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American School of Creative Science – WSA Q and A

American School of Creative Science – WSA Q and A

What is the official name of your School?
American School of Creative Science – for the first review, go here.

What is your school’s Web site address for anyone wanting to find out more?
www.ascs.sch.ae/maliha

What qualities and characteristics would you say define the American School of Creative Science?
• Family Friendly
• Excellence rooted in Values
• Islamic Environment
• True American Education
• Building Interculturalism and Internationalism in our students
• Rich delivery of Dual-Curriculum

What is unique about your school? Why the American School of Creative Science?

Our school is the only school that offers National Curriculum of UAE and American Curriculum along with a unique “Qur’an Memorization Program”.

Our students are expected to uphold the moral and behavioral standards set forth by our religion, Islam. At the same time, we also offer academic excellence in dual curriculum. We also offer many extra and co-curricular activities including a robust ECA program that runs from term to term, given by our very own talented staff.

How many nationalities are represented at the American School of Creative Science?
Around 36 Nationalities are represented in the student body and including staff, around 44 nationalities.

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Are there high proportions of a particular nationality?
We have a high percentage of Local, Egyptian, and Jordanian students.

What is the teacher: student ratio?
1:25 for Middle and High School
1:14 for Elementary

Does the American School of Creative Science have a waiting list?
Yes, we do. Parents can contact Shaimaa Fathy, Head of Registration – shaimaafathy@ascs.sch.ae – for specific year availability.

What percentage of your students achieve entry to higher educational institutions and, in general terms, which countries?
This is our first high-school year, so that will be determined in our 1st graduating class next year.

How do you promote healthy lifestyles?
The school promotes healthy lifestyles by offering well-prepared healthy choices for hot-lunch at the school cafteria. We also encourage parents to pack healthy lunches. Also, our nurses and clinic staff always run health campaigns to promote healthy life-style.

Physical education and sport is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. How does your school ensure children engage in physical activity?
We have a PE program that runs from KG-12. We also offer International Sports as an elective, and ECAs promoting healthy activity. In addition, we have outsourced a football coaching program that is offered on school grounds for our school students.

Does the American School of Creative Science have cafeteria facilities for the students?*
Yes, serving both hot and cold food. The average price for a good lunch would be 30 AED.

What is the starting and finishing time of the school day?
7:00-2:15

Is there an American School of Creative Science school uniform?
Yes. Parents can purchase the school uniform on school premises.

Please advise on your discipline policy and/or provide a link to your website.
Our Discipline Policy is designed according to MoE Rules and Regulations for acceptable behavior.

What is your policy on mobile devices such as mobile (cell) phones in school?
We don’t allow mobile devices in our school. If a student is seen with one, they are aware that it will be confiscated.

How does the American School of Creative Science differentiate learning?
We differentiate learning according to the various abilities of the students in the classroom. Also, we pay close attention to English Language Learners.

Do you develop independent learning through homework and, if so, what are your recommendations regarding this, particularly time spent on homework?
We definitely encourage independent learning through homework, but we also take into consideration the time a student spends on homework. We don’t believe in assigning homework for longer than an hour to a middle-schooler. In the same way, KG and Elementary students are expected to have constructive homework such as independent reading on RAZ-Kids.

How do you feedback progress and attainment to students and parents?
We give feedback to parents on regular intervals. Students are constantly aware of how they are doing in class both academically and behaviorally. Parents are informed both in writing (electronically and through progress reports). We also have regular Parent-Teacher Meetings during each term.

How often is the more formal feedback such as reports and parent/teacher meetings?
We issue mid-term progress report each term, and then hold parent-teacher meetings when we issue a formal report card at the end of each term as obligated by MoE.

Is Arabic taught as both a first language and second language?
Yes, we have two separate programs for teaching Arabic: Arabic for Arabs and Arabic for Non-Arabic.

Which other languages are taught?
English as Foreign Language, French as an Elective Subject in High School

Do you offer EAL or TEFL support for those students where English is not their first language?
No, but we offer IELTS/TOEFL support to our high school students who are seeking admission into colleges.

Is Islamic Education/Studies for the Arab Muslim students delivered in Arabic for them?
Only for Arab Students. English is used as a mode of instruction for Non-Arabs.

