Elementary School Principal at American International School Chennai in India
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Elementary School Principal
American International School Chennai (India)

May 24, 19
Aug 2, 19


School Vacancy – Chennai, India
Effective from July 2020


Elementary School Principal


The American International School Chennai is an EY-G12 independent day school that serves approximately 850 students representing more than 25 nationalities. The school was founded in 1995 to serve the educational needs of international and expatriate families. The school is associated with the Consulate of the United States of America and is supported by the Office of Overseas Schools, U.S. Department of State. AISC is recognized with full accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. AISC offers Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma options for high school students, and we subscribe to, among many others, the international academic standards of the American Education Reaches Out Project (AERO). AISC is a member or affiliate of the following organizations: Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools, National Association of Independent Schools, National Association for College Admission Counselor, Council of International Schools, and The College Board.

AISC engages relevant educational programs aimed to support all students on their quest to self-awareness, autonomy, and ultimately self-fulfillment to make their unique contribution in a diverse and dynamic world. While AISC embraces U.S.-style and progressive pedagogies and curriculum approaches, our South Indian context and international community provide a rich and stimulating learning environment in which our students thrive and strive to reach their potential.  Our dynamic three-year Futures Plan, informed by our Mission, Core Values, and Vision for the AISC Learner, and driven by four Strategies (community, resources, talent, and learning) and ten Strategic Pathway three-year vision statements, guides school-wide improvement efforts.  

AISC Mission
Together we inspire a love of learning, empowering all students with the courage, confidence, creativity and compassion to make their unique contribution in a diverse and dynamic world.

AISC Core Values
Responsibility | Excellence | Integrity | Respect | Diversity

Our Core Values are the foundation of our community’s beliefs in each other and our students. Our values are the building blocks of our interpersonal relationships and inform all aspects of life on campus.

We believe that...

  1. Each person has equal intrinsic value, worthy of dignity and respect.
  2. We are responsible for our choices and their effect on ourselves, others and the environment.
  3. Being open to new ideas and challenging experiences enriches our lives.
  4. Mutual respect, trust and caring foster healthy interpersonal relationships.
  5. Embracing our diversity makes us a stronger community.
  6. In an interconnected world, our positive contributions to the community and the environment are essential.
  7. Individuals thrive in a nurturing environment that provides for their physical and emotional safety.


Vision for the Learner
At AISC, successful learners are…

We show courage by taking action and inspiring others to serve and contribute positively to our interconnected world.  Leaders develop a vision, plan appropriately, and work collaboratively to achieve results.

We develop a deeper understanding by listening carefully to others’ perspectives and confidently articulating personal viewpoints in the pursuit of common goals.

We approach uncertainty with confidence, designing novel solutions in the face of challenges or change. Innovators are creative, resourceful, open-minded and resilient, seeking new perspectives through inquiry, trial, error and feedback.

We investigate new interests with curiosity, inquiring with purpose, and seeking deeper understanding and fulfillment through independent pursuits.

We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyze and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical, data-informed decisions.

We show responsibility for our choices and consider their effects on ourselves, others, and the environment. We act on our principles and ideals because we value the dignity of others.

We adapt to changing circumstances, balancing our commitments and showing courage as we take on new challenges. We seek new opportunities for learning, growth, and renewal.

We appreciate our own cultures and personal histories while respecting the values and traditions of others, believing each person has equal intrinsic value. We are sensitive to the needs of others and show compassion by making positive contributions to our local and global communities and the environment.

We demonstrate on-going commitment to our endeavors by learning from our successes and failures in the positive pursuit of our objectives, goals, aspirations, and dreams. We practice patience and persistence in all situations, especially when they are challenging or uncomfortable. 

We pause to think about our goals, learning, and growth in order to develop and sustain our creativity and lifelong learning. We review and examine our own ideas and experiences in relation to the world and consider our interdependence and impact on others.

Strategic Pathways
The following five Learning Strategic Pathways are schoolwide vision statements in the current Futures Plan, 2019-2022. The Head of School, the Principals, the Director of Teaching and Learning, and the Director of Technologies and Innovation all lead on the implementation of these pathways.

