What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
The American International School of Riyadh KSA
In what town or city is this school located?
How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)
American curriculum with IB in High School
What grade levels are represented at this school?
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
Since Riyadh is a large city that is spread out , students are dropped off by their parents, drivers, or compound buses. Because of the hot weather,the culture (women should not be walking alone), and due to the lack of discipline of the local drivers to follow traffic rules - walking in Riyadh can be a "challenge".
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
Though the buildings are old with cramped classrooms (the "temporary" buildings were built by the Minister of Education for the Western Community over 25 years ago) the 7 acre campus has a large enclosed gym, a new theatre for the arts, a K-12 music complex, 2 soccer fields (one with grass) , covered basketball courts, numerous play areas for the elementary students , and a new cafeteria. The school boasts of 3 computer labs all updated and constantly used with the curriculum.
What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home
country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?
Most teachers at AIS-R seem to be aware of the "adjustment period" new students may need. In the elementary and MS the new student is ususally "signed up" with a buddy. Since the majority of the students have been new to the school at one time, the overseas student is usually easier to become friends with than moving to a school where the students have attended the same school since 1st grade.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
The school seem to try its best - but living in Riyadh isn't like living in Singapore, London, or in New York - the culture of Saudi Arabia/ the job demands of the expats/ the difficulty of driving in the city makes the social contacts difficult.
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
The school has always hired highly qualified teachers that have taught at other overseas schools. Unfortunately the director of the school (2003-04) has removed some of the highly qualified IB teachers in high school which makes one wonder if the high school IB program is as qualified as it was 2 years ago. Because of the terrorist attacks in Riyadh, many Westerners have left the Kingdom; thus, there are less students from Western countries attending the school. My child (American) had a great experience at the school and had close friends from the Middle East, Asia, and Europe... after 3 years, he didn't want to leave Riyadh because of the school!