Message from the Head of School

Joyous. Connected. International.

These are some of the words that describe the Walworth Barbour American International School (WBAIS), here in Even Yehuda, Israel. Despite the fact that the WBAIS student population represents, on average, 30% new members every year and over 40 different nationalities, the feeling is of one family.

There are numerous reasons for this. In the realm of international schools, WBAIS Israel has one of the most stable and experienced faculty. Comprised of internationally recruited teachers who come (and tend to stay), and anchored by local American-born and US trained faculty who have made Israel their home, our teachers are at the heart of our success.

Each year, AIS invests considerable resources in attracting and retaining the finest teaching staff. With generous professional development allowances, AIS teachers take advantage of on-site training, external conferences and workshops, and advanced degree programs of study. Because of their recognized expertise, AIS faculty members are often tapped to present at various international professional education conferences.

But most importantly, AIS faculty and staff love working with students in an international setting. It takes a special sensibility to be able to effectively guide a group of culturally different young people through a challenging course of study. Our expectations are high – both of ourselves as educators and of our students and families as members of a vibrant learning community.

Recently, faculty and leadership worked together, in the context of our accreditation process, to articulate what we call the “profile of a learner” at AIS. More than simply an aspirational document, it captures what our teachers and leaders have consistently worked to model and to engender in every AIS student. Whether a student is with us for one or 15 years, we help them to become

  • Self-directed and Curious Learners,
  • Responsible and Compassionate Citizens
  • Resilient, Persistent, and Adaptable Achievers
  • Critical and Creative Thinkers
  • Innovative Problem Solvers
  • Effective Collaborators
  • Skillful Communicators
  • Insightful and Strategic Researchers

Equally important to our success is the active participation of an engaged parent community. From strategic leadership on our School Board to volunteering in classrooms and on field trips, to serving on the committee to draft the “profile of a learner” the work of our parents is indispensable. Parent leadership was at the heart of such community-building events as International Day, Earth Day activities, and Halloween. The bonds that parents forge through active participation at school often make overseas tours easier while creating opportunities for parents to broaden their own cultural horizons.

For those relocating to the Jerusalem area, we are excited to announce that, because of the planned opening of a high speed train in the spring of 2018, qualified students attending our excellent PreK-8 satellite campus in Jerusalem will be able to come "down the hill" for high school. (Click here for more information on the Jerusalem campus.)

Joyous, engaged, connected, international. It’s the true profile of AIS Israel. Explore this website and see for yourself.

Mike Downs

Head of School