United Arab Emirates / Abu Dhabi / Khalifa City A / GEMS American Academy

GEMS American Academy Q & A

GEMS American Academy Abu Dhabi is a highly rated (Very Good) US/IB curriculum school located on the outskirts of the city near the airport catering to 2,000 students from a wide range of nationalities.
Parents' Rating
3.5 out of 5 based on 29 reviews
At a glance
School type
School phase
All through
Inspection rating
Very good
Curricula taught
Availability 2022/23
Availability 2023/24
Annual fee average
AED 69,000
Annual fees
AED 48,870–73,670
Price band help
Opening year
School year
Sep to Jun
Robert Rinaldo
GEMS Education
Main student nationality
United Arab Emirates
Main teacher nationality
United States of America
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Welcome to the GEMS American Academy official Q and A page. Here we ask the questions, and the school answers directly. It is its chance to have its say on specific areas you have told us you want to know about. If you think there are additional questions we should be asking you may contact us here.

What are qualities and characteristics that define your school and its students?

Our distinctiveness includes our warm, welcoming community and inclusive spirit, an American curriculum approach to learning, and our attention to the success of each child. The student is truly at the center of learning at GAA.

How many nationalities are represented in your school? How international would you say your school is?

Currently 80+ nationalities are represented in our school.

What is the teacher: student ratio in your school?

12:1. In Kindergarten and Elementary we have one teacher and one education assistant per classroom. Middle and High School class sizes vary, however, at the maximum we have 25 students with 1 teacher.

Does your school measure Value Added data? Please provide details of how you measure, and current Value Added benchmark scores.

GAA administers formal assessments from kindergarten to grade 12 that measures progress and attainment. Specifically, the school uses MAP Test data and an early childhood education assessment. The resulting data is used to determine the level of the student, progress over time, and also informs instruction.

Physical education and sport is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. How does your school ensure children engage in physical activity?

Physical education is a mandatory part of the curriculum for students KG-Grade 10. Students receive 2-3 lessons per week depending on their grade.

GEMS American Academy offers a comprehensive athletics and activities program intended to enhance the physical, social, emotional, artistic, and intellectual growth of participating students. After School Activity Program (ASA) Our after school activity program is teacher lead and is offered 4 times a year, for a six-week block.

How does your school promote healthy lifestyles?

Both PE and Classroom teachers encourage activity and discussions take place as early as KG through our Kitchen Lab which is a weekly class for KG – Grade 1.

How do you promote healthy eating?

At GAA we encourage students to eat healthy, nutritious foods. Monthly menus for our cafeteria are posted on the Slices catering website and weekly newsletter. Water is provided for all students, and students are required to bring their own refillable water bottles. Children should bring a healthy snack, including fresh fruits and vegetables, from home to eat during the morning break and lunch. Any food sent to school should be low in sugar, fat and not contain any nuts or nut products. Slices catering offer healthy options in the cafeteria.

Does the school have cafeteria facilities for the students? How does it promote a balanced diet?


What is the approximate average cost of a lunchtime meal?

Parents should budget between 15-20 dirhams per day

What is the starting and finishing time of your school day?

The school day for all Grades commences at 7:45am. Dismissal time is at 2:15pm for students in Kindergarten, including Pre-KG, 2:55pm for students Grade 1 through 5 and 3:00pm for Grades 6 - 12.

Is there a school uniform?

Yes, To view the school uniform please visit www.threadsme.com

Please advise on your discipline policy?

At GEMS American Academy a proactive and collaborative approach is used to solve discipline problems. The staff are committed to working together with children, parents, teachers and administrators to maintain high standards of behavior. Students are expected to behave appropriately and respectfully at all times. They must observe rules established with their teachers for classroom and playground activities.

Students are expected to abide by school rules and procedures any time they are at school, including after-school and evening activities, weekends and during any parent-sponsored events. Parents are asked to model and enforce GAA expectations and rules when on school grounds.

Our Discipline policy is included in our community handbook which parents receive at the start of the school year.

How often is the more formal feedback such as reports and parent/teacher meetings?

Parent-Teacher meetings can be booked anytime by both parties. We hold two Parent-Teacher-Student formal conferences a year.

Which languages are taught at your school - please detail any as a first as well as second language?

In our Secondary program students have a choice between French and Spanish

Do you offer EAL or TEFL support for those students where English is not their first language?

GEMS American Academy- Abu Dhabi accepts students who are English Language Learners (ELL) and/or children with learning differences who require Learning Support (LS) services, and/or students who have been identified as Gifted and Talented (G&T). In addition, GAA offers a counseling program that promotes learning.

Do you offer a dedicated prayer room/s for students? For which faiths?

yes, the school has a designated prayer room for our Muslim students

How do you support gifted, able and talented students?

The Support Team collaborates with students, families, the classroom teachers, and counselors (as needed), pushing into the mainstream classroom. Inclusion ensures education is accessible to all students regardless of age, race, gender, and abilities. Student Support Team specialists co-plan and co-teach in a differentiated classroom environment in order to cater to all students’ needs through accommodation and adaptation of the GAA curriculum. Inclusion, as we are using the term at GAA, is a vital philosophical commitment of a caring learning community to the education of children with unique learning styles.

At GAA we are proud of our efforts to meet the needs of each student. This includes students who are identified as gifted and talented, and students who have identified barriers to learning:

For more information, please click on the link below:


Do you have a learning support team in your school?


Our KG-12 team of professionals include:

•Early Years Inclusion Specialists

•Learning Support Teachers

•English Language Learner (ELL) Specialists, and

•School Counsellors

Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?

AT GEMS American Academy we welcome and encourage parent involvement. GAA currently has two Parent associations:

 GAAPA: Who organize and coordinate all our events throughout the year, and offer parent support.

 BOOSTER CLUB: Who assist with our after school activities (ASA) and support our competitive Sports Teams.

Are there opportunities for parents to support the learning, activities and events within the school or on trips other than through the parent group?

There are many opportunities for parents to get involved, from Parent Engagement events, or when classes are looking for helpers. Of course, we always love to see our parents cheering on our Sports teams as well. Go Wildcats!

Do you offer specific activities, events or information sessions for those parents new to the school and/or area?

At the start of each year and again after Winter Break we host a number of information sessions and coffee mornings to help our new families get settled. All new families receive a tour of the school before students are expected to begin classes.

We continue to run these sessions throughout the year to better assist families new to GAA and Abu Dhabi.

This school is in a Best School by parents ranking

GEMS American Academy is a Best of school, a ranking determined by parent surveys on the site. It can be found in the following Best of rankings:

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