American Elementary through High School
Dubai American Academy is a Pre K – 12 school in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is a private institution run by GEMS Education, representing over 82 different nationalities. The school provides education from KG1 to Grade 12, offering the American curriculum along with the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Dubai American Academy is popularly known as DAA, and is one of the better known American schools in Dubai.
Dubai American Academy is located on 23 acres of land in the Dubai suburb of Al Barsha –just east of the Shk Zayed Road, and a couple of minutes away from the Mall of the Emirates.
Who runs the school?
Dubai American Academy is owned and operated by GEMS Education, a private international company headquartered in Dubai that owns and manages schools around the world. The school’s Superintendent is Robin Appleby. Tony Mock is the High School Principal, Andrew Ball is the Middle School Principal, and Steve Charbonneau is the Elementary School Principal.
Is this a non-profit school?
What facilities does it offer?
Dubai American Academy provides state-of-the-art facilities for student life and learning. The campus houses more than 120 spacious well-appointed classrooms, seven computer labs, two mini-labs, indoor play area andweight room. There are eleven well-equipped science labs; drama rooms, art studios, music rooms; and two attractive library media centers which include professional resource centers.
The athletic facilities include two covered swimming pools, a soccer pitch on an artificial surface, weight training room, large gymnasiums, grassy play areas, covered playgrounds, and both covered and uncovered tennis courts. The school also has two health offices, a well-equipped theater/auditorium and cafeterias.
What is the school’s philosophy?
The school website says that “Dubai American Academy provides an outstanding college preparatory program in the English language to students from around the world. Success is not only measured by academic achievement, but also by the mark that each student makes on the lives of others. Our staff teaches and inpires excellence in academics and lifelong learning skills by continually reviewing and building an enriched American curriculum, promoting student achievement, encouraging integrity and nurturing a desire to learn. ”
Dubai American Academy offers an enriched American curriculum with an international perspective for students in preschool through grade 12. The curriculum is based on US national standards and best practice research.
The language of instruction at Dubai American Academy is English. The core program emphasizes reading and the language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, Arabic language for native and non-native speakers, and Islamic Educatio for Muslim students. Elementary students also receive instruction in health, physical education, computer technology, art, and music. Middle and High school students continue their studies in the core areas and choose from a wide variety of electives including computer technology, visual and performing arts, and world languages.
Instructional objectives are clearly defined in all subject areas, but academic expectations are flexible enough to both support and challenge each individual learner. Homework is an important part of the educational process as a means of reinforcing and reviewing the daily classroom lessons. Instruction in all areas encourages students to grow as creative thinkers, critical reasoners and effective communicators. Technology, with Internet access in classrooms and libraries, is integrated throughout our program.
Academically, DAA prepares students to meet the challenge of a university education. Those who are exceptionally motivated may choose to pursue an International Baccalaureate Diploma. This qualifies students for entrance, and in many cases advanced placement, in most universities worldwide.
Beyond academics, DAA strives to instill in all students a positive attitude toward lifelong learning, an appreciation for cultural diversity, with higher thinking and problem solving skills necessary to be successful in their future endeavors.
All students must meet the age level requirements, meet academic grade level requirements, listen to and follow directions, and display classroom readiness. They must also conduct themselves in a resepctful manner throughout the assessment. For applicants applying to Pre-K and KG1, the children are assessed and observed in groups of four to eight children. Five main criteria are considered for successful entrance into the program.
Children must be age appropriate for requested grade level; be able to separate from their caregiver and demonstrate a readiness to participate in the classroom; be bathroom independent; be able to engage in an activity following direction; and be able to demonstrate fine and gross motor skill development at age appropriate level.
The MAPS assessment is administered to all students seeking placement in third through fifth grades who do not require an English Language Learning Assessment. MAPS is a computer-based testing system built on 30 years of research and refinement. Basic skills of Math, Reading, and Language are assessed. MAPS is a test that self-adapts to the child in realtime, as the test progresses for a pinpoint picture of learning, achievement, and readiness.
English Language Learners (ELL): At the time of registration, parents complete a Language background questionnaire. If an ELL assesment is needed, it becomes part of the enrollment process. During this process, the student will complete the ELL entrance assessment with an ELL Specialist, and then will complete a Math assessment with a Counselor. If the ELL program is recommended for students entering Grades 1 – 5, the student is offered the Sheltered Immersion Model (SIM) or Beginner English Course (BEC) model of ELL support.
DAA employs a holistic approach to the process of evaluating students for entrance into the Middle and High School. The evaluation process includes a review of the student’s application, past school records and DAA entrance assessments.
At the time of application, students are evaluated to determine their level of mathematics ability. Along with past grades, this test is used to determine correct placement in the appropriate mathematics class. Students applying for entrace into grades 9 or 10, take the High School Math Placement Test, and students applying for grades 11 and 12, take the International Baccalaureate Maths Test. Students are encouraged to show all of their work in addition to providing a solution. Results are reviewd by the Mathematics Head of Department to ensure an understanding of the student’s mathematics concept development.
Another integral part of the evaluation process is an assessment of the student’s overall language skills. There are two parts to this assessment: an essay written by the students, and administration of the Stanford Test of Basic Skills. Although these measures all contribute to a better understanding of the student’s skill development, the essay is considered to be of paramount importance in determining the student’s level of ability in laguage arts and in English language skills.
Based on the information received from the measures, students and parents may be asked to meet with a counselor and/or Principal to gain more information about the student’s ability to benefit from the curriculum at DAA.
Good (as of 2011)