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Awty Opens World-Class Early Learning Campus
Sixty-one years ago, Kathleen Awty opened a preschool that would become Houston’s premier international school. This year, The Awty International School came full circle and opened its Early Learning Campus (ELC), a new campus specifically designed for students in PK3/PS through 1st grade/CP. It sits on 5.25 acres and has quintupled what the previous preschool space provided to over 75,000 square feet.
“We are thrilled to welcome our youngest students to this remarkable new Early Learning Campus,” said Head of School Lisa Darling. “While relocating our youngest students to a new campus was a big decision, Awty’s state-of-the-art early learning facility offers exceptional outdoor play and learning areas tailored to the needs of young children.”
Awty remains the only school in Houston accredited by the French Ministry of Education. Mrs. Awty would be proud of how the school has maintained this accreditation and commitment to French education. Our dual language program of French/English in Petite Section (PS), Moyenne Section (MS), and Grande Section (GS) has served as our bilingual model for over 25 years with French and English teachers collaborating to implement the curriculum. Awty’s exceptional teachers and the education they provide has only been enhanced by this new campus.
The ELC includes 26 interactive classrooms, two multi-purpose rooms, art and music rooms, a teaching kitchen, a library, a media room, and dining facilities for students and faculty. The gymnasium features a rock-climbing wall, multipurpose courts, and a performance stage. The ELC also includes outdoor classrooms, flexible learning spaces, student gardens, and a 20,000 square foot play space complete with a tricycle path, soccer field, and basketball court.
“The classrooms are huge,” describes CP teacher Anne Clonan. “Now it’s easier to work in small groups because there are more spaces available and we have the possibility of doing various workshops.”
There are also outdoor learning spaces available to the teachers and students. Using the outdoor spaces for reading stories and changing places more often is a great joy for Kindergarten teacher Elise Devesa.
“It has the most beautiful view I have seen in my life, and trust me, I have seen a lot of schools,” stated long-time PS teacher Marie-Do Lee. “The space in the school is exceptional, particularly the playground that enables students to have exceptional physical and motor experiences.”
The ELC continues a long tradition at the school― the tradition where teachers and students cook together. Mrs. Awty certainly cooked with her preschool students when she began the school in 1956. Today, the ELC contains a teaching kitchen specifically designed for the school’s youngest students. Ms. Devesa said she is looking forward to cooking with her students in the kitchen, which is completely accessible and adapted to their size. She believes it’s an added feature that few schools have.
Collaboration and connection among students are also benefits of the ELC. For example, the students who are in the French and English classes are closer because they are in the same corridor, without any division. It is the same for the teachers, who get to share and exchange more often in this big common corridor for the CP/1st grade.
MS teacher Aurelie Cagni also sees collaboration at her grade level between teachers.
“We get together to work on one common project,” stated Ms. Cagni. “It’s the first time I have done so many things with other classes. It’s a great asset for the kids. It makes more sense to them and its gives more coherence to the cycle.”
For MS teacher Beatrice De Gouyon-Person, there are many examples of a good balance between the four- and five-year-old students in the corridor and the teachers of MS take great pleasure in seeing their former students grow up in GS.
The faculty, staff, students, and families are all delighted with the new campus. The spacious classrooms, added features including the teaching kitchen, and flexible learning spaces enrich the school lives of our students and their teachers. The school is proud to continue Mrs. Awty’s legacy!
Awty parents, alumni parents, alumni, staff, and faculty celebrate the opening of the Early Learning Campus at an Open House on September 23.
YOU CAN HELP PROMOTE AWTY!
As members of the Awty community, we want you to be our cheerleaders. you can help promote Awty by following these quick, easy steps:
- Like Awty's page on Facebook. Follow Awty on Twitter. New this year, subscribe to Awty's YouTube channel.
- Like or Love the school's post on each social media account.
- Share the school's posts on Facebook and retweet the school's tweets on Twitter.
- Write positive comments on each post.
- Write positive reviews on Facebook, niche.com, greatschools.org, (and if you work at Awty, glassdoor.com).
Awty's Student Ambassador CLUB Program
The student ambassadors provide a welcoming and friendly introduction to Awty to prospective students and their families, as well as to other external constituencies. These students authentically represent the school―its academic, extra-curricular, and social aspects―from the student perspective. The student ambassadors lead tours, participate in Awty’s Open House and shadow visits, and help to train next year’s ambassadors.
The Student Ambassador Program is an invitation only club. Students in 11th grade and 12th grade who have excelled throughout their participation in the Student Ambassador Program are invited to apply for the various roles in this club. These students have distinguished themselves through their good standing, engagement in their education, involvement in the school community, and the prior year’s Student Ambassador Program, and are well respected by their peers and faculty members. They model the school’s values and are representative of the school’s vision and mission as friendly students who enjoy interacting with people. These students must be responsible and dependable, and willing to make a commitment to the important role they play in the admissions process for prospective families.