1.     Learning & Experiential Opportunities
AISC develops programs for students to deepen their capacity to contribute with courage, confidence, creativity, and compassion to a diverse and dynamic world.

2.     Learning & Innovation in the System
AISC implements innovative learning experiences incorporating the inquiry framework and transdisciplinary skills, and alternative schedules to engage the vision of the AISC learner.

3.     Learning & Vision for the Learner
As a means to live the mission, AISC integrates abilities to achieve success through the Vision for the Learner into the culture of the school.

4.     Learning & Inquiry in the Curriculum
AISC integrates the inquiry framework and project-based learning into the curriculum development process.

5.     Learning & Student Wellbeing
AISC creates an integrated student wellbeing program that promotes and fosters healthy habits, self-awareness, self-management and positive relationships.

People come first at AISC and our exceptional international faculty and staff are the dynamic core of all programs at the school. Our team of 142 instructional professionals strives to provide authentic and relevant academic and co-curricular programs to help each of our students learn and grow. 

We are first and foremost committed to living our Mission, Values, and Vision. We strive to model a dynamic and balanced learning life for our students. We are committed to professional development, which aligns with schoolwide and personal learning aspirations. We embrace the Adaptive Schools framework and the Seven Norms of Collaboration.

We recognize that every child is special and will make unique contributions to the world. We embrace the five realms of a balanced learning life: Academics, Arts, Athletics, Service, and Play/Choice. Each student can flourish through our commitment to core subjects: math, science, language arts, social studies (humanities); and to speacialist areas like: world languages, theater, band, choir, strings, design technology, art, physical education (PE) and technology across all grade levels.

We are committed to providing curricular and co-curricular experiences, pastoral care for every student and voice and choice to our diverse student body. Our 1:1 program reflects our belief that technology is a central dynamic in contemporary life. We see parents as partners on our journey toward our Mission.

AISC has been a committed Advanced Placement school since 2003 and a fully accredited and recognized International Baccalaureate (IB) School since 2008.  Our curriculum, K-12, is designed from a backward design unit approach as we seek to become an inquiry-based learning organization. Likewise, our Middle School (Grades 6-8) and Pre IB/AP Programs (Grades 9-10) promote strong academics and higher level thinking skills that prepare students for the rigors of our AP/IB programs.

We believe that English language learners are a hallmark of the school’s diversity and we have a comprehensive program in English as an Additional Language (EAL).

We are committed to ensuring all students access to the general education program and we do that principally by providing an inclusive structure through co-teaching at virtually all levels.  The classroom teacher-EAL co-teacher partnership is the core organizational structure in our Elementary School. In addition to EAL, AISC has a comprehensive Learning Support Services (LSS) Program, which supports students with mild to moderate learning difficulties and a supportive and aligned counseling program.

Technology is central to the operation and learning processes at the school. Teachers have ample access to digital resources and the school supports wireless access throughout the campus. We are in our sixth year with a 1:1 Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) in grades 3-12. Our Student Information System is PowerSchool, our Learning Management System is PowerSchool Learning, and our Communication Management System is Google.

“Together we inspire a love of learning” is an aspirational goal from our Mission. In the Elementary School, we understand that “a love of learning” extends beyond academics encompassing the social emotional needs of all students, and experiences in arts, athletics, service, and play underpin our core values of a balanced elementary education. We are a progressive school where we teach concepts, skills, and knowledge through an inquiry based pedagogy. We evaluate and report student progress through standards-based criteria and through highly progressive platforms. We offer a wide range of academic and experiential learning opportunities for students and teachers where we value both choice and voice. With a clearly defined multi-age Early Years program for our youngest learners, we put students at the heart of our decision making, and also value the true partnerships with families. Our student body is very diverse and we welcome learners who are new to English, providing a unique student body and robust EAL co-teaching program.  The faculty is highly engaged and committed and makes AISC’s Elementary School a warm and welcome place for each other and for our students from across the globe.  


Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Tucked along the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is one of India’s largest cities at close to 10 million. The city supports one of the longest beaches in the world and is an Indian arts and education center.

