Elementary School includes our youngest students, from PreKindergarten 2 up to grade 5. These are especially crucial years for building a strong educational foundation. RIS provides a rigorous academic program that integrates students’ social and emotional development. All of our elementary school teachers are highly qualified and certified within their specific subject areas. Many of our teachers have additional certifications in reading, language development, and learning support. But that is not what makes ES such a special place; it is the warm, caring environment that facilitates learning and builds character, preparing our students for middle school, high school, college, and life. We take pride in nurturing the student-centered learning environment we provide for our children.

ES Profile 2019-2020


Our students are recognized for their strong academic achievement as well as for their development as responsible and caring citizens. The rigorous ES curriculum has been developed from U.S. standards that RIS has adopted school-wide. Core subjects are based on the American Education Reaches Out (AERO) standards and taught by the grade-level classroom teachers. We integrate Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop to provide a balanced literacy model, and science and math are inquiry-based courses with a focus on critical thinking—all skills that are vital for success in the future. Across all grades, students have access to devices and lessons about the proper use of technology so teachers and students can safely use digital tools and resources in innovative and creative ways. In grades 1 and 2, each student has access to a class iPad, and in grades 3–5, RIS has a 1:1 Chromebook program. You can read more about RIS’ instructional technology philosophy and policies on the Innovation page.

Beyond the core subjects of math, reading, writing, science, and social studies, your child will have daily opportunities to experience and explore other interests and talents in their specialist subjects—art, music, physical education, a second language, and values. Our students are also introduced to skills and concepts in health and wellness. All elementary students are required to take Thai language and literacy, and our non-Thai students also learn about Thai culture. Collectively, these subjects not only offer elementary students a well-rounded school experience, but they help our children learn how to be considerate world citizens who are aware of the importance of caring about other people and our environment.

Our students’ social and emotional well-being is further supported by the Second Step curriculum. All of our teachers are skilled at adapting learning to individual student’s needs and meeting them where they are, developmentally. In all grades, we encourage students to make appropriate choices and exercise their independence, which promotes autonomy and a sense of safety—all of which are essential in developing well-adjusted, happy children who can focus on their learning.

A Typical Day

Grades 1-5

Every day is a good day for learning and making friends in elementary school. Most days start out with circle time. This is a community building time when students and teachers can address issues in the class or in the world or sometimes share short lessons on health or community issues. From there students move into core subject and specialist lessons. Each day has 2 blocks of reading and writing and an extended math period. Listening and speaking are integrated into each subject throughout the day. Elementary puts a lot of emphasis on collaborative learning and students spend time throughout the day working in small groups and on collaborative projects. We take pride in the nurturing the student-centered learning environment we provide our children.

Our students are recognized for their strong academic achievement as well as for their development as responsible and caring citizens. A rigorous curriculum integrates “Readers and Writers Workshop” in a balanced literacy model. The core of this model is inquiry-based science and math with a focus on critical thinking, skills necessary for success in the 21st century. Our learning community  encourages students to work together and to support each other, and build compassionate and empathetic social skills and relationships.

Beyond the core lessons in math, reading, writing, science and social studies, your child will be given daily opportunities to experience visual art, performing art, physical education, second language and values courses, as well as being introduced to skills and lessons in health and wellness.

Field Trips

Field trips are an integral part of the elementary school experience. Hands-on, experiential learning in new environments can shift perspectives and often deepens students’ understanding of a topic. With each memorable off-campus experience, the students are able to create a tangible connection between what they are learning in school and what is happening in the real world. ES field trips include visits to the National Science Museum, Kasetsart University Butterfly Garden, Sea Life Ocean World, and a day on a Chao Phraya river barge. 

Summer School

The goal of Summer School for our youngest students is to provide a fun academic learning experience. Students will focus on literacy instruction, relevant and developmentally appropriate math lessons, and take part in enjoyable and engaging electives.

The Summer School teachers are our very own certified, experienced RIS faculty members, who have developed an exciting schedule for each day. In the mornings, students will have reading, math, science, English language skills, and PE. The afternoon schedule includes electives such as yoga, cooking, games, exploring iMovie, and building with LEGO®.

ES Summer School 2019 To register, click here.

Dr. Joshua Fritts, Elementary School Principal
Doctor of Education, Northeastern University
MS in Special Education, Portland State University
BS in History, Portland State University

I am proud to be a member of the RIS community. While my family and I call Portland, Oregon, in the United States "home," and I have had the pleasure and honor of working in or consulting with many schools throughout the world, there is no school that outshines the work we do here at RIS.

As the Principal of the Elementary School, where we serve students in PreKindergarten through grade 5, there are so many aspects of the RIS education that I am always delighted to share with parents and other visitors such as

  • the exceptional quality of our educational programs
  • our highly skilled teachers
  • the leadership role that RIS takes regarding professional development for teachers throughout the world of international education
  • our focus on rigorous and global education for each and every student, no matter their family background or prior educational experiences

However, the most important aspect is the fact that RIS is a diverse and inclusive community. Our school community focuses on teaching our students to be deep and creative thinkers as they develop into the leaders of tomorrow. 

I am confident and proud of the work our teachers do each and every day to support the success of our students. Students who succeed not only in the classroom but in athletics, the arts, coding and robotics, languages, and so much more. You might assume that this is the case at any school—and it should be.  However, at RIS, I believe that it happens more consistently and at much earlier ages, with far greater success and joy. My own daughter is a student at RIS, so I have witnessed firsthand not only as an educator but as a parent, the way that our students evolve and develop their thinking and leadership skills.  

Come visit our school and see for yourself what makes the RIS community a place for all students to flourish and succeed.

Jessica Seim, Elementary School Assistant Principal
Master of Education in International School Administration, Endicott College, Massachusetts
B.Sc.Ed., Summa Cum Laude, Western Carolina University, North Carolina (Outstanding Senior in Elementary Education award) 
Bachelor of Fine Arts, College for Creative Studies, Michigan

My passion for adventure began when I lived in Japan and Portugal as a child. Traveling extensively with my family, I discovered a love of art, food, and learning, which led to my first career as a professional jeweler. While I still enjoy metalsmithing as a hobby, I have spent the last seven years helping children to develop my shared love of learning.

My husband, Jeffrey, shares similar interests; he runs an independent video game development company and teaches children how to design and program games in after-school clubs. Jeffrey and I have lived in Thailand for three years and both relish the spicy food, ubiquitous lime juice, and bountiful fruit that’s available year-round; the thunderstorms during the monsoon season; and the infinite travel opportunities that have led them to call the “Land of Smiles” home.

The sense of community is what initially drew me to RIS and is what continues to strengthen my bond with the school. I adore my students, colleagues, and the commitment to professional growth that permeates the school culture. When not at school, I enjoy projects that provide a creative outlet and allow me to help others within the community.