Mission Statement

Xi’an International School cultivates excellence through actively engaging and caring for the well-being of our community.

Vision Statement

Engaging and Empowering Life-long Learners and Tomorrow’s Leaders

What Makes Us Different

  • English Immersion Program

    XIS insists on establishing an English-only environment for students. We combine English language learners and native speakers in each grade-level classroom. XIS teachers provide sheltered instructions adjusted to learners’ language levels. For students who need to improve their English language proficiency, we offer programs, such as English Language Program(ELP) and Academic English Program, to support them.

    English Language Program(ELP)-The English Language Program is an interactive, small-group instruction model with a specific focus on the following areas: reading fluency, speaking fluency, writing fluency, vocabulary instruction, grammar, reading comprehension, content vocabulary study in math, science,& social studies.

    Academic English Program-The classroom is broken up into grade groups (3-5 grades, 2021) in order to fast track students into the accelerated English classroom.

  • Pursuing AP Capstone Diploma status

    “Rather than teaching subject-specific content, these courses develop students’ skills in research, analysis, evidence-based arguments, collaboration, writing, and presenting. Students who complete the two-year program can earn one of two different AP Capstone awards, which are valued by colleges across the United States and around the world.” (College Board)

  •   Intentional Small Class Sizes

    Xi’an International School intentionally recruits teachers with a passion for education, a love for young people, and a commitment to help students succeed. One of the ways Xi’an International School can support our teachers and help our students is by maintaining smaller class sizes.

    Smaller class sizes allows our teachers to give students the time and attention they need to succeed. It also means our students are just a number or another face, but an integral part of the XIS community.

    It also means there is more flexibility in classroom arrangements to better accommodate learning as the classroom situation demands.

    Currently the average class size is fifteen students, and when you add the lead teachers, teaching assistants for our core subjects, Academic English classes, our support staff and elective teachers, our student to teacher ratio becomes 2.86:1!



  • Strong Ethical Foundation through the Honor Code

    • Honest
    • Loyal
    • Responsible
    • Respectful
    • Friendly
    • Caring

  •  XIS Teacher Roles

    • Paraprofessional: Educational professional that helps individual students who have unique learning needs
    • Instructional Coach: Educational professional that helps individual teachers advance their craft
    • Pre-K: 4 year old classroom with a dedicated full-time homeroom teacher
    • Academic English Track Teacher: Classrooms using the XIS curriculum with extra English support (fall 2021)
    • Accelerated English Track Teacher: Classrooms using the XIS curriculum
    • Pull-Out: A specialized class that runs alongside of the Accelerated English Track (spring 2021)

Parent Quotes

Things We Do Well

  • Caring Teachers

  • Excellent Content

  • English Immersion and Global Citizenship

  • Small Class Sizes

  • Solid Curriculum

  • Physical Textbooks

  • Strong Ethical Foundations

  • Love of Learning and Reading

XIS Handbook

XIS Prospectus


  • Our aim is to develop in our students a love for learning, to cultivate in them a lifelong pursuit of knowledge and truth, and, more than learning itself, we want our students to learn how to learn.
  • At XIS, we hold that the process of learning should be enjoyable and actively dynamic for everyone involved.
  • We recognize that our students come to us with a wide variety of learning styles and academic abilities as well as linguistic and cultural experiences. As a result, we employ teaching methods that are creative, varied, and flexible.
  • We believe that a child’s mind is not an empty receptacle into which knowledge is poured, but a living entity that feeds and grows on wholesome ideas and relevant information.
  • Students at XIS will be successful, and those successes are recognized and valued through a variety of ways and at many different levels.
  • We are a school with a challenging and caring academic environment in which our students are partners in learning, sharing decisions that affect both learning and behavior.
  • An international curriculum (with Common Core standards) serves as the foundational platform.

XIS Education Fosters:

  • Critical thinking

  • Discovery

  • Creativity

  • Self-directed skills

We recognize that our students and their families are from various cultural backgrounds with unique world views. Therefore we provide books and materials that teach varied viewpoints to accommodate our unique families. We recognize that not all cultural sensitivities will be adequately addressed; therefore, dialogue with your child’s teacher or the school administration is welcomed.

XIS is an English-language school. We are not primarily a school for teaching English as a second language. English is the primary language of instruction for the various subjects in the curriculum. We welcome any foreign student whose English proficiency is at a level sufficient to allow the student to participate in the classes.

Facilities & Campus

Xi’an International School is located on a campus with Xi’an Bodi School. The XIS facilities include 13 classrooms, a full wood shop and maintenance office, art room, cafeteria, multipurpose meeting room, two office suites with meeting rooms, teacher workrooms, designated student and teacher restrooms, and an enclosed gymnasium equipped with an athletic office, changing rooms, and men’s and women’s restrooms and large, open spaces for physical education classes, after school activities and sports, and other XIS events. In addition to these learning spaces, XIS has a library collection of Mandarin books for students of all ages and levels, a teacher and parent resource library, as well as the largest English library in Xi’an with over 10,000 volumes.


Xi’an International School operates under the approval of the Shaanxi Provincial Bureau of Education and is licensed by the State Ministry of Education in Beijing. The name Xi’an International School was approved by the State Ministry of Education and does not indicate relationship with any other school. Xi’an International School is a non-profit entity.

Xi’an International School was founded in March 1996 with the help of the Shaanxi Provincial Bureau of Education. Our first teacher and principal was Esther Kenyon, who taught eleven students spanning eight grades in a one-room school house.

The school was formally granted license to operate by the State Ministry of Education in Beijing in 1999 and celebrated its Grand Opening in the August of that year.


Granted License to Operate

from “Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China”

Grand Opening

August 1999

Grand Opening

Move to High Tech No.1 Kindergarten

Dave Dorsett becomes Principal


Marco Polo Program started


Nancy Cintron becomes Principal


Mark Andreson becomes Principal


XIS Moves to Tong Ren Middle School


Marie Arzouni becomes Principal


Start of Chinese Language Program

Named Chinese Training Center (CTC)

First High School Graduation


Become a member of UNESCO Shaanxi


Zach & Carrie Brinegar become Principals


Wang Ya Hong becomes Marco Polo Director


XIS Moves to new location on Zi Wu Da Dao


Jack & Trudy Vegter become Principals


Laura becomes Chinese Training Center Director


Doug and Kelly Samuelson become Principals


Lori Garrison becomes Principal


Melissa Engman becomes Principal


First Warrior Sale & Carival

Run by XIS’s Student Government Association (SGA)

First AP Course

AP Calculus AB taught by April Carrillo

First Student Led Parent Teacher Conferences


Chinese Training Center (CTC) Renamed to Gateway Language School (GLS)


First AP Exams Administered

Amy Kahler coordinator

XIS Moves to Bodi Campus


Brittainy Harris becomes Principal


First PSAT Administered

Amy Kahler coordinator

WASC Application

Brittainy Harris coordinator

Became a SAT Testing Site


XIS begins offering AP Capstone


First AP Capstone Diploma Awarded


Fully WASC Accredited


Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) Implemented


Our Location