The International American School of Cancun, Mexico, is a private, non-profit, non-sectarian, co-educational institution offering a bilingual, bicultural education for students from preschool through high school. The school was founded in 1990 and is dedicated to an American style education, high academic standards and the caring environment a small school can offer. The International American School of Cancun is accredited by Cognia (SACS/AdvanCED) and SAIS in the United States and by Mexico’s Ministry of Education (SEP) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
Kinder/ Elementary: 372
Middle/High School: 264
Student Population: 84% Mexican 5% U.S. 11% Other
The International American School of Cancun maintains a highly trained professional staff, composed of teachers from the U.S., Mexico, England, and Canada. Thirty-three percent of the teachers hold a graduate degree. These teachers support the efforts of the school community to provide an American model of education in a bilingual, bicultural setting. The school enjoys a blend of staff members who are permanent residents of Cancun and others with shorter time commitments, as well as diversity in age and experience. This is yet another aspect that helps create a professional atmosphere where ideas are exchanged freely and challenges and goals are addressed in many different and unique ways.
Our elementary school students (CES) receive bilingual instruction that meets both Mexican and U.S. standards. Most of our high school students are enrolled in a full dual program, receiving both a U.S. diploma and a Mexican preparatory (high school) certificate. Thus, the majority of our graduates speak both English and Spanish fluently. These students are taking as a minimum the 24 Carnegie units required for a U.S. high school diploma as well as the Mexican program requirements in Spanish Literature, Mexican History, Geography, Law and Civics. English is the major language of instruction: English literature, science, social studies, math, and some electives and extracurricular activities are taught in English. In K-6, students spend 50% of their time in English and 50% in Spanish. In grades 10-12, eighty percent of the classes are taught in English and twenty percent in Spanish.
Advanced Placement courses are offered this year in 11th grade Spanish Literature and Culture and 12th English Literature. Given the small size of each grade level (maximum 25), staff requirements, the needs and interests of individual students, there is some variability in AP programming from year to year. Additional opportunities exist for supervised independent studies and honors classes in preparation for AP exams. Over the past five years, small groups of students have also taken exams in Spanish Language and Culture, French Language and Culture,Psychology, Environmental Science, and U.S. History. 82% of the Class of 2019 passed at least one AP exam.
The school plant consists of two campuses (Kinder-Primary and Middle-High School) separated by a parking lot shared by the two campuses. The administrative offices are located in the area between the two campuses. There is a wall surrounding the campus, with additional parking on one side. The middle-high school has fifteen classrooms, an auditorium, a full library, science and computer laboratories, administrative offices, restrooms, storerooms, and a cafeteria. The grounds include a basketball court, soccer field, and shady rest areas. The kinder-primary section has administrative offices, sixteen classrooms, computer lab, library, music room, and a kitchen which is used for school activities and cooking classes. There is a basketball court, soccer field, and two playgrounds. Each campus has a psychologist who supports student academic and emotional education.
Education at the International American School of Cancun extends beyond the classroom to ensure that all students are presented with the opportunity to grow in a rich environment of experiences. Programs are diverse: student council, National Honor Society, Model United Nations, PAS (Peace at School), CES Spirit and community service projects. An after-school sports program for boys and girls is offered in soccer, basketball, tennis, hockey, and volleyball in the upper school. Chess, traditional games, cooking, robotics, drama, yoga, and modern dance are offered in the lower school. The school also participates in a variety of events throughout Mexico within ASOMEX (American Schools of Mexico): sports events, workshops for teachers, and Model UN simulations.