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As an American School, CAISL follows the best of America’s historic traditions and philosophies combined with current “best practice” in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.


Portuguese Ministry of Education. 

CAISL’s permanent license allows us to teach an American curricular program at all grades from EC3 through High School and includes specific permission for an American High School Diploma and the International Baccalaureate Diploma.  The American High School Diploma and the International Baccalaureate Diploma are each accepted worldwide, including for entry into Portuguese universities. (For more information, see Evidence of Academic Success)


The Office of Overseas Schools of the United States Department of State.

CAISL is the only school in Portugal with support from the Office of Overseas Schools of the Department of State of the USA. As such, CAISL works closely with and is guided by the Office of Overseas Schools and its designated Regional Education Officer (REO). The REO stays in regular contact and pays on-site visits to ensure that we are providing students with an excellent American educational program coordinated with other American schools around the world.


One of the initiatives unique to authorized American schools overseas is American Education Reaches Out (AERO) ( The goal of this initiative is for American schools to work together collaboratively and with the assistance of experts identified by the Office of Overseas Schools. AERO supports American schools in all areas of curriculum development and implementation, including standards-based education. AERO provides a framework for curriculum consistency and stability across grades K-12.   CAISL benefits from AERO’s resources, workshops, and professional consultation services which support us to ensure that we are implementing and sustaining our curriculum, instruction, and assessment practices as exemplars of excellent American methods.


The Development of American Curriculum:

One aspect of American education which is different from other national systems is that the Department of Education of the United States does not impose a nation-wide national curriculum. Each of the 50 states is free to determine the curriculum to be taught by the schools, public and private, within that state.

However, there are widely adopted curricula which were developed by national organizations, scientists, and experts in education, in conjunction with states and local educators.   It is the philosophy of the United States that subject-specialists and subject-educators, with local governmental support, are more capable of writing curriculum for the students than the national government. The subject-specialists and local governments work together to set forth outstanding and challenging curriculum in each discipline which individual states are then free to choose to adopt or, in some cases, adapt for their own local conditions.

This is a strength of the American system—not curriculum mandated from the “top down” by the federal government but developed by local educators and local government and business leaders working collaboratively to design curriculum from the “ground up.”  The curriculum identified below is widely adopted by states throughout the USA.

The Curriculum Performance Indicators (sometimes called Learning Objectives) established by teams of educators and subject specialists are only the starting points for a school instructional program.  

CAISL’s Frameworks sets forth materials, thematic structure, and developmentally sequenced expectations for both skills and content.   These Frameworks can be found in the section called “Programs and Curriculum” on the website, organized by level of the school (Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle School, High School).  

English Language Arts and Math

The English and Math Common Core was developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) which led the initiative to develop these Common Core State Standards.  The result was a collaboration of teachers, school leaders, and subject experts.

The English Language Arts Common Core:   

The Math Common Core:                                    


The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) ( ) was developed through an effort by state education leaders in the USA working with the National Research Council (NRC), the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Social Studies

The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards ( was a collaborative effort by US states in conjunction with the National Council for Social Studies. The goal is to enhance knowledge of the social studies disciplines and build critical thinking, problem solving, and participatory skills to enable students to become engaged citizens. 

Fine Arts

The National Core Arts Standards were developed with the aim of encouraging schools to bring the Arts into the school in a way which was not (or not perceived to be) an “extra” but an integral part of every child’s education.

Information Technology

CAISL believes that IT should always serves the needs of the students and the educational program (not the other way around!). IT skills for daily life as well as more technical IT skiils are enfused throughout the curriculum starting with “Bee-bots”  in Early Childhood and continuing through the option of IB Computer Science in the last two years of High School. CAISL has developed its own sequentially aligned curriculum using resources and curriculum models such as those found on the sites of the United States-based Computer Science Teachers Association ( and (    


All CAISL students take Portuguese, either as a Native/Fluent Speaker or as a Foreign Language, from Grade 1 through Grade 9. Exceptions can be made for students who have neither English nor Portuguese as their primary language and need to learn English before starting Portuguese as a beginner.

Portuguese for Native/Fluent Speakers follows the Ministry of Education’s curriculum for its 1st through 10th Grade Portuguese for Native/Fluent Speakers. Information on this curriculum can be found on the DGE website – the first two links are the reference documents we use until Grade 9 (Aprendizagens Essenciais e Programa/Metas Curriculares).


Portuguese as a Foreign Language follows a curriculum developed by the CAISL faculty and designed to allow students to feel comfortable in their new country and to learn to communicate with increase confident. The program is designed so that students who successfully complete three years will be able, if they choose, to transition to the Native/Fluent program.

Our Mission

CAISL is a student-centered educational community in which we challenge ourselves and each other to do our best and to make positive contributions to our diverse and ever-changing world.

CAISL is a student-centered educational community in which we challenge ourselves and each other to do our best and to make positive contributions to our diverse and ever-changing world.

© Carlucci American International School of Lisbon

Governed by Fundação Escola Americana de Lisboa

Rua António dos Reis 95
Linhó 2710-301
Lisboa, Portugal
T: 351-219-239-800
F: 351-219-239-898


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