The first phase of the Canadian International School Phnom Penh (CISP) officially opened on Saturday with a lively celebration involving current and prospective members of the school’s community.
Located in Bassac Garden City, the pre-school caters to children aged 18 months to six years.
By 2014, a primary and a high school on Diamond Island will be completed.
“Our plan is to link this pre-school with a companion school on Diamond Island and this will guarantee a seamless journey through the school,” Donna Trafford, CISP’s principal, said.
Canadian firm AKD International is overseeing the project. The organisation has handled other Canadian international school projects in China.
The full-day tuition fees for the pre-school start at $4,990 a year and increase with the age bracket. The school’s curriculum will follow the Canadian province of New Brunswick.
“Our affiliate schools in China have had an agreement with New Brunswick for eight and 10 years, they have it down to a science,” said Trafford. “We have people come from the province of New Brunswick to inspect us, to make sure we have certified teachers and that they are following the curriculum.”
When the Diamond Island site is completed, the school will start integrating the International Baccalaureate program, Trafford said.
“For expatriates who move from place-to-place, it’s really important to have IB, particularly in the middle and high school years.”
The overall aim for CISP is to become known as the best school in Phnom Penh, Trafford said.
“We’ll have a cafeteria, theatre, swimming pool, all of the things that go with an international school will be completed in phase two. That should be completed by August next year.”
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Currently, the pre-school has the capacity for 120 students with six classrooms and class sizes limited to 20 students per teacher. Fourteen students are registered with the school, but Trafford says they are gaining students each week.