principal; Nathan Chapman, Secondary Principal; and Paulo Parreira, Chief Business Officer.
The main responsibility of the Trustees is to hold the school “in trust” for the future. With the construction project completed, the new facilities occupied (August 2011), and the financial structure of the school healthy and sustainable, the Trustees are turning their attention to "next steps" of Strategic Planning. A survey of all segments of the community was done in April 2016 and provided data for the creation of this Plan. The development of the next Strategic Plan of the BOT is in the process of creation and will continue into the 2016/2017 school year with the support of an expert in this field.
The on-going Goals of CAISL are
ACADEMIC GOAL: CAISL will provide superior academic programs that teach basic and extended skills, critical thinking, and effective communicating, and that instill a love of learning and pride in individual and collective accomplishments.
STUDENT LIFE GOAL: CAISL will provide extracurricular opportunities that foster school and community service, encourage interest in the fine arts, enhance physical development, promote concern for others, develop moral character, and provide leadership training.
SCHOOL CLIMATE GOAL: CAISL will ensure a school climate which is collaborative, positive and respectful and which provides personal, academic, and medical monitoring and support.
STAFFING GOAL: CAISL will attract, support, supervise, and retain outstanding educators who will both teach and be role models for students and support personnel who will be both professional and personal assets to CAISL.
PHYSICAL RESOURCES GOAL: CAISL will ensure that the physical facilities and resources support the academic and extracurricular program effectively and efficiently.
COMMUNITY RELATIONS GOAL: CAISL will ensure that the school is well presented to prospective families to ensure enrolment stability or growth, to the current parent community, and to the local and international communities.
FINANCIAL GOAL: CAISL will ensure that the business, financial, and ancillary operations support the academic and extracurricular program of the school effectively and efficiently and ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the school.Mission and Philosophy and Academic Program
In the 2006-2007 school year, the professional staff of CAISL recognized that a thorough review of the Mission Statement was necessary to ensure that it both reflected and guided the program of the school.
The Values Statements (sometimes called a Mission Statement) of CAISL was developed by the faculty with input from the parents and students and was adopted by the Board of Trustees in June 2008. It includes the “Core Value”, “the Values Statements”, and the “Profile of the Learner.” These provide the basis on which the school will operate.
These Values recognize the commitment which CAISL has to developing the “whole child,” in valuing effort and steps toward the goal, in working to ensure that our students enjoy learning and see learning as a positive part of life, in celebrating and supporting diversity and in being responsible citizens of the school, our communities, and the world. The complete Mission statement can be found on the CAISL web site here.
CAISL works in cooperation with other American International Schools and with the Department of State of the USA on adopting and adapting the Common Core curriculum for English and Math and the Next Generation Science Standards for Science.
Additionally, CAISL uses the adaptive assessment program called MAP(Measures of Academic Progress). This program is computer-generated and “adaptive” in that it “adapts” to the student’s achievement level. If a student gets a question correct, the next question is harder. If a student gets a question wrong, the next question is easier. Because the test is designed to allow each child to feel successful, children tend not to give up. Because it is computer-generated, the results can be seen by the teachers the next day and the report is designed to help teachers adapt curriculum and instruction to the needs of each child. It is our hope—and our belief—that this kind of adaptive testing will not only show a child’s current achievement but also provide data which will guide the curricular and instructional program. Grades 2 through Grade 10 take MAP tests.
All CAISL students in Grades 10 and 11 take the Preliminary Scholastic Achievement Test (PSAT) and most of our students take the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) which is valid for students for entry into colleges and universities in the USA and, with the SAT II, for CAISL students for entry into universities in Portugal. Of course, there are also the external exams in May of the senior year for students who choose to do the IB Diploma Program. The Annual Report for School Year 2014-2015 contains testing results for that year and can be found here. The Annual Report for the school year 2015-2016 will be available in February of 2017.
More current testing results for the High School SAT and IB Exams can also be found on the school web site and are updated as results become available. They can be found here.
In March of 2012, CAISL hosted a team from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS) for a week-long visit to CAISL. This is part of the 10-year accreditation cycle and was designed to examine CAISL to ensure that we are continuing to offer a quality educational program which supports our Core Values. Half-way through the 10-Year Accreditation, a follow-up 5-Year visit by NEASC and CIS is conducted. CAISL will host the 5-Year visit in March 2017.
CAISL continues to be authorized by the IB Organization to offer the IB Diploma Program and to be recognized by and receive assistance from the Department of State of the USA. CAISL also has permanent license with the Portuguese Ministry of Education,
At the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, CAISL has 670 students and 45 nationalities. Most of our classes are either closed to new enrollment or only able to accept a very small number of additional students. In many grades, our Waiting Lists are quite long. Overall enrollment has grown the past few years and we continue to get inquiries about admissions two or more years in advance!
The Elementary and Secondary Academic Buildings and the Library-Media Center are among the best not only in Portugal but also among other International Schools. The large classrooms are ideal for the “inquiry-based, active learning” program offered by the school.
To great excitement, CAISL opened classes on 1 September 2011 with full use of our new and long-awaited facilities:
- A multi-sport gymnasium with shower/locker rooms designed to accommodate and enhance our Physical Education and Athletics Programs.
- A spacious two-story Cafeteria and Snack Bar.
- A Fine Arts Center with a 448-seat Theater, Art and Music Classrooms, an Art Gallery Space, Dressing Rooms for the Theater, a multi-purpose room for after-school activities (such as ballet), and a top-floor testing center.
- Outdoor playing fields, including a full-size soccer pitch and a junior-size soccer pitch - both of artificial grass, and a two new basketball courts.
- A parking lot.
For 2014-2015, we also opened a playground for Upper Elementary children with benches, a play tent, and a climbing frame.