Life-changing would be the one word I would use to describe our son's experience at QSI International School of Yerevan. Not only was he able to receive a well-rounded education, but also had the pleasure to work with a professional and friendly staff.
Metaksya Harutyunyan, Parent
In This Section
Virtually every five year old comes to school eager to learn. The mission of Quality Schools International (QSI) is to keep this urge to learn alive in every child in QSI schools. Our schools are established to provide in the English language a quality education for students in the cities we serve. These students are the children of parents of many nationalities who have come to a foreign country, usually for a limited stay of a year or more. Some students are permanent residents, citizens of the host country.
Our schools follow a logical model of education which measures success by the accomplishments and attitudes of our students. We believe that all of our students can succeed, that their successes encourage them to continue in a pattern of success, and that it is the schools’ responsibility to provide the conditions for success. These conditions include
i) developing clear statements in measurable terms of what the student will do to demonstrate mastery of learning,
ii) providing the time and resources needed for each student to attain mastery, and
iii) ensuring that students engage in learning at a level which is challenging and yet a level for which each student has the prerequisite skills necessary for success.
We believe in providing an aesthetically pleasing physical surrounding under the charge of a caring staff who believe their students will be successful, and who use time with the students as a resource for learning rather than as a boundary condition to determine when a unit of learning begins and ends. We believe in providing resources such as books, learning materials, and educational technology. In the world today children need to become proficient in the use of computers and related technology as tools to accomplish a myriad of tasks.
Finally, we believe in working with parents to encourage our students to adopt qualities of living which lead to success long after formal schooling has ended. These include universally accepted "success orientations" of trustworthiness, kindness/politeness, responsibility, independent endeavor, concern for others, group interaction, and aesthetic appreciation.
Statement of Purpose
Founded on the premise that all students can succeed, QSI Yerevan offers a rigorous, well-rounded educational program which meets the academic, social, and emotional needs of our diverse, multicultural students with an emphasis on mutual respect of ideas and values. We ensure the mastery of skills in a safe, inclusive environment, by instilling in each student a life-long passion for learning as they grow into dignified, global citizens prepared for the challenges of the future.
The schools of Quality Schools International (QSI) use a model of education based upon premises of successful student performance. A description of performance-based education implementation in the QSI schools follows:
- Three Core Beliefs
- The implications of QSI’s Three Core Beliefs
- Responsibilities of the School
- Responsibilities of the Staff
Three Core Beliefs
The Success-Oriented QSI Educational Model has Three Core Beliefs:
- QSI believes that all students can experience success in their learning, including the application of higher-order thinking skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving.
- QSI believes that success breeds success.
- QSI believes that it is the school’s responsibility to provide the conditions for success.
This success oriented way of operating schools leads to optimum learning and to happy and motivated students. Using knowledge of educational research, these schools are student performance-based rather than ‘time-based’ or ‘calendar-based’. Teachers and students in QSI schools use time as a resource to reach mastery of clearly-defined objectives (unit outcomes) rather than using time as a boundary condition to determine when learning begins and ends. Students are given the time needed to achieve success. Our teachers are expected to employ instructional practices of excellence. However, the measure of success is not how well the teacher teaches, but how well the students learn.
The implications of QSI’s Three Core Beliefs
All Students Can Experience Success in their Learning
- QSI defines academic success as performing at a level that would traditionally earn a “B” grade. The system for evaluation is mastery at an “A” or “B” level, or a “P” (the student is still in progress toward mastery in a particular unit).
- Rather than employing an extensive grading system, such as A, B, C, D, E, or 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. to record varying performance levels, QSI believes that the amount of time each student spends on a unit of study can vary considerably as each works toward achieving an “A” or “B” mastery level. A student performing at the “B” mastery level has full understanding of course content. A student performing at the “A” mastery level is able to apply course content with higher order thinking skills.
Success Breeds Success
QSI believes there is a connection between student perception of their own performance in a subject and their actual performance in that subject. Students who consistently experience failure are unlikely to see themselves as successful. QSI believes it is important to break cycles of failure. Placing students in situations where they will begin to experience success is the QSI goal.
It is the Responsibility of the School to Provide the Conditions for Success
QSI believes that more learning will occur if students have a desire to learn, have positive feelings concerning the school environment, and have success in their work. A comfortable atmosphere of caring and acceptance is considered important to QSI. Possibility for success increases when students work at the appropriate level of difficulty and sense positive expectations from well-qualified, experienced, and caring educators.
Responsibilities of the School
To achieve these Core Beliefs, QSI takes on the responsibilities:
- To provide educators who have a love for children, who have positive expectations of children, and who are willing to expend the time and energy necessary to meet the success of individual students.
- To employ educators who maintain core values and who believe their life style should be a positive influence on their students.
- To clearly define in measurable terms what students need to do in order to be successful. This is mastery learning, not mystery learning.
- To employ enough educators to maintain reasonably small class sizes.
- To provide facilities that support academic and activity programs.
- To assess each student in reading, mathematics, and writing upon initial enrollment to ensure proper placement and instructional achievement level in these courses.
- To encourage parental support of the school with a view toward enhanced learning and the development of positive student attitudes.
Responsibilities of the Staff
To achieve these Core Beliefs, the staff at QSI schools take on the responsibilities:
- To continually assess students in all areas of learning to ensure mastery.
- To ensure students know what they need to do for success in a learning outcome.
- To provide appropriate learning experiences, allowing students sufficient time on tasks to be able to experience success.
- To provide reteaching experiences if mastery is not achieved.
- To reward students equally for mastery, regardless of the time taken for achievement.
- To evaluate students in a way that encourages self-growth rather than competition against other students’ achievements.
- To encourage students to use higher-order thinking skills and to apply them to real-world situations.
- To provide a positive school atmosphere by working with a cooperative spirit, supporting one another, and encouraging a high morale and efficiency within the staff.
- To incorporate differentiated teaching methods and styles within the classroom.
We expect our administrators:
To create a safe, positive environment for teachers, parents, and students.
To be flexible, helpful, and provide support when meeting with parents in conferences.
To be available, willing and able to provide support to all faculty members.
To provide support by visiting the classroom and giving helpful feedback and also provide help when requested.
To support and facilitate teaching and learning.
To follow the proper channels when communicating.
We expect our teachers:
- To be dedicated professionals who are planned and prepared to teach.
To cooperate and be willing to work toward a common goal.
To positively and cooperatively take on responsibilities beyond the classroom in support of extra-curricular and school-wide initiatives, considering them as integral to the success of the school.
To be flexible, responsible, cooperative and supportive.
To be aware of what makes each child unique and take that into account in their instruction.
To be aware of individual faculty member's talents/abilities/resources and to share those talents/abilities/resources by assisting other teachers in appropriate units.
To respect colleagues and children.
To follow the proper channels when communicating.
To be helpful and kind.
We expect our students:
- To be respectful of teachers and each other.
To have a readiness to learn and a positive attitude toward learning in the face of academic challenges.
To be cooperative with others, responsible for their own behavior and supportive of the school and the school community.
To give their full attention to each school day and commit to being successful students.
We expect our parents:
To be responsible, cooperative, and supportive.
To follow the proper channels when communicating.
To help their children come prepared for each school day.