Tirana International School (TIS) is accredited through the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA), an American accreditation board that works with American and International Schools. In addition, we are affiliated with the U.S. Department of State and the Advanced Placement's College Board. Our daily studies include English (reading, grammar, composition, and spelling), Mathematics, Science, Cultural Studies, Art, Music, and Physical Education. Intensive English classes are offered to students who need additional help with English. Computer use is integrated across the curriculum. Additional language acquisition is offered in French and Spanish. The school seeks to provide students with an appreciation for the rich culture and history of Albania. The entire curriculum can be accessed on the QSI curriculum site.
Tirana International School has a strong belief that all of our students can succeed, and we work tirelessly to help them achieve that success in their personal, physical, and social lives.
The academic program challenges every student to achieve excellence, from the early years through Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high school. This model ensures mastery of specific skills and knowledge involving both individual and group instruction. The educational philosophy is founded upon the premise that 1) all students can succeed, 2) success breeds success, and 3) it is the responsibility of the school to provide the conditions for success through a combination of challenge and support.
Tirana International School believes it is better to engage in the study of the basics of education and gain mastery rather than cover large amounts of information superficially without mastery. This happens by hearing, seeing, and experiencing in learning situations, followed by practice and repeated exposure. Some of the ways this happens are through dialogue, questioning, experimentation, risk-taking, and group activities. In the end, our students engage in understanding "how to learn" as opposed to only rote memorization of facts. In the realm of knowledge, Tirana International School has identified these areas for mastery:
Mathematics and Science
Mathematics and Science courses are critical in today’s world. As in all TIS courses, math and science text books are all from the USA and are all designed to build upon each other from bottom to top. World class lab equipment and mathematics manipulatives are a mainstay of our program. Advanced Placement (AP) courses are offered on site in high school.
English is vital for students to excel in all subjects. For that reason, TIS adds extra class time in both reading and language arts courses to ensure students get the instruction and time they need at the level they need it. This double focus on English, both reading and writing, gives TIS students extra support in their most essential course. As many students come to TIS without a background in English, specially trained teachers are here to enable students to reach fluency as quickly as possible. At the same time, mainstream courses for students who are reading and writing at grade level are challenging and incorporate listening, speaking, reading, writing and creative expressive skills at all levels
Our students at TIS have experienced first-hand the importance of entering into another culture. As expatriates in Tirana, they have learned the value of studying traditions, history, and philosophies of not only our host culture, but cultures throughout time and around the world. Parents often visit classes to share their own experiences as representatives of cultures studied within the classroom.
As technology is the fastest changing part of our world, students of all ages are engaged in courses that teach and facilitate growth in word processing, internet functionality and safety, creativity and design. These skills are then used in their other courses to add real world experience to the use of technology.
Physical Education and Personal Health
With regular classes at all levels, TIS students build awareness of fitness and movement as well as developing the skills in sports and dance that allow them to interact with friends in sports and games both during and after school. We actively participate in competitions with other CEESA (Central and Eastern European Schools Association) schools as well as a group of small international schools in the Tirana area.
Art and Music
Every Preschool, Elementary, and Middle School student at TIS engages in music and art classes each week. Our students have great instruction and outlets for their musical abilities as they play instruments and sing in the choir. All students also take art courses from an experienced instructor in a wide-ranging program that includes drawing, painting, and mixed media. Our middle school and high school students have an opportunity to participate in the annual QSI Balkans Fine Arts Festival each spring.
TIS provides the opportunity for students aged 5 and older to learn French, Spanish, Russian or German from certified instructors. Middle school and secondary students are encouraged to join the after-school French Club or Spanish Club and join the respective group on a spring excursion to France and Spain.