The Awty School was founded by Kathleen "Kay" Awty in 1956 as a pre-school. The incorporation of an Upper School in 1975 changed the school into a college preparatory school which merged with the French School of Houston and became The Awty International School in 1984. With a total enrollment of over 1,500 students, Awty is currently the largest private school in the city of Houston and the second largest international school in the United States.
Enrollment has increased from 750 to more than 1,550 over the last ten years. Awty's preschool facility was completed in 1990, a secondary school science building in 1991, additional preschool classrooms in 1995, and a secondary school building including a computer center, foreign language laboratories and a new library in 1996. Construction was then completed on the Performing Arts and Athletic Center (PAAC). A classroom wing opened in Fall 1999 and the Lower School building opened in 2003. The school opened Awty Field, a state-of-the-art athletics stadium, in 2008. The facility includes a 1,400-seat stadium, press box, soccer field, eight-lane track and field event facilities, four tennis courts, concession stand, locker rooms, maintenance facility, storage facility, and parking.
In June 2012, the school opened the Levant Foundation Building, a new classroom building. The three-story, 65,000 square foot facility includes 33 educational classrooms, two art classrooms, one digital photo room, a new dining hall for the entire student body, new administrative offices, and additional meeting rooms. This LEED certified building serves as the front door to Awty’s campus. In addition to this new classroom building, the school also opened a five-story parking garage in October 2012. This 174,000 square foot facility offers approximately 440 parking spaces, houses the Maintenance and Facilities Department, and facilitates a reorganized, safer carpool.
In April 2014, the school opened the Lower School expansion. This addition added almost 15,000 square feet to the existing Lower School Building. It consists of nine classrooms, a large media facility, a computer lab, a drama classroom, an art room filled with natural light, a teacher workroom, and a medical clinic. Adjacent to the Lower School addition is a large playground that features shade structures, playground equipment, seating areas, and rubber fall surfaces.
Awty is accredited by CIS, ISAS, the French Ministry of Education, IB, and Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap. The school is affiliated with the Mission Laïque Française.
The academic program of the school prepares students for the French Baccalauréat or the IB, and offers an American diploma. All students take a second language. Courses are available in a wide range of levels in the core languages of the school: Arabic, Chinese, English, French and Spanish. To reflect the International diversity of Awty, a range of other languages including Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese, Persian (Farsi), Portuguese, Norwegian and Russian but not limited to these are available under specific conditions determined by the school. Extra-curricular activities include inter-scholastic soccer, basketball, volleyball, track, golf, swimming, and tennis; yearbook, science and computer clubs, and Model United Nations to name a few. Field trips include an annual camping expedition. An after-school program includes supervised study and activities.
All faculty members hold degrees in their teaching fields and most hold advanced degrees. Most language teachers are native speakers of the languages.
The nationalities of the student body are composed of 40% American and 30% French with the remaining 30% representing over 50 other nationalities. Graduates attend universities in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
The school day runs from 7:55 a.m. to 3:35 p.m. for Middle and Upper School, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. for Lower School, and from 8:15 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. for Preschool. The school year runs mid-August to the beginning of June, with holidays in October, November, December, February, and April.
The school is located on a 15-acre campus in central Houston. Premises include 120 classrooms, nine science laboratories, three art rooms, six computer laboratories, three libraries, three lunch rooms, two covered basketball/volleyball courts, a state-of-the-art athletics center, two soccer fields, and two gymnasiums.