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Parent's Review of American Community School in Abu Dhabi, UAE

What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)

American Community School

In what town or city is this school located?

Abu Dhabi

How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)

This schools follows American curriculums and keeps up with the current trends in education occuring in North America. AP courses are offered in the high school. There are oughly 43 nationalities of students at the school, with a total population of roughly 650. It has three separate sections each with a principal in charge as well as a counsellor for each division.

What grade levels are represented at this school?

KG 1 to Grade 12

How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)

Many students are dropped off at school by car (parents, chauffeur or taxi). Some walk to school, some take organized buses.

How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?

The after school programs in ES and MS have been revamped in the last year or two and are growing to include a bunch of new activities. With faculty involvement parent interest and support our kids are able to enjoy a number of activities after school. There are a number of school teams across the divisions such as swimming, basketball, softball, soccer, track, badminton, academic games etc offered throughout the year. The junior varsity and varsity teams belong to the EMAC conference (Eastern Mediteranean Activities Conference) and have travel opportunities. Though it's not a big school, it still offers quite a bit for the kids to be involved in.

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?

The school has a counselor for each division. Students can easily access the counselors for their transition issues.

Students are tracked when they enter (by a team of their teachers,counselor and principals) to make sure they adjust well to the school socially and academically. A few informal steps are taken for repatriation for students in ES and MS, but high school students are given more support for their University entrances with the help of a careers counseling course, and the HS counselor.

How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?

The school has a very active parents' association. It's not really a PTA per se, it's an association of people that are members of the school community, who are encouraged to volunteer to some degree at the school (either by assising in fund raising, helping in the classrooms, helping with after school events). The Association raises money through various funding activities and donates the money to the school when there are projects that need to be funded. The school is a non-profit school that is not subsidized, so all of the money it makes comes from tuition and donations from the Association events. The Association has, in the past, funded the physical fitness room, the computer labs, the shading project, and recently the new huge climbing wall that is being constructed.

What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?

For a small school, this is a great place to send your kids. It's intimate, the classroom ratio rarely gets higher than 18 kids in a class (most classes hover at the 14 or 15 kids per class level), and the teachers are well qualified North American teachers, most with previous international school experience.

The school's admissions are tight owing to recent demand. The school does not really take on non-English speaking kids as there is no ESL program. Students who are not academically sound may be better off looking for a school that better suits them. The curriculum is rigorous, though exciting, and students must maintain a stong work ethic to continue to be succesful at ACS.

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