I have a friend who worked in Abu Dhabi and loved it! She highly recommended this school and from my preliminary research, I would agree that it is one of the top in the region. How will it measure up using my rubric?
I give this school a 10/10!
1. What type of school is it?
Non-profit, US accredited, IB diploma
2. Student population:
According to the ACS website there are, “approximately 1100 students, representing 60 countries”. Great mix!
3. Class size:
I haven’t been able to find the class size at this school. I also haven’t read that the class size is too big (which is usually something mentioned right away if it is a problem). I have read that there are 57 classrooms (don’t remember where now that I’ve been searching for this answer for so long!) so 1100/57= 19 students per class. Good size, but I would like confirmation!
I was very happy to read that this school has a strong technology program! 4th & 5th grades have a 1:1 program, grade three has access to two carts, and grades 1 & 2 have a 1:3 iPad ratio. Not bad at all!
This school has an interesting “retirement program” in which employees are paid, “39 days for the first 2 years of service and 45 days thereafter”. They allow teachers to be paid out each year (best choice for people who already have retirement accounts and just want to add to them at the end of each school year), or at the end of employment (good choice if you are not great at saving). Theoretically a person getting paid $44,355 (base pay for six years of experience)/188 (average number of work days)= $235.93 (pay per day) * 39 (retirement bonus for first year)= $9201.27 or $235.93*45= $10,616.85 (bonus for 3+ years). Not bad!
6. Overall package:
First of all, I need to say it again, I love it when schools are up front and transparent and just list all of their benefits online! This school breaks it down very clearly on their salary scale that a teacher with six years of experience and a master’s would get $59,510 (including “incentives and gratuity”). Nice! Many of the usual things are provided: housing (though singles are said to get the shaft), medical, shipping allowance, roundtrip airfare each year, utilities, interest free car loan (whoo!).
7. City Profile:
Abu Dhabi kinda has the reputation as the little sister of Dubai. It doesn’t have as many night life options as Dubai, but it still has plenty going on. Also, if you need a little more room to let loose Dubai is about a 1.5 hour drive from Abu Dhabi. In Abu Dhabi you can go to the beach, desert camp, do water sports, join local clubs, and join a gym.
8. Salsa Dancing:
The ACS website says that there are, “There are one hundred and ten faculty members representing twenty nationalities and the average teacher stays at the school for five years.” On this website it says that, “the school employs 115 teachers in total, 91 of whom hold a teaching certificate or credential, 49 have a Bachelor’s degree, 60 hold a Master’s and 6 have Doctorates.” Sounds great! I like that there is a mix of nationalities and educational backgrounds.
Abu Dhabi is a city full of immigrants so finding international food is not a problem. Being a coastal city, seafood is also quite popular in many dishes. According to Wikipedia, “Saffron, cardamom, turmeric, and thyme are the core flavors used in Emirati cookery.” Yum! Alcohol and pork products are only found in select hotels and restaurants.
Please comment! Have you been to Abu Dhabi? Would you want to work there? Have you or someone you know worked at the American Community School of Abu Dhabi? Can you add any info to what I’ve listed above?