News and Updates
Tirana International School is in virtual school and on level 4 of our viral infection decision-making matrix. We have taken the following steps in order to align with best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
Virtual School Information Link
March 9, 2020 – Virtual School in Effect – In compliance with the ministry of education, TIS will close for all students as of today. Virtual school is in effect and each grade level has a plan in place. Note that all on-campus activities, including Saturday events, are postponed until March 23.
March 3, 2020 – Self-Isolation – In alignment with the US Embassy in Tirana, we have asked that all families that were in the heavily impacted zones within northern Italy self isolate from the school for 14 days. TIS is providing distance learning for those families impacted by this decision.
February 28, 2020 – International Travel – TIS has stopped all international trips for our students within the CEESA organization until May 1. The CEESA basketball tournament we were to host on March 6 & 7 has been canceled. For now, no internal travel has been impacted and all field trips are unaffected.
February 14, 2020 – Deep Clean – Over the break, TIS cleaners did a deep clean of the facility. In addition, our infectious disease cleaning protocols continue.
February 1, 2020 – Cleaning Protocols – Infectious disease cleaning protocols are in effect. All common areas are disinfected 4 times per day. This includes all door handles, sinks, handrails, and common surfaces throughout the school.
Supporting our Children
COVID-19 has been declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) and uncertainty around this can bring about fear and worry within our community and with our students.
It is important to know that our children are looking to us for some reassurance and guidance concerning how to respond and feel.
Some strategies to build resilience and have reassuring conversations with kids are:
- Stay Positive: Remember to keep calm. Anxiety and fear are easily picked up on by children. Having open and calm conversations helps ease any fearful or nervous feelings.
- Stick to the facts: Gently correct any untrue statements or rumors about the virus. The CDC and WHO are good sources for information. Discuss that not everything they see or hear is real. It can also be helpful to discuss some of the positive news surrounding the virus. Consider media consumption and the sources of information.
- Eliminate Stigma and Be Supportive: It is important how the coronavirus is explained to avoid any person/group from being blamed. Also explain that if someone has a fever, cough, or is feeling sick that this does not mean this person has the coronavirus. If you know of someone being teased about COVID-19, please tell a teacher, adult, or administrator. If you know someone who is feeling nervous, sad, or overwhelmed, please seek some support.
Emotional Support for Students
Our community is especially prone to feeling the stress and anxiety of international events. With over 30 nations represented at TIS, whatever happens worldwide will have an impact on us as a school. With the spread of COVID-19, your children will undoubtedly feel some level of stress. The resources below, compiled by our school counselor, might help you as you discuss this infection with your children.
CEESA Safeguarding and Child Protection Statement
- Safeguarding and Child Protection is a priority for every CEESA School.
- CEESA commits to supporting school environments that safeguard children through both prevention and intervention.
- CEESA works in cooperation with international agencies to ensure standards associated with best practices are regularly reviewed, revised, and applied in all operations, activities, and events.
- CEESA leaders honor and uphold child protection guidelines and procedures, in partnership with all stakeholders in their respective school communities.
All CEESA schools will:
- Actively uphold the CEESA Safeguarding and Child Protection Statement.
- Implement School based Safeguarding and Child Protection Policies and Procedures that
includesregular onsite training.
- Employ Safe Recruitment Practices consistent with Safeguarding and Child Protection Policies.
- Educate students and adults on Safeguarding and Child Protection.
