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American School of Dubai (ASD)

American School of Dubai (ASD)

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Overview

The American School of Dubai (ASD) has a rich and vibrant history, spanning over 50 years in Dubai. It is an independent, non-profit community school for both boys and girls. The acclaimed international US curriculum is offered to students from Pre Kindergarten to Grade 12. The school has over 1,850 students, supported by over 187 full-time teachers and 54 teaching assistants. ASD is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Located in Al Barsha, Dubai, the school offers some of the best features of American education, right here in the UAE. ASD aims to provide learning experiences that promote the maximum potential of students. It creates independent thinkers who add value to society. It is one of the best schools in Al Barsha that is one of the top American schools in Dubai.

This popular American school in Dubai was founded by the Dubai Petroleum Company in 1966. After a long history of serving the growing expat population with a high-quality international education, the school transitioned into a not-for-profit school in 2004. The not-for-profit status enables the American School of Dubai to focus on the quality of education offered for the development of students. ASD offers a well-designed US curriculum with 25 Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high school. The curriculum is specially designed to prepare students for college.

ASD is a co-educational facility with students from over 70 nationalities. A sizable portion of the student population is American and Canadian, as per the latest KHDA reports, which has been consistently rating the school as good. The largest nationality group of teachers is also from the USA. Teachers are supported by 54 teaching assistants along with 10 guidance counsellors. The teacher to student ratio is 1:10, ensuring each student receives adequate individual care and attention.

Read this guide by Bayut to learn more about the curriculum, admission and fee details, extracurricular activities and facilities available at the American School of Dubai.

Residential Communities near American School of Dubai

Located in the heart of Al Barsha 1, the American School of Dubai is in proximity to populous residential areas in Dubai. These areas include the following:

Barsha Height is the nearest residential community to ASD. The community, previously known as Tecom, contains a plethora of residential and commercial projects. A striking feature of this community is the availability of freehold and leasehold apartments at affordable prices. Those interested in beachfront residence could opt for residential properties in Al Sufouh.

Campus of American School of Dubai

In 2010, ASD moved to the 23-acre Al Barsha campus, a purpose-built million square feet, wireless, state-of-the-art facility in a residential area of Dubai. The campus offers:

100 classrooms Two libraries
630-seat performing arts theatre Black Box Theatre
Sustainable Garden Field House
Concession stand Recycling stations
Dance studio Two cafeterias
Five art studios Four science and computer labs
Student broadcasting studio Facilities for band and choir

The new ASD campus in Al Barsha was designed with a focus on incorporating sustainable and renewable practices into the facility. A Sustainability Action Team has also been put in place to support these ambitious goals.

From 2020, the school offers Pre Kindergarten classes to children aged 3 years old. A new facility is built which houses a world-class Early Learning Center where children are tutored based on the Reggio Emilia system.

outdoor areas within campus of American School of Dubai
View of the American School of Dubai campus (Image Credit: American School of Dubai Facebook)

Location of American School of Dubai

The American School of Dubai is situated at the intersection of First Al Khail Street and Hessa Street in Al Barsha 1. Al Barsha 1 bus stop is within a minute walking distance from the school and is situated near the entrance. GEMS Dubai American Academy is a 2-minute drive from the school. The rare end of the school faces many residential projects, including Al Abdullah Villas and Hassani Villas.

Why American School of Dubai?

ASD is a proud winner of the title ‘Best American Curriculum School in the UAE 2019’ by Top School Awards. The school was also a finalist in the categories of Best Schools for Music and Performing Arts and Best Schools for Sports. Being such a well-regarded institute is one reason why parents like sending their children to the American School of Dubai.

The American School of Dubai offers outstanding choices of Advanced Placement Subjects for high school students. This ensures that students gain access to top tier universities worldwide. Students from this leading American institute in Dubai perform very well in many external examinations, including SATs, PSATs, Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), Advanced Placement examinations (AP), and the American College Tests (ACT).

ASD received the 2019 Zayed Sustainability Prize in the Global High Schools (the Middle East and North Africa) Category. In May 2019, ASD built an on-campus bee house as part of its curricular learning space to inspire students to care for the environment. ASD won the inaugural Expo 2020 Sustainability Champions Competition, which includes the installation of a new solar power plant for the school.