Recruitment and Marketing Chair
Recruitment and Marketing Chair
The 2017-2018 Student Ambassadors include the following members:
Seniors: Anna Abounohra, Suleyman Amjad, Blanca Burgaleta, Cecilia Burns, Eloise Cowan, Suria Crabtree, Ophelie de Maisonneuve, Mathilde de Richemont, Ashling Devins, Leila El Masri, Marcia Fernandes, Kara Fields, Nada Gaber, Mathilde Leveque, Julia Magaud, Carol Mai, Olivia Midy, Camille Olinger, Zoe Papadakos, Aubrey Parks, Mariana Quezada, Shahrzad Rasekh, Sophie Sanati, Noor Shenaq, Jessica Sidney, Clara Specht, Blessing Utomi, Amelia Ward, Alexandra Wolff, and Maria Zaharatos
Juniors: Nada Almogharbel, Rohil Bathija, Erkan Bozkurt, Doreen Cai, Thomas Capderou, Megan Dunkin, Nico Feder, Sandra Georges, Aliya Gosdin, Esha Gullapalli, Nathalie Jeanneret, George Kapitan, Adnan Lateef, Doreen Litvak, Ariana Lofti, Anna Malygin, Ivan Mangal, Yasmeen Mawlawi, Pranay Palvadi, Sophia Pivnik, Katherine Quezada, Sherwin Rasekh, Misha Salanshoor, Vivek Saran, and Lucia Wu
Sophomores: Joseph Abounohra, Angela Chen, Aishini Damaraju, Aiden Devins, Noemie Dott, Laetitia Guerin, Giselle Henry, Penelope Hertoghe, Amir Lateef, Violete Lorge, Brendan Moncada, Zeina Qazem, Katerina Sawyer, Kenady Scott, Noah Seeley, Nidhi Subramanian, Chelsey West, Danielle Xu, and Doris Xu
Awty's 2017 Fall Fun Festival - A magical day!
Sunny skies and cooler temperatures were the perfect backdrop for Awty's 2017 Fall Fun Festival. Hundreds of members of the Awty community came out and enjoyed a magical day on Saturday, October 28.
Warmest thanks to everyone who helped make a chilly Fall Fun Festival a truly "Magical" day―amazing parent volunteers, fantastical faculty volunteers, spirited student volunteers, the frighteningly fun Art Club at the haunted house, spectacular Sage dining services, daring DJ and drink donors (Alarcon Financial Strategies, Nick's Fish Dive and Oyster Bar, Artisana Bread, the Kallop Family), marvelous maintenance staff, and of course, the dazzling attendees. The festival chairs Zenia Quintana and Abigail Castaneda conjured up an enchanting afternoon, leaving participants spell-bound!
Summer Readers Earn $960 for Dream Dachshund Rescue Organization
On November 3, Lower School students presented a check for $960 to volunteers from DREAM: Dachshund Rescue, Education, & Adoption Mission here in Houston. Students also got to meet several of the rescue dachshunds that are up for adoption at DREAM.
Students earned the money for DREAM through a summer reading program. The challenge was open to all students going into 2nd grade/CE1 to 5th grade/CM2. Students in 2nd/CE1 and 3rd/CE2 were required to read at least 20 just right books this past summer. For each book that was read and recorded properly using Beanstack, students earned 25 cents. Students in 4th/CM1 and 5th/CM2 were required to read at least 10 just right books. For each book that they read and recorded properly, students earned 50 cents. Over 200 students participated in the summer reading program, earning $960 for DREAM.
Homecoming 2017 - the greatest show on turf
After a week-long celebration, the students, staff, and faculty came together and showed their Awty pride at the annual Homecoming Pep Rally on Friday, November 10.
That night, Awty hosted a double header at Homecoming 2017 - The Greatest Show on Turf. The Varsity Boys Soccer Team took on The John Cooper School in the first game. They swept the Dragons with a 4-0 shutout. The Varsity Girls Soccer game followed and the Lady Rams walked away with a 5-2 victory over the Fort Bend Christian Academy Eagles.
At halftime during the girls game, the 2017 Homecoming Court was announced, where senior Amelia Ward was crowned Homecoming Queen and senior Taddeo Toffanin was selected as the Homecoming King. Awty's 2017 Homecoming Court also included 9th grade/3ème Princess Colette Chen and Prince Henderson Chandler, 10th grade/2nde Princess Diane Leenhardt and Prince Corentin Osta, and 11th grade/1ère Princess Megan Dunkin and Prince Zach Francis.