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North American International School, Mirdif – The Review 2021
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Background – North American International School Dubai Background and Location

The North American International School was established in 2007 by my parents Mrs. and Mr. Taher.

We began with just a handful of students but we had a strong vision to be ambitious for all children.

Today our school flourishes, with students drawn from more than 44 different nationalities.

Our aim at NAIS has always been simple and powerful: to provide an outstanding education for every single child – and one leading to the attainment of their fullest potential.”

Arwa A Taher. Director and Owner. North American International School Dubai.  

 

Top Schools Awards

 

“The California State Standards provide the North American International School with one of the most vibrant and academic US curriculum approaches available in any US curriculum school in the UAE.

They include resources and guidance on selected content areas, and instructional strategies to ensure parents and teachers play a powerful role in developing every student and their role as future leaders. California state standards provide an A to Z roadmap for outstanding learning, student development and academic success.

The benefits of the Curriculum of the State of California are extensive and proven. Field testing and teacher input are incorporated into the development of the Curriculum and the result is that students and parents will see clear evidence of curriculum relevance, substance and clarity.

Most importantly, students at the North American International School increase their mastery of traditional academic standards while simultaneously achieving environmental literacy.

California Standards bring strong advantages to students.  By following these standards, our students are in a much better position to compete with students throughout the world for both university admission and for jobs in a global, highly competitive market.

The California State Standards also provide extensive support for students studying in a second language.  Our resources allow students studying core subjects in their second, or even third, language to thrive, whilst focusing on exceptional development of English.

Finally, the associated Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have been developed by the California Science Expert Panel.  This integrated approach to the Sciences results in an active and engaging science experience for every student at the North American International School. ”

J. A. McCauley. Principal. North American International School Dubai.

The North American International School, established in 2007, is an American all-through school teaching a California state standards’ curriculum to students between Pre-KG and Year 12. High School graduating options include both the High School Diploma and (creditably) Advanced Placement (more on this below) – a globally recognised qualification providing fast-track access to top-tier universities worldwide.

The school sits within a (relatively bijou by Dubai standards) five acre site in downtown Mirdif with a catchment area for families stretching from Al Mizhar, Deira,  Al Khawaneej and Al Garhoud to Al Warqa. The school is around a ten minute journey from Dubai Festival City and adjacent Dubai Creek.

Map showing the location of North American International School in Dubai and its catchment area for parents and students.

The school focuses on small class sizes and, with under 600 students, provides a very intimate, highly personalised learning environment for children. Child happiness is evident across the school and from our visits we know that it appeals to parents seeking an alternative to the large 2500 plus capacity behemoths increasingly the norm at this fee level.

The school aims to be “small by design” and has currently capped its enrolment at just 588 students. This will grow gradually and carefully over time, “always putting the education and welfare of our students first and foremost.”

The ambition of the school is to “provide a world class university preparatory school at a price that makes an outstanding US education accessible for most families.”

To do this, the school “works hard to keep costs fixed and transparent.”

The school is committed to forging “close and meaningful relationships with families and students” and the ethos of the school is for parents, students, teachers and school leadership to “work together in ensuring that every student achieves to the best of their ability and no child is left behind.”

Currently the school offers families two learning options:

  • On-campus classes for all students. Classes are held daily from Sunday to Thursday. To accommodate for the reduced capacity of both classrooms and buses, students attend school in two shifts running between 8:00 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. and from 11:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m; or,
  • Full Distance Learning programme for those families who request it.  All lessons are run from school with live streaming.  All classrooms, both On-Campus and Distance Learning use the proven Schoology Platform to ensure that the education received through the Distance Learning Platform matches the standards of that achieved in school.

Fees at North American International School fall in the value fees segment starting at AED 22,000 at KG1 and reaching just AED 36,500 at Sixth Form. We rate ROI high, and in particularly in the context of the school’s radical and ambitious five-year plan for development (more below).

The school holds initial accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and is rated a Good School with Very Good features by the Dubai Schools Regulator.

 

Leadership

Principal of North American International School Justin McCauley photograph taken in 2021

Justin Allen McCauley was born and raised in Portland, Oregon USA.  He graduated from Corbett High School, a small rural high school outside of Portland, and immediately began his university studies.  Mr. McCauley went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts from Portland State University.  He then completed his post-baccalaureate education at Warner Pacific College, earning his licensure to teach English at the middle school and high school level.  Mr. McCauley taught Language Arts, Leadership, and Film Studies at Centennial High School, in Oregon, for 10 years.

