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Awty International School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Awty International School
7455 Awty School Lane

United States
TypeIndependent, Private, International School
MottoAn International School for an International World
FounderKathleen Awty
Head of SchoolLisa Darling
Enrollment1,717 (2021)
  Green and gold
YearbookDouble Exposure

Founded in 1956,The Awty International School is a private school located in Spring Branch, western Houston, Texas, United States. Awty is Houston’s premier international school, offering students a rigorous path to graduating with either the International Baccalaureate or the French Baccalauréat, and it is the only school in Houston fully accredited by the French Ministry of Education. Beginning with three year olds, Awty's program combines high academic standards with a kind and friendly atmosphere celebrating cultural, national, and linguistic diversity. Awty is the largest international school in the United States and the largest private day school in Houston.


Awty opened at 3736 Westheimer Road on September 10, 1956.[1] Originally a pre-school,[2] it was founded by Kathleen "Kay" Awty.[3] The school initially had 27 students at the kindergarten and prekindergarten levels.[1]

The school moved to 1615 Garretson Street in 1960.[1] It served grades preschool through six by 1970, and by that same year there were 250 students.[1] The upper school division opened in 1975,[2] and in 1976 four female students graduated from high school, forming the first graduating class.[1] In 1979, Awty merged with the French School of Houston and began offering a bilingual program.[4] That year, the school moved to its current campus.[1]

In 1984 the school received its current name, the Awty International School.[2] A preschool facility opened in 1990.[2] Kay Awty died in 1996.[1]

On the school's 50th anniversary in 2006, a $5 million athletic complex including a 1,400-seat stadium, 85 parking spaces, and tennis courts was constructed.[1]

Affiliations and accreditation

Awty is affiliated with the Mission Laïque Française. Agencies accrediting Awty include the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS), the Ministry of National Education of France, and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands.[5]

Awty is also affiliated with Agence pour l'enseignement français à l'étranger (AEFE), the Council of International Schools (CIS), the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE), the Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC), Houston Junior Preparatory Conference (HJPC), Houston Area Independent Schools (HAIS), and Texas International Baccalaureate Schools (TIBS).[5]


The school offers the IB Diploma, the French Baccalauréat diploma, and the American diploma.[2] As of 2021, Awty is the only school in Greater Houston offering both tracks to the International Baccalaureate and French Baccalauréat diplomas, and the only school in Texas requiring all seniors to take the final exams in one of these two programs.[6] The AEFE accredits Awty.[7]

Preparing students for the global lives they are sure to lead, all students are immersed in the study of a second language. The form of immersion varies depending on the grade level. Students in PK3 through Kindergarten are immersed in either English/French or English/Spanish. In 1st grade through 5th grade, language immersion is with core subjects taught in the primary language of either English, French, or Spanish and specials such as art, gym, and library are taught in the second language, as well as the daily hour-long second language class. Students in 6th grade through 12th grade attend a daily intensive second language class, and have extensive third language options. Languages in addition to English, French, and Spanish often include Arabic, German, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, and Russian. On any given year, Awty typically offers ten different language options.[2]


The main campus, with 26 acres (11 ha) of land,[2] is in Spring Branch in western Houston.[8] It is in proximity to the intersection of the 610 Loop and Interstate 10,[9] and is northwest of it.[10] The campus buildings together have 120 classrooms.[2]

A three-story, 65,000-square-foot (6,000 m2), 33-classroom facility,[9] called the Levant Foundation Building,[3] is located near the school's entrance. Opened in 2012, the building includes administrative offices, a dining hall, two art rooms, and a digital photography room. This new facility replaced many temporary buildings.[9] It and a five-story parking garage were the first phase of a four-phase, $50 million building program consisting of facilities designed by Bailey Architects.[3] The second phase of the project was completed in 2014 with the opening of a new elementary building, which includes a computer lab, a media room, an infirmary, two art rooms, and a teacher's lounge and workroom.

Awty historically relied on the use of temporary buildings,[9] and elementary school classes were originally located in the school's original building, "Big Blue."[3] Demolition of "Big Blue" was completed in August, 2014[3] to make way for the new Student Campus Center.

In 2017, a second 5-acre Early Learning Campus was added nearby for students in PK3/PS, PK4/MS, Kinder/GS, and 1st grade/CP featuring 26 classrooms, dedicated indoor spaces for art, music, dining, after-school program, and technology, as well as a full gym. Outdoors, the facility features two playgrounds, learning gardens, and three decks for class activities.

The former campus on Garrettson Street was west of the 610 Loop,[11] in what is now the Uptown Houston district.[12] It was in proximity to River Oaks and Tanglewood.[11]

Student body

As of 2021 the school has over 1,717 students. This makes it the largest international school in the United States and the largest private school in Houston. As of that year the students originate from the United States, France, and 48 other countries.[13] As of 2021 54% are U.S. citizens, 12% are U.S. citizens with multiple citizenship, and 34% are from one or more of 50 other countries. Over 60% are bilingual.[2]


As of 2021 the school provides bus services for students to and from the Dairy Ashford area, Greater Katy, the Lakes on Eldridge/Lakes on Eldridge North/Twin Lakes area, Memorial, Shadowbriar, Sugar Land, and the Town and Country Mall area in Spring Branch.[14]


In 2019-2020, The Awty International School joined the Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) and Houston Junior Preparatory Conference (HJPC).

