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FAQ – International schools and IB schools

  1. What makes AIS unique?
  2. Who are the founders of AIS?
  3. What curriculum/school board does AIS follow?
  4. Do Indian universities and colleges recognize the IB?
  5. Does AIS have any professional affiliations or partnerships?
  6. When does the academic year begin and end?
  7. What is the admissions process and when does it start?
  8. For what ages are you accepting admissions enquiries?
  9. How are students assessed?
  10. What does it look like when a child transitions from AIS to another curriculum/school board or visa versa?
What makes AIS unique?
At AIS kids come first. Students at AIS are the beneficiaries of an individualized education in which academic concepts are presented in a real world context. Students develop depth of understanding around skills and concepts and know how these skills apply to the world around them. Real world problem solving, understanding multiple perspectives, and the ability to collaborate with a wide variety of people, are all a part of a child's education at Ascend. At AIS we mentor children to ask the right questions, formulate answers using multiple approaches, critically evaluate information, and reflect on their learning process.
Who are the founders of AIS?
Kasegaon Education Society (KES) have rich history of supporting cultural and educational traditions in India for more than six decades.

The founders of AIS are part of an educational trust by the name of Kasegaon Education Society. Shri Rajarambapu Patil established KES in 1945. Founded in the heart of Maharashtra, the Society's programs have been created in order to bring educational and economic opportunities to rural communities. There are currently 39 schools and colleges in operation, which continue to enrich the lives of children and residents of small villages throughout the rural and tribal regions surrounding Mumbai.

Other social initiatives of the founders include: the Rajarambapu Co-Operative Sugar Factory, The Rajarambapu Co-Operative Milk Union, the Rajarambapu Co-Operative Bank and the Rajarambapu Group of Co-Operative Textile Industries.
What curriculum/school board does AIS follow?
Ascend International School is a Candidate School for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP). We are currently pursuing authorization as an IB World School. IB schools share a common philosophy-a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that AIS believes is important for meeting the needs of our students in the 21st century.

*Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its three academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), or the Diploma Programme (and in addition the IB Career-related Certificate). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted.

Our faculty draws upon best practices of a wide variety of pedagogies to create consistently innovative curricula for each of the primary, middle and high school programs while considering the social, emotional and academic needs of the child at differing stages of development.
Do Indian universities and colleges recognize the IB?
Yes. Both the Middle Years Programme (6-10) and the Diploma Programme (11-12) are recognized by the Association of Indian Universities (AIU). The Middle Years Programme (MYP) of the International Baccalaureate (IB) is now recognised as an equivalent to class X of an Indian Board assessment. Students who have completed the MYP are now (as of January 2013) entitled to apply for admission for higher studies in any school or junior college in India.
Does AIS have any professional affiliations or partnerships?
Ascend International School is modeled after and inspired by University Child Development School in the United States. Established in 100 years ago in 1911, UCDS is renowned for its leadership, cutting edge curriculum, research-based teaching methods and exceptional faculty. Beginning in 2008, the founders of AIS began to work in partnership with the faculty and leadership of University Child Development School. Their goal was to create a school that offered families living in Mumbai the type of education in which children's natural curiosity propels their learning and to design an environment in which skills and concepts are taught in an integrated context. With that in mind, they wanted to find an existing school to work beside that highlighted some specific traits: problem solving, collaboration, big ideas, generosity, high expectations and above all, a school where everyone had an enthusiasm for learning. This collaborative relationship continues to support the foundational teaching practices, philosophy and educational model of Ascend International School.
When does the academic year begin and end?
Per the IB and other international school calendars, the academic year begins the first week in August and goes through May. Summer months at AIS are June and July.
What is the process for Admissions and when does it start?
Our admissions process is designed to get to know each child and family and to guide families in selecting the best fit for their child. The process of applying to Ascend International School starts with a parent tour. Tour dates for the 2014-2015 school year are published in August 2014.

Get to know us! Families interested in applying to AIS will first be given a parent tour. Application forms are given to parents on the day of their school tour. Following submission of the application, an appointment for a student observation and parent interview will be scheduled. Once parents have completed all of the steps in the admission process, enrollment decisions are communicated to families on a rolling basis.

To apply for the 2014-2015 school year, the youngest children must be at least three years old by August 31st, 2014 to begin in our Half Day Programme. To apply for Pre-KG, children must be at least 4 years old by August 31st, 2014; for Kindergarten, children must be 5 years old by August 31st, 2014.
For what ages are you accepting admissions enquiries?
For the 2014-2015 school year, we are accepting enrollments for pre-Kindergarten (nursery) through the 5th grade. We will open enrollment for 6th grade in 2015, 7th in 2016 and so on through the upper grades. At full student capacity, AIS will serve a total of 520 students through the 12th grade.

For the initial years, we have limited our enrollments in order to get to know each child deeply and establish a relationship with families within the context of our new community. As we introduce new children into our expanding community in subsequent years, it is a priority for us to maintain close relationships with each of our current students and families.
How are students assessed?
Assessment is thoughtfully built into every part of the curriculum at AIS. Teachers use a varietyof coaching techniques and performance based assessment tools as they work with students each day. Teachers carefully observe a student's approach to a problem, the methods and skills students use to solve a problem and how students adjust their strategies when asked guiding questions. Ongoing assessment through one-on-one student and teacher interaction is integral to constructing curriculum and developing teaching techniques that are responsive to the individual needs of students.

The formal reporting system at AIS consists of a narrative report and set of academic continua for each student which are sent to parents twice a year. Narrative reports give parents a detailed picture of the way their child learns, collaborates, communicates and understands concepts and skills. Narrative reports are accompanied by a set of continua that outline the level of understanding that a student demonstrates for skills in mathematics, reading, writing, and and the social/emotional domains. The continua give a measureable picture of each child's developmental progression and are tools for teachers to further individualize instruction by assessing students' current skill level in specific subject areas.

A detailed explanation of the assessment process is shared with parents during admissions tours. To learn more, sign up for a school tour!

What does it look like when a child transitions from AIS to a different curriculum/school board or visa versa?
As a school with a diverse student body, we recognize that many of our students will have the opportunity to attend or arrive from different school structures. We take this reality as a responsibility and assure that our students have the academic skills to easily make this transition and that our teachers understand how to welcome and support new students. For students arriving to AIS, our individualized curriculum adds many layers of depth and support because teachers can assess where new students are academically and design curriculum around their skill set. When students depart from AIS and enter a new community, they take with them the confidence, reflective thinking skills, ability to self-advocate and deep academic skill set that they acquired at AIS. While each child handles transition differently, the skills students acquire at AIS transfer to a wide array of school environments.
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