During his teaching career, Mr. McCauley continued his academic study, earning a Master of Education degree from Lewis and Clark College.  He has since furthered his studies at Concordia University, completing their Continuing Administrative Licensure program.  Soon after earning his master’s degree, Mr. McCauley began his administrative career as the Dean of Students for Centennial High School, then as the Vice Principal of Reynolds High School, continuing as the Principal of Reynolds Learning Academy, and finally as the Director of Education Options for the Reynolds School District.  During his tenure, all three of the schools where he served as an administrator enjoyed significant growth in academic attainment scores, particularly in Reading, and increased their state rating.

Most recently, Mr. McCauley has spent four years as an Academic Vice Principal for the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge.  During that time, Mr. McCauley served in a leadership capacity beyond his school, coordinating all Abu Dhabi Cycle 3 Academic Vice Principals, mentoring struggling principals, and training administrators and teachers.  Under his leadership, Mr. McCauley’s school improved from a, “Weak,” school to an ADEK  rated “Acceptable/Good.”

During his tenure at North American International School, Mr. McCauley has seen his school receive the highest rating of ‘Developed’ in its most recent Digital Learning Evaluation.

The KHDA are particularly positive:

“Led by an experienced principal, the new school leaders share a vision and direction for school improvement. They are successful in motivating others and driving change. They effectively implement and adapt the curriculum with students’ achievement being the priority. Positive relationships and effective communication contribute to a vibrant learning culture and improving learning outcomes. School leaders take some innovative steps. By emphasizing reading literacy, leaders are effectively removing barriers to learning. Inclusive practices embrace all students.”

KHDA Inspection 2020. North American International School Dubai. 

 

Fees

The school has an across-the-board discount of approximately 25% on KHDA school tuition Fees. The school keeps down fixed costs and aims to be transparent with parents on how the school is resourced. Fee levels are guided by its commitment to inclusion and aim to “provide the best educational experience for all students and their families regardless of their income.”

The discounted fee structure follows:

Year 2021-22 Fees (AED)
KG1 21,500
KG2 21,500
Grade 1 23,000
Grade 2 23,000
Grade 3 23,000
Grade 4 23,200
Grade 5 23,200
Grade 6 23,300
Grade 7 26,600
Grade 8 26,600
Grade 9 31,000
Grade 10 31,000
Grade 11 34,500
Grade 12 36,500

 

Key Features

A wall showing student's work in Fine Arts at North American International School in Dubai. The wall is comprised of hand drawn and painted ceramic tiles.

“The North American International School is a fantastic school.

The teachers are professional, caring, and well organized. The admissions process was caring and seamless.

This is a school that genuinely cares and wants the absolute best for children.”

Sanaa Anqoud, Parent, Grade 8 Student, North American International School Dubai. February 2021.

 

  1. History and Background: In a plethora of new school openings, the North American International School stand out for its longevity. This is a school that has been educating students in the US curriculum for some 14 years ( a relative lifetime by UAE standards).  One core benefit is stability and security. In the face of a number school closures across the UAE, the school’s longstanding, proven delivery is welcomed by families.
  2. Special Features: As above, the North American International School is Small by Design, with capped enrolment of around 600 students for the 2021 – 2022 academic year. The school has built a strong relationship with parents at the school based on its small school dynamics and highly personalised education (and care) of its students.
  3. School Community:  The school recognises that student success is dependent on all members of the community working together to support the education of each child.  From activities to student run events, the school is insistent that all members of the community should have a voice in the direction of the school. This is a school in which parents are listened too and not something to be tolerated.
  4. Inclusion and Welcome: North American International School is deeply committed to inclusion, something it sees as integral to making community mean something beyond tokenism. The school welcomes more than 43 nationalities, offers a dedicated programme for Gifted and Talented children – and supports those students who have been less than successful at other schools.  The Principal told us: “We believe that every student is capable of greatness with the right structure and supports in place.  That structure and support sees our students every year access some of the finest universities both in the UAE and abroad.”
  5. Philosophy:  the North American International School’s vision is to provide “a world class university preparatory school option at a price that is accessible for most families.”

