BECOME A MEMBER! Sign up for TIE services now and start your international school career


Closure of the American International School of Monrovia

by Jeff Trudeau
Closure of the American International School of Monrovia

Jeff Trudeau, Director of the American International School of Monrovia, has written to inform the international education community of the closure of his school due to the prevalence of the deadly Ebola virus in the city and region.
In mid-August, amidst the growing crisis, AISM’s Board of Trustees determined that the school year would not kick off as planned on September 2nd. Now, it seems that the earliest possible start date would be January 2015, provided the infection risk level decreases significantly by then.
AISM is currently operating on a skeletal staff, according to Trudeau, who reports that one of the school’s Liberian teachers tragically lost three family members in August. Over half the school’s staff continue to seek employment.
Jeff Trudeau writes:
After 22 years of working at International Schools throughout the world and on three different continents, I have never had a start to a school year quite like this one.
This year, I begin my third year in the Director’s seat here at the American School of Monrovia, I have seen it is a lonely seat. Missing from the seat is … the teachers, student and parents. We are one of the first schools that is dealing with an extended closure due to the Ebola health situation that is currently affecting not just our school, but our city, country and the entire region of West Africa. Sometimes being first … is not the best!!
The Board of Trustees and I have determined that conditions on the ground do not believe it to be safe or feasible to host the first term of the school year. Specifically, the Board of Directors has determined over the last two weeks whilst evaluating information from a wide variety of sources including parent surveys that:
“The earliest possible start date for the school year would be the second semester, January 2015. This is contingent on the Board determining that the school is able to operate in a safe and appropriate environment.”
This year, we were anticipating record enrollment, invited 8 “new” to join our team, and doubled our educational supplies, and technology capacity.
Also this year … for the first time, since 1989! The school was going to host our Middle States Accrediation visitiation, helping to resestablish our school site as one of the premier educational facilities in all of West Africa.
Our school site has a rich tradition of educational excellence in West Africa, which I have heard about from both former Directors and students during my career at various International Schools located far away from Liberia. During this vital time in the young history of our school (established 2007), I am honored to be serving in this leadership role as our school must change and adapt to meet our new environments.
Last year, prior to being transferred, one father recently told me … “it is clear that things are changing rapidly in Liberia, and so is our school. The one thing, I will tell people is that when our school reopens is that their children will get an excellent education at AISM.”
As Dorothy once did in the Wizard of Oz, we are all clicking our heels three times … and wishing that we could all be at home once again in Monrovia, continuing the work that we – as a community – began a few years ago. We wish once again to continue the path that we have firmly placed ourselves on … “the path of excellence.”
That is a path we will rejoin … once we know that it is “SAFE TO DO SO!!”
See you when it is safe,

Please fill out the form below if you would like to post a comment on this article:


10/23/2014 - Martin Robinson

In my 21st year overseas and a veteran of
various security issues and evacuation, just
wanted to write and let you know how much
it means to have thoughtful and caring
leadership when difficult times strike. Your
school is facing the most difficult situation
and it's great to know you guys are taking
the utmost care with students and staff. I'm
hoping all the best for staff who are seeking
jobs, and especially those who continue on
there. Thank you for your model leadership.
Martin Robinson
Elementary Nusic Teacher
Taipei American School, Taiwan



Elevate Student Voice & Choice in Diverse Learning Settings
By Lindsay Kuhl, Jane Russell Valezy, & Esther Bettney
May 2021

Increasing Student Autonomy Through Time and Place
By Tim Johnson & Tony Winch
May 2021