Cheerleaders with the Awty mascot
Cheerleaders with the Awty mascot

The athletic campus, Awty Field,[2] is located at 1255 North Post Oak, adjacent to the main campus. Its opening ceremony was held on April 22, 2008. The athletic compound includes a stadium with 1,400 seats, four tennis courts, a press box, a polyethylene soccer pitch, 80 parking spaces, locker rooms,[10] a storage facility,[15] offices of coaches, and a concessions stand. In addition it has a running track that circles around the other facilities. The track is 400 metres (1,300 ft) long and has eight lanes. It has wide turns and a Beynon 1000 urethane surface. Stuart Holden, a midfielder for the Houston Dynamo and an alumnus of the school, attended the 2008 opening ceremony.[10]

Prior to the opening of the athletic compound, each athletic team practiced in a different place.[10] The tennis team played home games at tennis courts of other schools in the 5A district of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, and the tennis team practiced at the Memorial Park Tennis Center at Memorial Park. The track team historically practiced at several different stadiums of TAPPS 5A schools;[15] in 2008 the team was practicing at the St. John's School. The soccer teams played only "away" games (games held at other schools or stadiums) before the opening of the new compound,[10] and they practiced in a soccer field on the Awty premises.[15] Annette Baird of the Houston Chronicle describes the former soccer field as "an undersized bumpy pitch".[10]

Currently, students competing in swimming at Awty practice at Dad's Club.

Awty Athletics Team Championships

Sport Year
TAPPS Boys Tennis 2017
TAPPS Boys Swimming 2014
TAPPS Girls Swimming 2014
TAPPS Girls Cross Country 2013
TAPPS Girls Cross Country 2012
TAPPS Girls Swimming 2011
TAPPS Boys Swimming 2014
TAPPS Girls Swimming 2014
TAPPS Girls Cross Country 1991
TAPPS Girls Cross Country 2005
TAPPS Girls Cross Country 2007
TAPPS Boys Cross Country 2009
TAPPS Girls Cross Country 2012
TAPPS Girls Cross Country 2013
TAPPS Boys Tennis 1996
TAPPS Boys Tennis 1997
TAPPS Boys Tennis 2002
TAPPS Boys Tennis 2003
TAPPS Boys Soccer 1988
TAPPS Boys Soccer 1989
TAPPS Boys Soccer 1990
TAPPS Boys Soccer 1996
TAPPS Girls Soccer 2003

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Hughes, Kim. "Awty school marks its 50th." Houston Chronicle. September 8, 2006. Memorial News. Retrieved on May 17, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "About Awty" (Archive) Awty International School. Retrieved on May 16, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e Behrens, Tom. "Awty building planned for elementary grades." Houston Chronicle. November 19, 2013. Updated November 26, 2013. Retrieved on May 16, 2014.
  4. ^ Farrar, Ross. "International school pupils to perform." Houston Chronicle. Sunday, April 16, 1989. Section C p. 1W. NewsBank Record Number 04*16*616464. Available from the Houston Public Library website with a library card.
  5. ^ a b "Accreditations, Affiliations, & Memberships" (Archive). Awty International School. Retrieved on May 17, 2014.
  6. ^ Wilkinson, Emily. "Houston private schools struggle with boom in applicants." Houston Business Journal. April 18, 2014. Retrieved on May 18, 2014.
  7. ^ "Accredited French Schools". Consulate General of France in Houston. Retrieved 2020-05-13.
  8. ^ "Spring Branch Schools" (Archive). Spring Branch Management District. Retrieved on May 18, 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d Baird, Annette. "Awty starts expansion project." Houston Chronicle. June 14, 2011. Retrieved on May 17, 2014.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Baird, Annette."Awty International opens new $7 million sports complex." Houston Chronicle. May 19, 2008. Retrieved on May 17, 2014.
  11. ^ a b "Texas Monthly's Guide to Private Schools Part Two." Texas Monthly. Emmis Communications, October 1974. Vol. 2, No. 10. ISSN 0148-7736. Start page 83. Cited: p. 89. "The Awty School/ 1615 Garrettson, Houston 77027"
  12. ^ "Uptown Houston" Map (Archive). Uptown Houston. Accessed July 22, 2008.
  13. ^ "Awty International picks interim head to lead school." Houston Chronicle. February 4, 2014. Retrieved on May 15, 2014.
  14. ^ "Bus Schedule 2017-2018" (PDF). Awty International School. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  15. ^ a b c Hveem, Todd. "Athletics: Awty to inaugurate new stadium Tuesday." Houston Chronicle. April 20, 2008. Bellaire Sports. Retrieved on May 17, 2014.

Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 21 May 2021, at 22:29
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