In the 2003-2004 academic year, AISC moved onto its roomy 13 acre campus, which has evolved into a state of the art facility complete with 122 large, well-resourced classrooms, indoor and outdoor multi-use spaces throughout campus, 3 libraries (one for each section), a literacy library, an elementary design and discovery studio, a secondary design technology suite, science labs, 2 cafeterias (and two cafés), 3 gymnasiums, full-size soccer field, state-of-the-art track, a half-size astro-turf field, six tennis courts, an auxiliary gymnasium, a fitness room, swimming pool, , a black box theater, band and choir rooms, art studios, and a Fine Arts Center complete with a 750 seat auditorium.

We are wirelessly enabled, with LCD projectors in every classroom. All computers on campus are wirelessly connected to the internet. All community members use Smart Access Cards, which they use instead of carrying cash on campus. The SmartCard can be used to purchase food, school supplies and items from the cafeterias and school store.


The Principal provides leadership and management necessary to ensure the success of the school in fulfilling the Mission of the American International School Chennai. The Principal is the learning leader and administrative head of the Elementary School. S/he is responsible for optimizing the learning of all students and for the on-going improvement of the section. The Principal works collaboratively with the Leadership Team of the school to live our Mission, model our Core Values, prioritize our Vision, and develop a holistic teaching and learning program relevant to the challenges of the 21st century. The Elementary School has approximately 430 students aged between 3 and 11 years old, and 70 faculty members, including an Associate Principal, part-time Associate Principal, and two counselors.  These individuals make up the Elementary leadership team, which the Principal closely leads, guides and supervises.


Preferred Academic and Professional Qualifications

  • Is a Mission- and Values-driven team player committed to personal learning, multi-culturalism, and student and faculty achievement and wellbeing;
  • Demonstrates a vision for the future of education, particularly in the elementary school and how independent international schools can innovate to be more relevant;
  • Demonstrates the talent, knowledge, and skills to lead (with others) through change;
  • Is committed to ensuring the highest standards of collaboration, teaching, and learning;
  • Demonstrates instructional leadership experience at the elementary school level;
  • Demonstrates approachability and transparency;
  • Demonstrates savvy with relationships, communication, public speaking, and data;
  • Is organized, efficient, and clear in thought and action;
  • Demonstrates fluency with unit planning, project-based learning, and service learning;
  • Demonstrates experience in technology integration and a commitment to digital citizenship;
  • Maintains a desire to live, work, and learn in India;
  • Has a strong background in balanced literacy, inquiry- and standards-based education, differentiated and personalized systems of teaching and learning, EAL, and/or willingness to learn;
  • Has a minimum of five (5) years experience as a teacher;
  • Has a minimum of three (3) years experience as a school administrator;
  • Holds a relevant M.A./M.Ed./M.Sc. or equivalent advanced degree;
  • Has life experiences that demonstrate, among other things, a growth mindset, versatility, adaptability, and resilience.


Appointment Detail
An initial, three-year, renewable contract offers a competitive compensation and benefits package, which is commensurate with the responsibilities of the position. The school operates on an August to June School Calendar.


If you are interested in this exciting opportunity, please visit AISC's “Job Openings and Application” webpage and our website www.aischennai.org for more information.


All applications and enquiries should be directed to: executiveassistant@aischennai.org.

Please send a single pdf document, which includes the following: cover letter, resume, statement of education philosophy and practice, and list of references with complete contact details. If applying with a partner as a team, please send a separate single pdf document including a cover letter, resume, and list of references with complete contact details for partner.

Process Details

  •  Candidates are asked to apply as early as possible.
  •  Application Deadline: Friday, August 2, 2019.
  • Semi-Finalist Skype Interviews: Before Friday, August 30, 2019.
  • Finalist Candidates Visit to Campus: Sunday, September 15-Tuesday, September 17, 2019.
  • Appointment Deadline: Monday, September 23, 2019.
  • In the event of an outstanding applicant, AISC reserves the right to make an appointment in advance of the deadlines/schedules described here. The head of school at AISC also reserves the right to contact any references for confidential statements.


Attention: If you apply for this position, please inform the school and us (Admin@searchassociates.com) that you saw the notice on the Search Associates website.

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Sally Gordon spent three years sailing the seas aboard a catamaran with her husband Robert, also an experienced educator (and sailor).