 

Advanced Placement Curriculum

Our test of US schools begins with asking whether they provide Advanced Placement. Too many US curriculum schools, even today, and even so called Premier Schools, still provide their students with just a single graduating option in the shape of the High School Diploma. The High School Diploma is a qualification, however, that is, generally, recognised by universities outside the US as only a Pre-16 years’ level certificate of attainment. For example, if compared with the British system, it is treated as an O’ Level (which students in the British system sit at age 16) standard qualification rather than the higher A Level standard (which students sit at age 18). To access British Universities, the High School Diploma is not accepted – instead students may be given the opportunity to study for an extra year’s conversion course (usually a Diploma) before being able to embark on a Bachelor’s degree.

In US universities, to get around this, universities require the basic High School Diploma (which is awarded in Grade 12) in conjunction with a minimum GPA average and evidence of the level of challenge in completed courses (this rising according to the prestige and requirements of the relevant course and university). Advanced Placement is arguably the definitive mechanism for High School students to raise that average. Schools that do not provide Advanced Placement inherently risk limiting the choices available to students, even when applying to US universities.

More on why we believe that Advanced Placement is critical in US schools can be found here.

It is all the more creditable then, that North American International School, one operating within this value fee structure, is offering the most reputable and recognised higher level qualification available in any US school. Advanced Placement, broadly, as above, equivalent to A’ Levels in UK curriculum schools, is a gold standard qualification for students to enter top tier universities worldwide – American or otherwise. In US universities it can also generate credit against course study.

A list of currently available AP qualification available at North American International School follows, together with details of the expanded programme being rolled out annually.

2020-2021: AP Biology, AP Psychology, AP Drawing

2021-2022: AP Biology, AP Psychology, AP Drawing, AP US History, AP Chemistry, AP Statistics

2022-2023: AP Biology, AP Psychology, AP Drawing, AP US History, AP Chemistry, AP Statistics, AP Literature, AP Calculus, AP European History

2023-2024: AP Biology, AP Psychology, AP Drawing, AP

 

Core Curriculum

Curriculum and breadth of subject choice at the school we rate highly. There is none of the restricted curriculum compromises evident in many schools operating in this sector, nor  an attempt to restrict student choice through a limited timetable. Investment in teachers ensures that all children enjoy access to a broad, whole child curriculum. The school also delivers the spectrum of broader child-development lessons to support core academic subjects, including in Music and the Performing Arts. In the following we have included photography highlighting investment in theatre productions, Fine Art and Music.

Below we cover core subject options from KG, Through Early Years, Middle Years and Post-16 phases.

Phase 1

Photograph of the auditorium and theatre for Performing Arts at the North American International School in Dubai

“Working at North American International School has been a really positive experience because I get to work with many wonderful teachers who all come from different teaching backgrounds and work together to ensure that the students under our care are getting the best educational experience. Lower Elementary works to build the foundational skills of students through collaborative methods where we take each person’s viewpoint into account and come up with a plan that treats each child as an individual and allows us to work with the child themselves to improve their skills and make them ready to tackle whatever the world has to offer.”

Natashsa Sorak, Head of Primary, Northam American International School

“The best thing about teaching Science at North American International School is the opportunity to inspire students, transforming their natural curiosity into substantive academic discovery, learning and achievement.”

Damarius Ringo. Head of Science, North American International School

Core subjects:

  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • English
  • Social Studies (history)
  • Moral Education
  • Arabic for Native and Non-Native speakers
  • Islamic for Native and Non-Native speakers
  • Art
  • Physical Education
  • Music
  • Information Technology Class (ICT)

Phase 2

A showcase of student at at North American International School

“North American International School is a progressive American curriculum school. We nourish and develop children, setting high expectations and investing in the success of every child. We provide leadership opportunities for students and provide every student with the tools needed for academic and whole child success. At NAIS too, our committed extends to both our students and their families.”

Kiea Pannell, Head of English: North American International School

Subjects:

  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • English
  • Social Studies (history)
  • Moral Education
  • Arabic for Native and Non-Native speakers
  • Islamic for Native and Non-Native speakers
  • Art
  • Physical Education
  • Music
  • Information Technology Class (ICT)

Phase 3

“North American International School is a place for students to discover their hidden talents and to develop those talents with passion. We believe students should be well rounded and we focus on academics and the “bigger picture” development of the whole child.