Do you have a dedicated prayer room/s for the Muslim students?
We pray in the gym/multi-purpose hall but we have dedicated prayer timing where all students are expected to pray.

If external examinations and assessments are part of your curriculum, which ones do you offer?*
We don’t offer external assessments as of now except for High school students taking SATs.

What is your medium of instruction?
English and Arabic

Not all schools are staffed or resourced to offer learning support to those children with either moderate or significant learning needs. To what level can the American School of Creative Science offer support for those with learning differences?
We are setting up a department now dedicated to meeting the needs of students who need support, however as of now, our social workers and teachers work collaboratively to refer students to the right place and then in coming up with an IEP to help students in class.

Do you have a learning support team in your school?
Not as of now, but we are planning to hire one for the upcoming year.

How do you support gifted, able and talented students?
Through differentiated instruction in class, and offering extra-curricular activities to support the needs of gifted and talented students.

Does the American School of Creative Science have particular expertise in dealing with a specific learning need such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, Asperger’s syndrome and so forth?
Not yet, but is in the plans for the upcoming year.

A well implemented reading support program is in place for our Elementary students up to grade 5. Using the Harcourt Reading Decode Assessment for diagnostic /benchmarking purposes, we categorize the students requiring learning support (Reading specific) based on reading levels 0-7. Students are identified in each class and individual teachers (through a rotational schedule) provide one-on-one reading support to individual students. Reading plans with supporting resources are provided by the Curriculum Coordinator and tracked weekly by the reading support teacher who then reports back improvements and/or challenges to the Curriculum Coordinator and Homeroom Teacher. Students’ reading levels are reassessed per term (3 terms per academic year) and benchmarked once again. The levels and resources are then adjusted following those results.

Parents also play a crucial role in our learning support services. We ensure their involvement by actively reading to their students through the school provided (Everyday Readers) supplements for our reading support program. We have also introduced a supplementary interactive reading program for all of our students starting from KG to Grade 5, called Raz-Kids. This program is mandatory for all elementary students to develop reading fluency by imitating the native patterns of speech.

For our Middle and High School Departments, formal learning support programs are currently being developed; however the use of differentiated instructions, tiered-instructions approach, and use of support resources and approaches to suit the needs of English Language Learners and students requiring extra support is an essential part of our daily instruction. Our High School also offers remedial classes after school for students at risk of failing. In order to support high school students in their standardized testing journey, we offer specialized IELTS/TOEFL preparation course. We also provide on-site support to prepare for PSATs and SATs in order to help and support our high school students in managing their expectations of standardized testing.

To develop our Learning Support Services further, we plan to include a qualified SENCO personnel who will offer services such as the development of Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) for students as well as the setting up of a designated resource room for students with special needs. We currently have basic special needs assessment procedures that involve in class observations by social workers, referral procedures for students exhibiting special learning needs, and teacher trainings during PD week for the identification of students who need learning support.

Other basic learning needs assessments are conducted by qualified social workers who then use clear referral guidelines to clinics that can provide tailored interventions. Following a diagnostic and a clear intervention plan, the school makes provisions for a shadow teacher to attend classes with the student. Shadow teachers can stay for as little as a day for observations to over a week in order to offer training to specific teachers who are a part of a student’s intervention plan.

Does you school offer activities to students from other schools after school hours?
Yes, we have a very well-established ECA program that is run every Thursday after school.

Do you have a parents’ group supporting the school?
We have a well-established PTA that supports the school.

Are there opportunities for parents to support the learning, activities and events within the school or on trips other than through the parent group?
Yes, our parents have volunteered their time for arranging events and coordinating national and international days at our school.

Kindly add details of such parent group activities you deem will be of interest…
1. International Day
2. Cup-cake day
3. Graduations
4. Pajama Day
5. Color day
6. National Day
7. Sports Day
8. Spelling Bees
9. Qur’an Competition
10. Science Fair
11. Art Gallery

Is there an opportunity for parental representation on your school Board of Governors?
No

Do you offer specific activities, events or information sessions for those parents new to the school and/or area?
Yes, in parent orientation meetings, at the beginning of the year, we walk them through the procedures and policies at our school. We also inform them on how to help their kids in homework, with assessments, navigating online resources, and such.

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