The new Primary Learning Center connects directly with the Philip Schutze-designed main building.

As it doubles the physical size of its primary school with a new building addition, the Atlanta International School is also adding onto its language programs with a new Mandarin Chinese track. 

The private school in Buckhead announced Sept. 4 that the new Primary Learning Center, which houses grades K-5, opened as the new school year began. 

The center doubles primary-school space and adds 20 new classrooms, along with a cafeteria and multi-purpose space. The building occupies three floors centered around a courtyard, with two grades assigned to each floor. 

About 100 new primary-school students joined the school this year. 

The new space helps make room for a new Chinese program, which joins French, Spanish and German offerings for primary school students. 

Students from beginners to native speakers can join in the study of one of the four languages at any time through fifth grade. The school teaches its mainline curriculum in both languages, with partial immersion starting in kindergarten following full immersion in preschool. 

AIS also offers what it calls its Heritage Language Program where native-speaking teachers tutor primary-school students after school in their mother tongues to help solidify them as they approach new languages and learning challenges. 

Languages on offer so far to both AIS families and others in the community are Arabic, Dutch, Farsi, Greek, Hindi, and Italian.

The customized new space, with features focused on driving collaborative learning, will be a boon for language-learning, Headmaster Kevin Glass said in a statement. 

“We are shaping these children to be critical thinkers, to have a global outlook and to prepare them for the future. It’s a privilege to do that in a purposefully designed and beautiful space,” he said.  

Learn more about AIS’s language program here:

More information on the new learning center here.

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...