Study at ISHCMC-AA

Choosing the right school

What is the difference between a country curriculum (e.g. US, British, Australian) and an IB Curriculum?

Country curriculums, are based on a teaching method of providing content of information to students to remember and regurgitate of which a percentage of that content is based on the country of origin.The American curriculum chooses to define ‘international education’ according to the following criteria.

Best of American Learning

International school teachers follow a curriculum dictated by their head of school’s pedagogy, academic team, and accreditation process. An American-curriculum school provides interactive learning and critical thinking skills along with emphasis on building the student’s character as a whole with extracurricular activities such as music, athletics, and leadership clubs. Schools that provide standardized testing can offer a snapshot of their academic averages and level of achievement. Reputable schools will have an accredited curriculum such as CIS, NEASC, SACS, or WASC, as this ensures the consistency and quality of their program.

Outstanding Academic Results

The school’s graduation requirement and university acceptances are a good indicator of the school’s academic results. A pattern of students getting accepted into reputable universities and colleges is a good sign that they have a strong counselor and counseling department. A strong growth in scholarships to overseas universities show a commitment to the students’ future beyond secondary years.

Early University Credit

High school students can enroll in challenging courses for early university credits such the Advanced Placement Program (AP) or Syracuse University Project Advance (SUPA). Both programs are highly-regarded in the US, with AP classes in most major high schools. SUPA course are designed as university-level courses taught by adjunct professors where students can graduate with a dual transcript: their American high school diploma and a Syracuse University transcript.

Inspiring and Dedicated Teachers

The most important factor is the quality and qualifications of the school’s faculty. Teachers play an important role in the lives of our students. The minimum requirement for an international school teacher should be a BA degree (with higher tier schools, more than 70% of faculty will also hold an MA or Master’s of Education degree), teaching credentials in their home state or country, and more than 5 years of teaching experience.

English Language Immersion

One of the greatest advantages of an international school whose host country’s language is not English is that the students can spend more than 75% of their day in an English-speaking environment. When students are exposed and immersed in the English language, they can develop high proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

If studying at ISHCMC-AA, how will my child cope when moving back home or to another type of curriculum?

We encourage students to become more knowledgeable about the world. Our curriculum is in line with international expectations and catered to meet individual needs. We focus upon conceptual understanding through inquiry in our challenging, relevant and engaging units. We teach the skills to be lifelong learners in all subject areas. Students will develop communication, research, thinking, social and self-management skills. We develop positive attitudes to learning. We encourage students to show the following attitudes: appreciation, commitment, curiosity, confidence, cooperation, creativity, empathy, enthusiasm, independence, integrity, respect and tolerance. We expect students to take positive action to make a positive impact. We expect students to take positive action in their daily lives and we provide opportunities for students to take action to impact the wider community.


Through the process of inquiry-based learning and the application of the transdisciplinary skills and attitudes. Parents can be confident that their children, learning in an American curriculum will be able to move back to home country’s or new schools with ease and confidence.With their independent academic skills, global understanding and with mature social and emotional abilities, they will be able to academically maintain their maximum potential and they will also have the social skills to enable them to engage and transition into their new community quickly.

ISSP Transition & Admissions

We aim to make the admissions process a pleasant, straightforward experience. We offer rolling admissions, allowing entry throughout the year, provided space is available.

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American Grading System & Credits

Grading Scale & GPA Calculation

We use number grades from 0 to 100, and we calculate both weighted and unweighted GPA.

Weighted courses include Advanced Placement (AP) and university-level dual enrollment with Syracuse University Project Advance (SUPA). Only courses taken at ISHCMC – American Academy count toward cumulative GPA. GPA is calculated quarterly.

Graduation Requirements

Starting for Class of 2019


  • Core subjects: 16 credits
  • Other required subjects: 3 credits
  • Total required to graduate: 24 credits


The 5.0 additional credits required can be made up of credits from various subjects where the student has already completed the minimum requirement.

An additional graduation requirement is for all graduating seniors to write 3 Gratitude Letters to people who have helped or encouraged them to succeed in their education. These letters will be submitted to the Head of School by May 1st of each school year. They may be typed or handwritten.

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