Along with the environmental initiatives, the American School of Dubai also enables the holistic growth of students with a fully comprehensive sports and training facility. The ASD Athletics program offers extracurricular activities for middle and high school students. ASD is a member of the Middle East South Asia Conference (MESAC). There are three athletic seasons at ASD hosting the following activities:

  • Fall: Dance, Golf, Swimming and Volleyball
  • Winter: Basketball, Cheerleading, Cross Country Running, Soccer, Tennis and Wrestling
  • Spring: Badminton, Softball, Baseball and Track and Field
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School Details

COVID-19 Protocols

KHDA has issued a revised set of protocols once the Ministry of Education reopened schools for the academic year 2021-2022. Most COVID-19 protocols remain the same, with slight modifications considering the current health and safety situation in Dubai. The revised COVID-19 protocols are as follows:

  • COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory for students and staff members. Employees eligible for the vaccine but who are not interested will have to submit a negative PCR test result every week. Unlike schools in Abu Dhabi, students are not obliged to submit negative PCR test results.
  • All students must physically return to school by October 3. The remote learning programme will be offered to students that show a relevant medical certificate issued by the Dubai Health Authority. Schools can switch to distance learning if a positive COVID-19 case is identified.
  • Parents can now pick up and drop off their children from the classroom if the school allows. However, schools should ensure that parents do not have access to other facilities on campus.
  • Moreover, KHDA has reduced the minimum physical distance to 1 metre. However, schools should continue to take precautions by maintaining a safe distance. Staff members and students above six years old should wear a mask at all times.
  • Schools are now allowed to conduct swimming and sports lessons, holiday camps, extracurricular activities, after-school clubs and catering services under strict health and safety measures. Schools must clean and sanitise the changing and sports areas after each group of children.
  • Students are asked to enter the specific gates wearing facemasks. The school has to check their temperatures at the entry points. Students with body temperatures over 37.5-degree centigrade are not allowed to enter. They will be sent home with their parents.

For more information, read the detailed COVID-19 protocols and guidelines issued by KHDA.

Years Offered at American School of Dubai

ASD offers academic programs for the following years:

StageGrade
Pre-KG and KG Pre-KG to KG2
Elementary School Grade 1 to Grade 5
Middle School Grade 6 to Grade 8
High School Grade 9 to Grade 12

American School of Dubai Curriculum

The ASD curriculum is aligned with Common Core State Standards and follows a standard grading scale. The Common Core State Standards are educational standards for English Language Arts (ELA)/literacy and mathematics in grades K-12. At ASD, a challenging college preparatory program is offered in the middle and high school stages. The ASD laptop program expects students in Grade 6 to Grade12 to use a MacBook in the classroom. Laptops are purchased individually by parents.

Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Programme

ASD has recently introduced a new programme that excites young learners to school life. The pre-kindergarten programme is based on the Reggio Emilia based educational plan. It will provide authentic opportunities for students to play, learn, work and socialise with others. The topics that will be covered from Pre-K to Kindergarten 2 (KG2) are:

Mathematics Science
Creative art Language arts
Music Social studies
Arabic Movement

Elementary School

At the elementary stage, students are offered a wholesome learning experience. The school program consists of certain subjects being taught in a homeroom class environment along with specialist classes. Core subjects, such as Science, English, Mathematics, Arabic and Social Studies are part of the elementary programme. The specialist classes are offered for many subjects, including arts, physical education and music. Homerooms are also integrated with library and computer technology skills. After-school activities are available for students from Grade 1 to Grade 5.

Elementary Students of American School of Dubai playing with toys to learn
Students learning is facilitated by the use of toys at ASD (Image Credits: American School of Dubai Facebook Page)

Middle School

The core subjects in Middle School are Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, English Language, Arts and World Languages. Electives in Creative Art and Technology are also available in middle school. Basic courses in arts, drama, technology and music are introduced in Grade 6.

Pursuits is a program developed at ASD to support this mission. In the Pursuits programme, students pursue their interests through an additional 45-minute period during the middle school day. Examples of Pursuits courses include Historical Film, Airplane Design Challenge, Gardening, Climbing, and French Language Support.

Week without walls is another initiative undertaken by the American School of Dubai for middle school students. This initiative extends the academic skills taught in the classroom to the real-world environment. This programme helps ASD to inculcate understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity and international awareness.

High School

At ASD High School, students require a minimum of 25 credits out of the 32 credits on offer. These credit requirements must be met during the four-year program. Each year, high school students enrol in at least four of ASD’s core academic courses: Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, English, and World Language. A broad range of electives is offered in creative arts, physical education, and information technology to allow students the flexibility to discover their co-curricular interests and abilities. In Grades 10, 11, and 12, students can also enrol in Advanced Placement (AP) courses.

