history and milestones

The story of LAS has at its roots a magnificent alpine setting and a remarkable family with a dream. The school’s founders, who viewed themselves as “citizens of the world” created an environment that celebrates an active, healthy lifestyle, rigorous academics, and cross-cultural experiences. With the highest levels of accreditation possible, LAS moves into its second half-century well equipped to provide students with an extraordinary education under the leadership of the third generation of the Ott family.

LAS History 1875


The first road from the valley was extended to Leysin, followed by a cog railway in 1897.

LAS History 1890


Sick children were sent to Leysin with hope that its sunny alpine climate would restore their health.

LAS History 1892


Leysin’s first “boom” owes its growth to Tuberculosis. The first clinic, the Grand Hotel, now the Belle Époque Campus of LAS, was built to serve 120 patients.

LAS History 1903


With the arrival of the “Sun Doctor,” Dr. August Rollier, Leysin became famous worldwide.

LAS History 1904


Czar Nicholas II and entourage are at the Grand Hotel to receive treatment.

LAS History 1911


Igor Stravinsky, a frequent visitor to the Grand Hotel where his wife was a patient, composes the “Rites of Spring.”

LAS History 1930


Out of 5,698 people living in Leysin, 244 were farmers and 3,000 were TB patients in 70 different clinics.

LAS History 1931


Mahatma Gandhi has discussions with patients in Leysin when he visits French author Romain Rolland.

LAS History 1939


Newly married, Sigrid and Fred Ott shared a passion for education and a strong international perspective.

LAS History 1943


Dr. Selman Waksman discovers the medicine that would eventually eradicate Tuberculosis.

LAS History 1949


Sigrid Ott launched the summer “Yank Camps,” the first of the International Ranger Camps, for the children of US military families throughout Europe.

LAS History 1960


First meeting of the Swiss company, Leysin American School SA (LASSA) at Grand Hotel. Contract was signed to rent Savoy building.

LAS History 1961


On September 18th, LAS opened its doors with 89 students and 12 teachers.

LAS History 1963


American College of Switzerland was founded to give LAS graduates a chance to continue their studies in Leysin.

LAS History 1982


Steven and Doris Ott assumed leadership roles and developed strategies for recruitment, accreditation and expansion.

LAS History 1987


LAS became the first Swiss international boarding school to win accreditation in the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) and the US Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

LAS History 1991


LAS was the first boarding school in Switzerland to introduce the International Baccalaureate Programme.

LAS History 1998


LAS was the first school ever to be awarded the International Organization for Standardization, ISO 9001 status.

LAS History 2005


70% ownership of LAS passed to the Swiss Foundation for Advancement of International Education; management stayed within the founding family.

LAS History 2007


The Town Council named Fred and Sigrid Ott honorary citizens of Leysin.

LAS History 2010


LAS opened the doors to the Belle Époque campus, previously the Grand Hotel.

LAS History 2016


LAS founder, Sigrid Ott, celebrated her 100th birthday and the new Magic Mountain Athletic Center is open to students.