Leysin American School Blog

Letter from the Head of School - May 2016

Posted by Marc-Frédéric Ott, Ed.D. on 19/05/16 13:24



Dear Parents,

“Joyeux Printemps!” Spring has finally arrived here in the mountains in Leysin. As the school year rapidly draws to an end, we are working hard to prepare the end of year graduation events and to finish planning for the next school year. In this letter I would like to draw your attention to the following points:

  1. End of year schedule

Parents of Underclass students (8th, 9th, 10th and 11th graders)

The departure dates for all underclass students (those not graduating) are Tuesday and Wednesday, May 31 and June 1.  Their dorms close at 12:00 on Wednesday, June 1. Note that due to space limitation, underclass students are unable to attend the graduation ceremony unless an older sibling is graduating. In order to avoid problems, we ask you to ensure that they not only leave the campus but also the town of Leysin by Wednesday afternoon.


Parents of Graduates

Wednesday, June 1:     

All Day          Senior trips return 

Thursday, June 2:

10:00 – 11:00   Senior Brunch for all graduates and faculty members only

11:00 – 13:00  Graduation Rehearsal for graduates only

Afternoon        Students are permitted to check out of the dormitories

16:00 - 18:30   Parents of graduates, graduates and faculty are invited to the Kuklos reception 

Friday, June 3:            

13:00               All dormitories will close

14:00               Graduates must be present at the church

15:00               Graduation Ceremony begins

17:00               Reception and Banquet at the Belle Époque Campus

19:30               Departure of free shuttle bus for Geneva airport


  1. Plans for next year
  • Middle School:
    As noted in previous parent letters, the new Middle School Program launches next August. The Middle School will be an autonomous academic unit of LAS for 7th and 8th Student and residential life programs will be partially integrated with the 9th graders. The good news is that we have already exceeded our enrollment targets for next school year and we are still accepting students. For more information, please visit: http://www.las.ch/images/uploads/content/LAS_MiddleSchool_Flyer.pdf

  • Accreditation: We have completed and submitted our 10-year accreditation self-study report to the Council of International Schools (CIS) and New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC). 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.

  • LAS Parent Relations: As a global community, we often find it difficult to build strong social connections between our parents, due to distance, language and cultural differences. Thanks to the initiative and effort of one parent, we launched a Parent Forum last February, which has allowed interested parents to discuss various topics every 4 to 6 weeks. More information about the Parent Forum and additional initiatives will be forthcoming at the beginning of next school year.

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


  1. Schedule for parents of returning families

By now all parents of returning underclass students should have received the re-enrollment forms and the updated LAS Student Handbook. Please note the following dates:

  • May 1: The annual fees were due. If you have not paid yet, please do so rapidly.
  • July 1: Please complete the online re-enrollment forms.
  • Wednesday, August 24: Returning students are expected to arrive.


It has been an excellent school year. In the past weeks, the Theater Department performed the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown with Besart C., Ruchi W., Claire J., Jenna S., Sandro G., Teresa T. and Yuma Y. in the lead roles. Dr. Ira Bigelow led a wonderful music concert with the choir, piano and band. The Student Council election resulted in a wonderful new group of students, under the leadership of Berwin G. as President, starting next August.  For more information on school events, please visit http://blog.las.ch/.

After over two years of construction and fundraising, we introduced our students to the Magic Mountain Athletic Center this week. We are several weeks away from full completion but we wanted the students to experience the excitement of the completion of such a project before leaving for the summer. Thank you to every parent who has helped make this project possible.

In the next few days, parents of this year's graduates will receive our annual graduation appeal. This is a great opportunity to recognize your student's achievement at LAS. It is also the last opportunity to participate in our Excellence through Action Campaign. Donors will be recognized permanently on a recognition wall at the Magic Mountain Athletic Center.  

For parents of non-graduates, I also invite you to participate. Whether in support of the Campaign, our scholarship fund or other area your support makes an impact. Please contact our Director of Development, Benjamin Smith, by email at bsmith@las.ch to participate. 

As the school year draws to an end, I look forward to welcoming all our graduate parents in June and I wish our other students a safe voyage home.



Marc-F. Ott, Ed.D.

Head of School

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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