Elementary Course Offerings (5- to 13-year-olds classes)
|Cultural Studies||Physical Education|
|Language Arts||Spanish Studies|
Secondary Course Offerings
|Literature I||Sec I|
|Writing I||Sec I|
|Literature II||Sec II|
(Literature I is prerequisite)
|Writing II||Sec II|
(Writing I is prerequisite)
|American Literature||Sec III|
|AP Literature and Composition||Sec IV|
|Creative Writing||Sec II or Sec III|
|Research Project||Sec IV|
|British Literature||Sec IV|
|Genre Studies||Sec II or Sec III|
|Technology||13 through Sec IV|
|Media Presentations||Sec I–IV|
|Cultural Studies||Suggested Level|
|World Geography||Sec I|
|Modern World History||Sec II|
|AP Economics||Sec III or Sec IV|
|American History||Sec III|
|World Government||(5 outcomes) Sec IV|
|World Economics||(5 outcomes) Sec IV|
|AP Psychology||Sec III or Sec IV|
|Algebra I||13 or Sec I|
|Geometry||Sec I or Sec II|
|Consumer Mathematics||Sec II–IV|
|Advanced Mathematics I||Sec III or IV|
|Advanced Mathematics II||Sec III or IV|
|AP Statistics||Sec III or IV|
|AP Calculus AB||Sec IV|
|Physical Science||Sec I|
|Chemistry||Sec III or IV|
|AP Biology||Sec III or IV|
|AP Computer Science||Sec III or IV|
(Algebra II is a prerequisite)
|Physical Education & Health||Suggested Level|
|Lifetime Sports||Sec I–IV|
|Team Sports||Sec I–IV|
|Health (5outcomes)||Sec I–IV|
|Languages Other Than English||Suggested Level|
|French I–IV||12–13 through Sec IV|
|Spanish I–IV||12–13 through Sec IV|
|AP Spanish||Sec III or IV|
|AP French||Sec III or IV|
|Creative & Practical Arts||Suggested Level|
|Art I & II||Sec I–IV|
|AP Studio Art||Sec III–IV|
|AP Art History||Sec II–IV|
In QSI the following grades are used on a status report (these grade definitions are written at the bottom of every status report):
• A = All essential parts of the outcome were mastered at an appropriately high level. The student consistently demonstrated noteworthy achievement of a high quality, particularly in the higher order thinking or performance skills.
Consistency Gets the A! A-level students should demonstrate consistency of work across a unit in order to be considered for the A. In order for teachers to evaluate students’ knowledge consistently, a teacher may consider the following criteria when assigning an A (including the A-level assessment or project):
• school attendance
• completion of classwork/homework
• class/group participation
Remember that an A is given for consistently demonstrating (in class and through assignments) noteworthy achievement of a high quality, particularly in the higher-order thinking or performance skills.
• B = All essential parts of the outcome were mastered at an appropriately high level in which the student successfully engaged in higher order thinking or performance skills.
• P = The student is “In progress” in the outcome (normal status).
A P is a normal grade for students who are learning the material. Normal pacing means that there is not more than one P in any one class. (In some classes, some units are open all year long; this is then considered normal.) The appearance of two Ps can be an indication that a student is falling behind and may need to be placed on a remediation plan.
• H = This outcome is “on hold” for a legitimate reason. (The student has begun the outcome but is not currently pursuing it.)
An H is given to a student who needs more time and more skills to finish a unit. H means that the student cannot pursue this unit any longer, as it interferes with finishing current units. A student can be removed from H status in a unit if he is up to date on all classes. To be up to date on current units in all classes, there can be no more than one “P” opened a time in any one class. A student will make up any units in H in the summer time if they are not closed during the school year.
• D = The student has not made a reasonable effort and is therefore “deficient” in attaining mastery of the outcome.
A student can be removed from D status in a unit if she is up to date on current units and if it has been determined that she has returned to an acceptable work pattern. To be up to date on current units in the class, there can be no more than one P opened a time in any one class. A student will make up any units in D in the summer time if they are not closed during the school year.
• W = The student has withdrawn from this outcome.
SECONDARY GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
TIS offers a secondary program which leads to a Secondary School Diploma. Most graduates of TIS attend a college or university upon completion of their studies. Previous graduates of TIS have been very successful in obtaining admittance to colleges or universities of their choice. Three diplomas are offered by Tirana International School. (A vast majority of our students work toward the academic diploma.)
* Academic Diploma
* Academic Diploma with Honors
* Advanced Placement Capstone Diploma
* General Diploma
The Academic Diploma is a college or university-preparatory course of study. Students who satisfactorily complete this program should expect admittance into an American college or university, or in many cases, universities in other countries.
A total of 240 credits (including electives) are required for the Academic Diploma. Below are listed the minimum requirements in each department.
