Upper School

Developing skills and characters for futures rich with promise through conceptual, character and competency based learning.

Learning Principles and Impact Goals

At the core of our program, we have committed to several learning principles and impact goals that drive our Learning Ecosystem. These principles are outlined in our strategic plan and are adopted from the Common Ground Collaborative. They are:

  1. We can all learn and have a right to do so. 
  2. Learning is a personal and social, as well as an emotional and cognitive activity. 
  3. Learning environments have a significant impact on our learning. 
  4. Transfer of learning happens in rich and relevant contexts. 
  5. Common learning cultures need to construct common meaning through a common learning language.  

These are further enforced by our student impact goals:

  1. Every student will become an expert in his/her learning
  2. Every student is known, advocated for and supported. 
  3. Every student personalizes learning and pursues dreams.

Human Commonalities

Human commonalities as contexts direct learning towards independent and shared inquiry into our common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet. Using the world as the broadest context for learning, our academic subjects develop meaningful explorations of:

  • Developing a sense of meaning and purpose
  • Leading healthy and balanced lives
  • Creating connections to our environments
  • Becoming innovative producers and responsible consumers
  • Expressing ourselves creatively
  • Understanding how things work
  • Building effective communications skills 
  • Group dynamics and what it means to be a contributing member

Upper School Curriculum

The mission of AISZ is to build character and skills for futures rich with promise. In developing the AISZ Learning Ecosystem, we’ve framed our work within the three main pillars of the Common Ground Collaborative: conceptual learning, competency learning, and character learning. Through inquiry-based methodologies and an integrated approach, our commitment to innovative education comes to life.

Middle School

At AISZ, every student will become an expert in his or her learning. Every student is known, advocated for and supported. Every student personalizes learning and pursues dreams.


High School

High School (Grades 9-12) experience a broad range of subjects. Students are expected to engage in structured and student-directed inquiries in each subject. They continue to learn through complex tasks and asked to self-monitor, self-manage and self-modify. Reflection is an important part of learning. High school students are expected to be independent inquirers.


Home Language/Mother Tongue

In alignment with our Mission and Vision, and our Student Impact Goals, the American International School of Zagreb recognizes the importance of languages in promoting cultural diversity as well as a person’s identity. At AISZ we believe it is essential to maintain and encourage the development of our students’ home languages/mother tongues since it supports further language acquisition and further cognitive development. At AISZ we are proud to say that our students have over 30 home languages. 

AISZ encourages students to continue building literacy in their home languages and offers several options of personalizing schedules for Home Language (HL) Learning. Students can take HL classes during school hours, after school hours, or a combination of synchronous and asynchronous virtual classes. In Upper School the HL classes are scheduled back to back with the home language Croatian/Global Perspectives block. The information about taking the HL class can be included, in the form of a comment, on the report card. AISZ helps by providing recommendations for different HL teachers/tutors, but final arrangements regarding schedule and payments are done directly by parents. 

In the IB DP program students can earn a bilingual diploma if they take two Language A classes. AISZ offers English, Croatian, French and German Language A classes (condition to number of interested students) and students can take a self-taught Language A class in many other languages (so far we had students taking Chinese, Norwegian, Danish, German, French, Korean, Polish…self-taught Language A classes).

For further information please contact Home Language Learning coordinator martina.salluzzo@aisz.hr or one of the World Languages accademic leads, Danijela Peric or Martina Salluzzo.

For further information about IBDP Language A choices in grades 11 and 12 please contact IB diploma coordinator erin.henkels@aisz.hr 

The Collaborative Math Hub

The Math Hub was created so that students have access to multiple math teachers which allows them to be challenged and or supported based on their current abilities. Students have one-on-one attention, flexible grouping from data-based instruction. This is a dynamic model that does not have fixed groupings, but are dependent on the needs of the day.

Learner Assets

Inspired by the research of Kath Murdoch (Power of Inquiry, 2015), the AISZ curriculum offers opportunities for students to develop and practice learner assets. These skills and dispositions provide valuable support for students working to meet the subject group’s aims and objectives.

The Learner Assets are grouped into five categories that include multiple specific skills that can be introduced, practiced and consolidated in the classroom and beyond.

What makes the AISZ experience unique?

  • Highly qualified international staff fluent in a variety of languages, including English and Croatian. 
  • Two diploma pathways in high school. 
  • Unique electives like woodworking and media literacy.
  • Opportunity to continue mother tongue support during school day. 
  • Off campus Unity Trips in the Fall to explore the natural beauty of Croatia and build resilience for academic success. 
  • Small class sizes to enable a personalized learning experience. 
  • Criterion based assessments ensure academic integrity, growth, and personalization in the learning process. 

Application Criteria for Upper School

  1. EAL screening as appropriate
  2. Excellent academic record including complete transcripts (HS) and translated to English
  3. Mandatory interview for high school and case by case for middle school
  4. Math assessment for high school
  5. Complete references from sending school
  6. Documentation of any medical, learning needs or extra supports

How to apply

Contact the admissions office and make an appointment

To begin the application process families should contact the admissions office. Where possible, the applicant and his or her family should make an appointment for an interview and tour of the school campus or a video call. Such a meeting is most informative and often helps to reduce anxiety and answer questions about the family's transfer to a new location.

Complete the online application process

Once the online application process is complete, our admissions committee will review your child's application. A one-time non-refundable Application Fee payment is due at the start of the online application process. More information can be found here.

Assessment of applicant's level of English and/or Math

If there are questions about, for example, the applicant’s level of English or differences in the educational systems, the student will be invited to come in for an interview and/or given an assessment (language, math, etc.). Students who are non-native English speakers, or do not come from a school where the language of instruction is English will be given an EAL and/or placement test to assess their level of English and/or mathematics. All high school students will be given an English and/or a Math placement test, and the results of these assessments may affect the admission decision.