City American School is a new US curriculum school opening in Ajman in September 2020. It will initially cater to students from KG to Grade 5.
City American School is a relatively new school that opened in the Al Tallah 2 area of Ajman in September 2020. With a capacity of just over 400 students in the KG and Elementary section, the school opened from KG1 to Grade 5 initially before opening its Middle and High school sections. From September 2022, the school will be open to Grade 8.
City American School is one of three educational establishments owned by READ - R Education and Academic Development - the education arm of R Holding. READ ventured into the education sector in Ajman in 2012 with the launch of City University College of Ajman (CUCA). This was followed, in 2017, by City School, a CBSE curriculum school that has attracted over 2,300 students in its first three years of operation. The company is owned by H.H. Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, who is also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the school.
Principal Rania Hijazeen, leads City American School (CAS).
The school's Vision is "to become the leading American School in the region committed to academic excellence, innovation, and empowerment."
This ambitious statement is further developed in the school's Mission which is "to provide students with the skills and knowledge that will enable them to reach their full potential by providing a student-centered curriculum and a school environment that fosters respect, excellence, and innovation resulting in life-long learning and personal growth."
The school planned to open with some 140 students in KG1 and KG2, approximately 70 in Grade 1, and approximately 50 each from Grades 2 to 5. The school is mixed gender from KG to Grade 4 inclusive, with separate Boys' and Girls' sections from Grade 5. KG1 and 2 and Grade 1 each have three sections, whilst Grades 2 to 4 each have two sections and Grade 5 opened with one section each for boys and girls.
The total number of student nationalities represented at the school is 22, of which 75% are from various Arab countries, 22. 75% of students are Emirati, and non-Arab nationals make up a further 22.25%. Girls out-number boys marginally.
Some 30 teachers have been recruited from the US, UK and South Africa, together with a further 13 assistant teachers who support students' learning in all subjects inside classroom from KG to Grade 3. All teachers have a Bachelor Degree as a minimum, with teaching license, and in some instances, a Master degree. The school has committed a very significant 30% of its budget to Continuous Professional Development.
The teacher:student ratio in the KG will be 1:13, whilst from Grades 1 to 5 it will be 1:11. This is a low ratio that will enable teachers to provide individual support to students. Average class sizes will be 20-25, and the school's maximum class size will be 25.
All grades from KG to Grade 5 follow the California Common Core State Standards for Math and English, and Next Generation Standards for Science.
In November 2022, CAS announced that it had received accreditation from AdvancED/Cognia (one of the US Regional College and School Associations, with whom it has Applicant Status) ensuring that it not only delivers a genuine US curriculum, but that the school will also be able to grant a High School Diploma that will be recognised by colleges and universities, not only in the US but around the world.
Core subjects taught and required of students in the KG section include Math, English, Science, Arabic, Islamic, Quran, Art, Music, Physical Education (PE), and ICT. From Grades 1-5, students will study Math, English, Science, Arabic, Islamic, Quran, Moral Education, MOE Social Studies, French, Music, Art, PE and ICT. The school will place a particular academic focus on Sciences and Arts as per the American Diploma.
As the school develops to include its High School, students will be expected to complete AP Math, Physics, and English subjects, and to take the SAT1 examination. Students will be required to achieve 26 credit hours (for mandatory and elective courses). Students will also have the choice of Spanish, French or German from Grades 9-12 as part of their High School Diploma studies.
In line with the UAE National Agenda, students will also participate in both national and international Benchmarking tests including TIMSS, CAT4, MAP, PISA, EMSAT and SATs).
CAS will offer a wide range of enrichment extra- activities to help students cultivate individual interests and talents, and develop their social skills. These include academic activities such as English/ Poetry Club, Spelling Bee Club, Story telling Club: “Tiny tales and lasting Memories”, and Qur’an Recitation. Non- Academic activities include Art & Craft Club, Drama Club, Cooking: “Little Master Chef” Club, Sewing Club, Sport Club: football soccer- Volleyball- Basketball, Taekwondo- Karate, School Chorus/ Choir, Gymnastic: “Focus, Balance, Amaze!, and Chess Club.
CAS states that "We embrace the individuality of every child. The CAS Inclusion Department provides an effective program for gifted children and children of determination (special needs)."
The school has set up a specialist and fully equipped SEN Department with a team of one SEN coordinator and three Learning Support Assistants. The department includes a Sensory room, and staff will offer Diagnostic Assessment, Progress assessment- IEP's (individual education plans) and TIER Identification. CAS will offer a programme - “RTI Response to Intervention” - offering Reading Literacy support. Students with additional learning needs - and those who are found to be Gifted and Talented will receive additional support through pull 'out sessions with Learning Support Staff.
Whilst the SEN provision is included within the school's fees, parents will need to fund and provide shadow teachers if needed. The school also employs an ESL (English as a Second Language) coordinator to support students for whom English is not their native language, and again there are no additional fees for this support.
CAS has a wide range of excellent facilities, including 40 classrooms each with interactive white boards, well-equipped science labs, a well-stocked library, and 500-seat capacity auditorium/theatre. The school says that it has an excellent Information Technology structure with state-of-the-art computer and science labs, together with an Innovation HUB and STEM lab. A fully-equipped specialist art and music room supports the intention to focus on Performing Arts as well as Science.
Other facilities include indoor and shaded outdoor play areas, inclusive of a sand and water play areas for younger students, a spacious multipurpose hall/gym, a regulation-sized soccer field with real, well-maintained grass and lighting, an outdoor tennis and basketball court.
City American School told WhichSchoolAdvisor.com that the key attributes of the school, and what makes it special, are its teachers, who are highly experienced and passionate about education. Through rigorous recruitment the school aims to hire brilliant teachers, resulting in low teacher turnover.
CAS rests on quality teachers; all are dedicated to providing an exceptional education for every child. CAS teachers are subject-matter experts with high expectations, and guide students to become confident, ambitious learners.
Further, the school explains that by balancing learning of the basics with inquiry-based learning, "we apply the best of early years’ learning to ensure the best start for our children. Our innovative approach to early childhood education values the child as confident, capable and resilient, rich with knowledge."
Well-being and feeling safe are a priority - the CAS team believes children learn best when they’re happy and secure in a stimulating and nurturing environment.
Discounted tuition fees range from AED 11,800 in KG1 to AED 15,700 for Grades 4 and 5. Additional fees include AED 1,000 for books and AED 400 for the school uniform.
From September 2022, the school will implement fee increases across all grades. Although the fees remain below those approved by the Ministry of Education, they now range from AED 14,200 in KG1 to AED 22,800 in Grade 8. These are clearly substantial increases.
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