Some unique senior stage programmes offered to students are AP and AP Capstone Diploma, INSPIRE Global Experiences, online learning, service learning, advanced elective studies and counselling.

Distance Learning

As per the new COVID-19 protocols issued by KHDA, schools are discontinuing the distance learning programme from October 3, 2021. Those wishing to continue their education via distance learning have to show a relevant health certificate issued by Dubai Health Authority (DHA). Schools may revert to distance learning if COVID-19 cases are detected in a class or a group in a class.

KHDA Rating

The Knowledge and Human Development Authority is a government-sanctioned body in Dubai. It aims to improve the quality of education offered by private educational institutes. To pursue its aims, they annually review schools’ performance based on a six-point scale. The scale varies from outstanding to very weak and is briefly explained below:

KHDA's rating scale explained
KHDA’s 6-point scale explained

The ASD had been inspected by KHDA in January 2020. ASD has been rated highly by the KHDA over the years. The school has consistently maintained the rating ‘good’ for the past ten years.

Strengths of the school observed by KHDA are:

  • Students show outstanding learning skills that complement the highest level of achievements in mathematics, English, science and other subjects.
  • Students of ASD shows exemplary personal and social development, along with outstanding innovation skills.
  • The quality of teaching is outstanding. It follows a highly effective assessment process in all the phases.
  • ASD also offers outstanding care and support for students with outstanding staffing, management, facilities and partnership with parents.

These factors have contributed to the popularity of the American School of Dubai with parents.

Nevertheless, KHDA recommended the following to ASD:

  • The board of trustees must take immediate actions to ensure that the school offers Islamic Education and Arabic as per the guidelines set by the Ministry of Education.
  • They must also ensure that the quality of teaching and assessment and curriculum for Arabic, UAE social studies and UAE moral education must be at the same level as for other subjects.

Academic Calendar for American School of Dubai

The ASD school year typically runs from August to June. Students first go on winter break in the third week of December and return to school in the first week of January. The spring break starts in the last week of March and ends in the first week of April.

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Admission and Fees

How to Apply to American School of Dubai?

Admission applications at ASD can only be submitted through their official website. To apply, Complete the online application form. Applications for the new academic year are accepted from the beginning of October.

Before applying, the school encourages parents to visit the school to see the school facilities and talk to our admission team. The face-to-face tours allow parents to see the facilities by themselves and interact with the teaching staff or administration to learn more about the school. To book a school tour, email admissionasd@asdubai.org or call +971 04 395 0005. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, KHDA has mandated schools to only offer face-to-face school tours on pre-booked appointments. You can also opt for the 360 degrees virtual school tour on its website.

Parents are requested to fill in the necessary details of the online application form to apply for admission. To access the application form, parents need to sign up for an online account on the American School of Dubai website.

The Admissions Office at ASD may request additional documents after an initial application review. Depending on the grade level and seat availability, students applying to ASD may have an assessment which could include a class visit for Lower Elementary (K1-Grade 2) students, a review of standardized test reports and an entrance examination.

Depending on availability, the Admissions Committee formally reviews applications. If you are applying for September admission for the upcoming school year, initial spaces are offered in January. If you are applying for the current school year, spaces are offered depending on availability.

The Admissions Office contacts parents with the committee’s decision. After a student has been admitted, additional documents for enrolment are required to register students with the Ministry of Education of UAE. A registration fee of AED 1,000 is also invoiced with tuition when a seat is also offered.

The following documents will be required along with the student’s online application:

  • Copy of Student’s Passport
  • Student’s Passport Size Photo
  • Passport Size Photo of Every Parent per Family
  • K1-K2: Nursery/School Report (if available)
  • Grade 1-12: Last Two End of Year Report Cards and Current School Year Term Report
  • Grade 10-12: Official High School Transcript
  • Current Standardized Testing Scores
  • Character skills snapshot
  • Teachers recommendation (online)
  • Introductory video (Grade 5 and above)

The age-grade guideline followed by ASD is as follow:

