Leysin American School Blog

Letter from the Head of School - March 2016

Posted by Marc-Frédéric Ott, Ed.D. on 20/03/16 11:27



Dear Parents,

 We have had a great winter season with overall decent snow conditions, especially in recent weeks. As I am writing this letter to you, we have beautiful weather and almost spring-like temperatures.

The second semester has been very exciting and enriching for all of the LAS community members. During the Family Winter Week, we welcomed over 160 parents and siblings to the campus! It was very successful and we reconnected with parents, shared plans for the future, and listened to parents talk about how they would like to see the school move forward.


On February 20, the school hosted a wonderful TedxYouth@LAS event. I encourage you to view some of the outstanding talks by guests and students by clicking here.

Now as the winter season comes to an end, we are planning and getting excited about the events after Spring Break. You will find more information regarding these events at the end of this letter.

Dates for the end of school year:

As you are planning your child’s summer vacation, please take into consideration the following 

  • Underclass trips return on Monday, May 30.
  • The departure dates for all underclass students (those not graduating) are the evening of Tuesday, May 31 and all day Wednesday, June 1. Note that due to space limitation, underclass students are unable to attend the graduation ceremony, unless an older sibling is graduating. All underclass students must leave LAS and the village of Leysin by 12:00 Wednesday, June 1.
  • Senior trips return on Wednesday, June 1.
  • On Thursday and Friday, seniors and their families will be enjoying the graduation events. More detailed information will be forthcoming.

For parents of underclass students

With the exception of the families who have already informed us that their child will not be returning next year, the Accounting Office has sent next school year’s invoice along with the link for the re-enrollment forms. Please note the following dates, as stated in the re-enrollment forms:

  • Parents wishing to withdraw their child for the following academic year must inform the Admissions Office (admissions@las.ch) in writing before April 15. If cancellation occurs after this date, the security deposit will not be reimbursed, except under extenuating circumstances.
  • The annual fees are due by May 1.
  • Please fill out the online re-enrollment forms by July 1.
  • As we are filling up quickly for the 2016/17 school year, please respect these dates.

Changes for the 2016/2017 school year

Over the past months we have been busy planning for the 2016/17 school year. Here is a summary of the main changes:

  1. Middle School: This spring, we will increase our recruitment efforts for the new Middle School Program that launches this August. The Middle School will be an autonomous academic unit of LAS for grades 7 and 8. Student and residential life programs will be partially integrated with the 9th For more information, please click here
  1. Accreditation: We are finishing our 10-year accreditation self-study report by the Council of International Schools (CIS) and New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC), which we will submit before graduation. The week of October 3, we will be welcoming the CIS/NEASC Visiting Team including educators from other international schools, to conduct a full evaluation of our self-study report. The accreditation process is based on a peer review approach and offers an excellent opportunity to reflect on what we are doing and how we can improve at all levels and in all areas of the school.
  1. LAS Parent Forum: As a global community, we often find it difficult to build strong social relations between our parents. The problems are related to distance, language, and cultural differences. Thanks to the initiative and effort of one parent, we have launched a Parent Forum. The Forum will allow interested parents to discuss various topics remotely every 4 to 6 weeks. If you are interested in participating in the Forum, please email Paul Majaukas (parent of an alumna and a current student) at pmajauskas@gmail.com


  1. Inauguration of the new Gym: The new gym is scheduled for a partial opening the second half of April, but the official inauguration ceremony will take place on Friday, September 23. More information to follow.

I personally find this an exciting time of the school year, with many wonderful events and programs scheduled over the next two months, and plans being finalized for the next school year. I would like to thank members of the Student Council and parents who have provided us with valuable feedback in recent months.

March, April, and May are busy months for the Admissions Department with the Admissions team, my parents, my brother and myself traveling around the world. The purpose of these trips is to strengthen the relationships with all current parents in order to best support your children at LAS. In addition, we are meeting with new families and will interview students interested in LAS. Since word-of-mouth is the single best source of attracting new students to LAS, your support in referring the school to your family and friends is very helpful. Also, please keep in mind we have a wonderful summer program, which students often enroll in before coming for the school year (www.las.ch/summer). We thank you for your support!

Thank you again to all parents who have generously supported the school with donations this year.  We have equaled last year’s level of participation and with three months remaining in the school year we will definitely exceed it. This is great indicator of the positive feeling our parents have about the school and its direction.

We continue our fundraising efforts for the renovation of our gym through our Excellence through Action Campaign. We have received several gift commitments following Family Winter Week and we are close to reaching our goal of CHF 1 million in private support. Your support truly makes a difference for all current and future LAS students!  For those who have not yet contributed and would like to before academic year-end, please respond to one of our Parent Appeals or contact Mr. Benjamin Smith, Director of Development, at bsmith@las.ch.

 As always, please contact us with your concerns and questions.

Warmest regards,


Dr. Marc-Frédéric Ott

Head of School


End of School Year Events




IB Art Exhibition

April 7

The IB Art Exhibition will take place in the Grande Salle on the Belle Époque campus. This is the culminating exhibition event when the two and three-dimensional art of our IB art students is showcased. 

Spring Theater Production

April 13 – 15

You’re a good man, Charlie Brown is a 1967 musical comedy with music and lyrics by Clark Gesner, based on the characters created by cartoonist Charles M. Schulz in this comic strip Peanuts.  


April 16

This is a wonderful event where students dress up to attend our annual dance at the beautiful Castle in Aigle.

SAT Preparation Program

April 18 – May 6

The purpose of this program is to prepare students, primarily juniors, for the SAT test, which is required in the admissions process for many American universities.

International Week

April 19 – 24

During this week, we celebrate the cultural and international diversity of the school. International Week culminates with International Day on Sunday, April 24, when students are invited to exhibit their national and cultural identities through food, music, and art.

Evening With the Stars

April 22

This annual fundraising event for the Ted Groom Memorial Scholarship takes place in the beautiful Grande Salle on the Belle Époque campus.  The audience enjoys a variety of student presentations during an upscale three-course meal, served by student performers. 

LAS Film Festival

April 28

The annual LAS Film Festival highlights the artistic craftsmanship of our LAS video enthusiasts. It offers a unique voice to our students as they share reflections on current events and the human condition. 

Student Council Elections

May 4 – 5

Campaigning and election for Student Council positions of office for next school year.

IB examinations

May 2 – 20

These examinations are spread over a 3-week time period as mandated by the International Baccalaureate Organization.

LAS Semester Exams

May 21 – 24

All students, except for IB Diploma Programme Candidates, will sit exams.

Awards Assembly & Awards Banquet

May 19 & May 25

During these events, we award students for high achievements in academics, sports, residential life, student conduct, music and art. The Awards Banquet is the last event where the whole school is together.

Alumni Induction Dinner (only for seniors)

May 26

The graduates officially become LAS alumni. The LAS Alumni Association is an amazing network of people from around world going back to the early 1960s.

Spring Cultural Trips

May 26 – 30 (Underclassmen)

May 27 – June 1 (Seniors)

Students will be going on a number of wonderful trips throughout Europe, with humanitarian, service and cultural-oriented focuses.

Graduation Events

June 2 – 3

This period is only for the graduating class.



Topics: Academics, Student Life

Why Leysin American School?

Welcome to Leysin American School, a school with “family” values. Located in the breathtaking beauty of the Swiss Alps, Leysin American School has a history of nurturing talent and motivating students to succeed in education, sports and arts. We bring together students from around the world to create a campus community with a global perspective and a family atmosphere.

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