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 2019-2020 school year, the members of the Board of Trustees are Maurilio Rojano-Garcia and Michael de Mello (appointed by the American Ambassador) and João Paulo Ribeiro (appointed by Visteon Portuguesa), Michael de Mello 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/Business Manager.
School Improvement Planning
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 tasked with ensuring that they fulfill their primary objective of holding the school "in trust" for future generations.
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 enrollment 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: Core Value, Values Statement, and Profile of the Learner
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. These guiding documents were reviewed in the 2018/2019 school year and were determined to be still valid and still the bedrock values on which the school is built.
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 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 instructional program. Grade 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 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 2017-2018 contains testing results for that year and can be found here. The Annual Report for the school year 2018-2019 will be available in February of 2020.
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. Grades and score results can be found here.
Licenses, Authorizations, Accreditations, and Memberships
CAISL operates legally in Portugal with a permanent license to offer an American curricular program for all grades (EC3 through 12th). The American curriculum program allows students to transfer in and out of the Portuguese national system at the same grade equivalent through 9th Grade. CAISL is authorized to award an American High School Diploma to those CAISL students who successfully complete all requirements.
CAISL continues to be authorized by the IB Organization to offer the IB Diploma Program and this is also recognized as part of CAISL's permanent license from the Portuguese Ministry of Education.
CAISL is also an "assisted school" from the Office of Overseas Schools of the United States Department of State.
In March of 2012, CAISL hosted a Visiting Team on a joint accreditation visit by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS). As a result of this visit, CAISL was re-accredited by these agencies through March 2022. Recently, however, CAISL's professional staff and Board of Trustees undertook an analysis of accreditation agencies, resulting from some changes of direction and philosophy implemented by the agencies, and decided to transfer our accreditation from NEASC to Middle States Association (MSA) Commission on Elementary and Secondary Education. This transfer is effective as of August 1, 2019. More information on MSA can be found on its web site.
In addition to these various authorizations and accreditations, CAISL is also a member of the following professional associations: Mediterranean Association of International Schools
(MAIS), Educational Collaborative for International Schools
(ECIS), National Association of Independent Schools
(NAIS), and Independent Schools Management
At the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, CAISL has 700 students from 45 nationalities. Most of our classes are at capacity and only can accept additional students if a current family transfers out. 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. We are already receiving applications for the 2020-2021 school year!
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.
The most recent additions to our facilities (September 2011) included :
- 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.
In the 2017-2018 school year, we installed an air conditioning and heating system in the Academic Buildings. This was already installed in the Fine Arts/Athletics buildings during construction.