English (80 credits)
20 – Literature (Literature I & II)
20 – Writing (I & II) or demonstrated competency
10 – American Literature
10 – British Literature
10 – Research Project
10 – Technology (including 5 Keyboarding)
Mathematics (30 credits)
10 – Algebra
10 – Geometry
10 – Mathematics elective
Science (30 credits)
10 – Biology
10 – Physical Science
10 – Science elective
Cultural Studies (40 credits)
10 – World Geography
10 – Modern World History
10 – US-History
5 – World Governments
5 – Economics
Personal Health (20 credits)
5 – Fitness
5 – Health
10 – Physical education elective
Languages Other than English (20 credits)
20 in ONE language
OR demonstrated competencies in a second language
Creative Arts (10 credits)
10- Elective credits (art, music, drama)
The Academic Diploma With Honors is the most advanced diploma offered by TIS. Requirements are the same as The Academic Diploma but with the condition that the credits include at least two Advanced Placement (AP)* courses. A total of 240 credits (including electives) also are required for this diploma.
* The Advanced Placement Program: Advanced Placement (AP) courses challenge our TIS third and fourth year secondary students to think with the sophistication of college students. Depending on the enrollment, interest, and student capability, TIS will offer Advanced Placement courses. These courses provide rigorous preparation for the AP exams credentialed by the Educational Testing Service in the United States. Many colleges and universities in the USA give university credit for test scores of 3 and better (on a scale of 1 to 5). Starting in 2018, TIS has been approved to offer the AP Capstone diploma.
The General Diploma is available to students who experience English language difficulties, time restraints, or other problems which make it impractical to pursue a more advanced course of study. It is only available to students who are in their fourth year of secondary studies or who will turn 18 years old no later than 30 October following their graduation. In general, this diploma is designed for students requiring a sound general secondary education. A total of 220 credits (including electives) are required for the General Diploma.
At TIS, we are committed to providing the highest quality language support for our English Language Learners. All of our teachers are trained to support our English Language Learners in general education classes; however, some students are eligible for additional support in our Intensive English program. Since most of our students are English Language Learners, the Intensive English program is one of the most important programs that TIS offers, and we are extremely proud of the high level of success this program has seen.
The foremost component of our Intensive English program is the reading and language arts classes, which are held during the school day. From age 6 through secondary, our students are placed in small groups of no more than seven students and receive instruction in phonics, reading comprehension, grammar, and writing from a highly skilled and trained educator. Placement into groups is based on a combination of factors including age, English language proficiency, performance on standardized tests, and teacher observation. As students improve, they are sometimes able to move to a more advanced Intensive English group, and as a result they may have different IE teachers throughout the year.
In addition to our reading and language arts classes, we also offer additional English support classes for some eligible students. These classes typically occur when other students are taking a foreign language or “special” class. During this time, students work on a variety of skills including content area vocabulary and communication.
We use a variety of tests to measure progress in our Intensive English classes. Initial placement is based on performance on the Standard English Language Proficiency Test. This test measures a student’s ability in listening, speaking, grammar, reading, and writing. The following tests are administered throughout the year to measure progress in English proficiency:
- Standard English Language Proficiency Test
- Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) Test
- Fountas and Pinnell
Once our students have achieved a level of proficiency that is sufficient to allow them to succeed in general education classes, we transfer them out of the Intensive English program. Research shows that it usually takes between three to seven years to achieve Academic Language Proficiency in English. Some students, through hard work, determination, and an aptitude for language, are able to exit the Intensive English program in less than three years. But each student is an individual, and it is impossible to predict how long it will take an individual student to achieve English language proficiency.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school. We look forward to working with your child to help him or her achieve their highest potential in English!
Our accreditation through the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA) ensures that students are receiving a universally recognized diploma that prepares them for a bright academic future. Since 1887, the prestigious MSA accreditation is considered the gold standard for schools, as it verifies the quality of each member school through yearly reporting and regular visitations. At TIS, we take our membership in MSA quite seriously by actively planning and implementing improvement plans to create an ever-stronger school program and environment.
The TIS secondary academic program aims to prepare students for acceptance and subsequent success in top universities in North America, the UK, and Europe. While studying at TIS, students will be engaged in challenging work in core academic areas as well as in the fine arts.