GradeMinimum Entry AgeMaximum Entry AgeMinimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
Grade
Pre-KG
Minimum Entry Age
3
Maximum Entry Age
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
Grade
Kindergarten 1
Minimum Entry Age
4
Maximum Entry Age
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
Grade
Kindergarten 2
Minimum Entry Age
5
Maximum Entry Age
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
Grade
Grade 1
Minimum Entry Age
6
Maximum Entry Age
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
Grade
Grade 2
Minimum Entry Age
7
Maximum Entry Age
9
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
6
Grade
Grade 3
Minimum Entry Age
8
Maximum Entry Age
10
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
7
Grade
Grade 4
Minimum Entry Age
9
Maximum Entry Age
11
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
8
Grade
Grade 5
Minimum Entry Age
10
Maximum Entry Age
12
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
9
Grade
Grade 6
Minimum Entry Age
11
Maximum Entry Age
13
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
10
Grade
Grade 7
Minimum Entry Age
12
Maximum Entry Age
14
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
11
Grade
Grade 8
Minimum Entry Age
13
Maximum Entry Age
15
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
12
Grade
Grade 9
Minimum Entry Age
14
Maximum Entry Age
17
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
13
Grade
Grade 10
Minimum Entry Age
15
Maximum Entry Age
18
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
14
Grade
Grade 11
Minimum Entry Age
16
Maximum Entry Age
19
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
15
Grade
Grade 12
Minimum Entry Age
17
Maximum Entry Age
20
Minimum Entry Age for Overseas Transfers*
16

This is based on the age of the students on 31st August (for schools beginning in September). Source: KHDA

* This is to cater to students transferring from systems that admit students of a younger age)

Fee Structure at American School of Dubai

At the American School of Dubai, the fee is payable through cash, local cheques and wire transfer modes. The annual tuition fees at ASD are:

GradeAnnual Tuition Fee (AED)
Pre-KG 56,000
KG1 59,225
KG2 64,683
Grade 1 to Grade 12 82,581

The school also charges AED 12,984 per year as facilities charges from KG2 onwards. In addition, parents of new students that do not hold a corporate seat have to pay AED 22,000 as a one-time capital fee. The registration fee is AED 1,000 and the refundable book deposit is AED 500.

For more information, visit the fee structure of the American School of Dubai.

Scholarships at American School of Dubai

A senior student-athlete scholarship program is available at the American School of Dubai. This is provided by the Booster Club established by the parents. The funds are generated by parents volunteering at the Booster Club.

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School Facilities

Lunch Options at American School of Dubai

ASD has two student cafeterias serving students from K2 to Grade 12. There are three foodservice vendors namely Subway, Right Bite and The Juice Bar available for students to choose from. ASD also provides a ranking and food labelling system for supporting education on food-based choices.

The management of ASD monitors sales of food products with allergens to prevent any concerns. Parents need to contact the school’s Health Office for providing details of the medical conditions of their students. Moreover, an ASD Nutrition Committee, including parent and faculty volunteers, helps in bringing nutrition at the core of all ASD based food services.

School Transportation at American School of Dubai

School Transportation Services (STS) is ASD’s official provider of student transportation. STS is a highly established provider of transportation in Dubai. The school buses have the following safety facilities such as electronic attendance systems, GPS monitoring, central operations control, and seat belts. An on-site campus representative is also present for coordinating the professionally trained drivers and ASD families.

school buses used for students of American School of Dubai
Bus fleet of STS transport service used for students of ASD (Image Credit: American School of Dubai Website)

Carpooling is also encouraged and ASD families interested in carpooling can contact the school’s Registrar’s Office.

Boarding Facility at American School of Dubai

ASD does not currently offer any boarding or hostel facility for its students or teachers.

Holiday Camps at American School of Dubai

Currently, the school does not offer any holiday camps.

Sports Facilities

ASD offers the following sports and recreational facilities:

Indoor running tracks Outdoor running tracks
Climbing wall Regulation soccer fields
Fitness centre Two 25-meter swimming pools
Six tennis courts Additional playing fields and play areas
25-metre swimming pool at American School of Dubai
Sports facilities at ASD includes a gigantic 25-metre swimming pool (Image Credit: American School of Dubai Website)

Extra-curricular Activities at American School of Dubai

At ASD, the overall development of the child is important in providing an active and healthy lifestyle for parents, students, staff and faculty members. Students are offered a wide range of extra-curricular activities starting from elementary to high school. Students can pursue their interests in Arts, Athletics, Aquatics, Campus Recreation and Student organizations.

Arts

Students with interests in the arts can learn dance, music, visual arts, theatre, acting, choir and band. The school hosts annual productions that include full-length musicals in high school and middle school, plays, an elementary musical, variety shows, and art shows.

Athletics and Aquatics

At ASD, students are given the best coaching and facilities for them to excel in sports. There are three athletic seasons:

  • Fall: Dance, Golf, Swimming, Volleyball
  • Winter: Basketball, Cheerleading, Cross Country Running, Soccer, Tennis, Wrestling
  • Spring: Badminton, Softball, Baseball, Track and Field

Campus Recreation

A wide range of extra-curricular activities is offered at ASD. Some of the programs offered have additional charges. Examples of the programs include knitting, gaming, robotics, student tech crew, Girl Scouts, etc.

Student Organisations

Student organizations are formed starting from elementary and high school. These organizations focus on building teamwork, leadership while exposing them to a range of international organizations.

Extra-curricular activity at American School of Dubai
Students of ASD participating in the cooking competition (Image Credit: American School of Dubai Facebook Page)

Model United Nation (MUN)

American School of Dubai also arranged Model United Nations (MUN) – one of the favourite extracurricular activities among students. Model United Nations is an educational simulation that helps students to understand politics, international relations and foreign policies. Each year, students participate in this event and represent countries (members of the United Nations) by discussing global problems and their solutions.

Other Activities

Other extracurricular activities offered to students at ASD are:

Field trips Music shows
Graduation day Anniversary gala
Carnival Charitable events

Field Trips from American School of Dubai

At ASD, field trips are associated with learning outcomes. Middle School students have an option to work on Week Without Walls trips. The Week Without Walls (WWW) is an annual service-learning program provided for middle school students. WWW gives students the chance to expand their academic skills with real-life experiences.

High School students can also choose from INSPIRE trips. INSPIRE is a unique opportunity meant to help students demonstrate a passion for learning and contribute in a rapidly changing world by addressing a challenge, an opportunity or a situation.

Additional Middle and High school trips are also organized for arts and athletics.

In 2020, Middle School trips include the following destinations:

  • Grade 6: Greece
  • Grade 7 and 8: Cambodia, Malaysia, Nepal, Tanzania, Thailand, and UAE

The High School trips for 2019 include the Balkans, Nepal, Jordan, and local UAE experiences.

After-school Care

Currently, the school only offers after-school care to its students in the form of extra-curricular activities.

Medical Care at American School of Dubai

The ASD Health Office is staffed with a physician, three nurses and additional staff. They provide health services during the school day as well as for after-school activities and weekend athletic tournaments. The office complies with the requirements of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and is responsible for maintaining and reviewing immunization and student health records. A Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD) program is planned and organized annually for middle and high school students. They also provide wellness education for the ASD community.

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Contact

Mode of Communication between Teachers and Parents

ASD has various ways to communicate with parents, students and the community. Some of the communication channels are done through social media, publications, electronic newsletters, website stories etc. Moreover, students at ASD are kept informed through their homeroom, advisory classes, student-generated digital announcements and video bulletins.

Students, parents and teachers communicate through PowerSchool Learning which is a digital learning management platform. Every Thursday, there is an ASD News that is published and emailed to enrolled families of ASD. At ASD, all school-wide announcements along with various other relevant updates are communicated through ASD News.

There are many other ways parents can be actively involved in school activities. Some of the parental clubs at ASD include the following:

Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA)

At ASD, the PTSA plays an essential role in the school’s ongoing community-building strategy. It helps reinforce a strong alliance between home and school. Some of the PTSA community events at ASD include Santa Workshop, Halloween Trick or Treat Night, Wild Wadi Nights and Staff Appreciation Week.

Booster Club

The ASD Booster Club was established to help support ASD Athletics. They conduct several activities for students interested in athletic activities. The Booster Club organizes and hosts sports banquets to celebrate athletic team achievements, operates the spirit store and Falcon’s Nest concession stand.

Creative Arts Support Team (C.A.S.T.)

The Creative Arts Support Team (C.A.S.T.) is a group of dedicated, volunteer parents and friends who work to support the ASD Arts program. CAST is responsible for a range of activities at school including make-up, photography, publicity, costumes, ticket sales, baking, sewing, organizing and hosting events, to identifying special guests to enrich student learning.

Volunteering at ASD

At ASD volunteers from parents, alumni and friends from the community spend thousands of hours each year helping the school in classrooms, as coaches, assisting teachers or leading and organizing events.

American School of Dubai Contact Information

Note that the cover image belongs to the American School of Dubai

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