University Acceptance of TIS Graduates
Our graduates are accepted into top universities around the world. Here are just a few of the universities into which recent TIS graduates have been accepted or have attended:
United States: Babson College; Bentley University; Boston University; Brandeis University; George Mason University; George Washington University; Georgia Institute of Technology; Green Mountain College; Hult International Business School; Marquette University; New York Institute of Technology; New York University; Northeastern University; Pennsylvania State University; Regis College; Salem State University; St. John’s College; Stony Brook University; Stonehill College; Syracuse University; University at Buffalo–SUNY; University of California, Davis; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Riverside; University of California, San Diego; University of California, Santa Cruz; University of Massachusetts, Boston; University of Massachusetts, Lowell; University of Puget Sound; University of Rochester; Vassar College
United Kingdom: Brunel University London; Cardiff University; City University London; Durham University; European Business School London; Goldsmiths, University of London; King’s College London; London Metropolitan University; London School of Business and Finance; University of Bath; University of Birmingham; University of Edinburgh; University of Kent; University of the Arts London; University of St. Andrews; University of Westminster
Europe: Bocconi University (Italy); Erasmus University Rotterdam (The Netherlands); Hague University of Applied Sciences (The Netherlands); Jacobs University Bremen (Germany); John Cabot University (Italy); Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium); Lauder Business School (Austria); Maastricht University (The Netherlands); San Rafael University (Italy); University College Utrecht (The Netherlands); University of New York Tirana (Albania)
Canada: Concordia University; Ryerson University; Simon Fraser University; University of Guelph; University of Victoria; University of Waterloo; University of Western Ontario
Advanced Placement Courses
In order to add rigor to the curriculum as well as to prepare students better for university study and improve their chances for admission into the better schools, Tirana International School offers a large number of Advanced Placement (AP) courses on site. Students who take these courses and do well on the end-of-year examinations have a significant advantage in the university acceptance process and receive college credit for the AP classes they have successfully completed in high school.
Advanced Placement courses scheduled for School Year 2018-2019 are the following: Art History, Biology, Calculus AB, Computer Science Principles, English Language and Composition, French Language and Culture, Human Geography, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Psychology, Spanish Language and Culture, and World History.
Here you can find QSI Graduation Flowchart.
Students between the ages of 11 and 13 are placed in the Middle School program at TIS. These formative years are dedicated to the beginnings of a much more rigorous academic career. Starting at the age of 11, pupils no longer are bound to one teacher throughout the day, but go from class to class in order to
receive instruction from specialists in their academic fields.
Young adolescents are going through a time of change in several areas—physical, intellectual, social, and moral. At TIS, we dedicate ourselves to providing education for the whole child, with a focus on strong beliefs and achievement. Students are taught that to be successful in life, they must embody the traits of our Success Orientations—such as responsibility, trustworthiness, and positive group interaction.
By fostering these important attributes, our advisors are empowering students to internalize their own decision-making processes toward making healthy choices for life. At this age level, TIS also emphasizes the study skills, as well as the acquisition of social and health-related information.
Academic time is spent on purposeful, engaging learning with a relevant curriculum and daily feedback. If they possess the requisite skills and past grades, students in their last year of middle school are eligible to take high school mathematics and foreign language courses and receive high school credit.
To augment classroom learning, the school encourages students to participate in academically related after-school activities through CEESA (the Central and Eastern European Schools Association) competitions such as MathCounts and the Knowledge Bowl.
Tirana International School’s elementary program is designed to meet the unique needs of students age 5 to 10. We offer a full range of academic classes as well as a thorough specials program consisting of art, music, technology, library, and physical education. We also offer multiple levels of French, Spanish, German and Russian language for students 5 and older.
Our Reading, Writing, and Mathematics programs are based on the “Common Core” in the United States. Each class has 10 units that must be mastered before moving to the next class. Course work is both age- and developmentally appropriate, and requires students of all ages to apply what they learn as they learn it.
Our Science and Cultural Studies courses are inquiry-based and students are often engaged in interdisciplinary projects, incorporating environmental stewardship and physical fitness into their units of study. Each class has five units that must be mastered each year.
We believe that a strong academic program must also have a strong “specials” program. Students participate in musical performances, study art movements and artists, learn to be digital citizens, choose “good fit books”, and learn how to integrate healthful fitness habits into their lives.
Throughout our program, students are engaged in projects and field trips which give them hands-on experiences, especially as they learn about our host country and the environment. Our students are excited to come to school each day, and they find that they are constantly learning and mastering new material.
A popular and enriching part of the TIS experience for elementary school students, beginning at age 5, is the after-school program. Tuesdays through Fridays, in eight-week cycles, the school offers a wide range of activities for appropriate age groups. Many of these activities are simply for fun and social interaction; however, some are curricular-related—activities such as Art Club, Little Engineers Club, Soccer Skills, Italian Club, and more.