This means Art, Music, and other creative pursuits are given genuine and in-depth focus along-side the core academic curriculum.

North American International School encourages students to excel artistically – and this is evidenced in our outstanding provision of Advance Placement in Art. This ensures that students earn university credit and are fully prepared for their university, post-graduation, journeys ahead.”

Mussarat K, Head of Arts: North American International school

Subjects:

  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • English
  • Social Studies (history)
  • Moral Education
  • Arabic for Native and Non-Native speakers
  • Islamic for Native and Non-Native speakers
  • Art
  • Physical Education
  • Music
  • Information Technology Class (ICT)

Phase 4

“North American International School has an excellent reputation for the quality of its teaching in the Sciences and Mathematics. We prepare students for both industry and post graduation university entry. As pat of this, the Mathematics curriculum and its teaching invests in innovation and real-life, grounded activities to bring Mathematics alive for students and give it both relevance and impact in the modern world. At the North American International School the Mathematics curriculums matters – and, more importantly, students understand why it matters. ”

Shilpi Mukherjee, Head of Mathematics, North American International School

Subjects:

  • Mathematics — Algebra grade 9, Geometry grade 10, Algebra 2 or Consumer Mathematics grade 11, Precalculus or Consumer math 2 grade 12
  • Science — Earth and Space science grade 9, Biology grade 10, Chemistry grade 11, optional– Environmental Science, Anatomy and Physiology, Physics 1 grade 11, optional grade 12–Physics 2, AP Chemistry, AP Biology, Anatomy and Physiology
  • English
  • Social Studies — World History 9, World History 10, US History
  • Moral Education
  • Arabic for Native and Non-Native speakers
  • Islamic for Native and Non-Native speakers
  • Art — Introduction to Art, Drawing, Painting 1, Painting 2, Sculpture, AP drawing, AP 2D Art and Design
  • Physical Education
  • Music — Symphonic Band 1, Symphonic band 2, Rock Band, Concert Choir
  • English Electives — Multicultural Literature, Contemporary Literature, Debate, Creative Writing, Journalism
  • Humanities Electives — Economics, Sociology, Psychology, AP Psychology, Business management and leadership, Introduction to Accounting
  • Introduction to French, French 1, French 2, French 3, French 4
  • Information Technology Electives — Web Design, Computer Programming 1, Computer Programming 2, SAT prep
  • Student Services Electives — Student Government/Leadership, Teacher Assistant, Office Assistant, Academic Peer Tutoring, Functional Study Skills, Fundamental Career Skills

 

Facilities

Facilities meet the needs of children and are good for this price point. Investment is needed in bringing some of these up-to-date. Extraordinarily at this price point, the school does have a fully resourced, AV-rich auditorium – but it does need modernising. We would like to see it adopting a monochrome more classical approach to design and theatre. The currently somewhat garish colourways do not do the facility justice at all. This said, functionally, it delivers well.

The music curriculum is a strength at North American International School in Dubai. Here we see a young guitar player and vocalist performing for parents and the school.

Elsewhere facilities are of a high standard and investment is evident. This is particularly true of the school’s Science and IT Labs, Music Rooms and Fine Art Centre.

A full list of features follows:

  • 600 Capacity Auditorium with Sound and full Theatre Lighting
  • Parent’s Foyer
  • Main School Library

Music Room at NAIS Dubai

  • Music Rooms

  • Two Phase-Specific Libraries

  • Purpose built modern school building with wide corridors and dedicated areas to celebrate child achievement

  • 3 Dedicated Fine Art and Studio Media Rooms
  • 2 Dedicated Music Rooms
  • Six Dedicated Science Labs

  • Cafeteria
  • Four Computer Labs
  • Dedicated SEND Offices

Primary School classroom at North American International School Dubai

  • Themed Primary Classrooms
  • Dedicated Academic Catch Up and One to One Learning Centre
  • An audio-visual room
  • All classrooms with projectors and smart boards
  • Clinic and Student Welfare Centre with full-time Social Worker and full time Counsellor
  • Two dedicated Conference Areas
  • Student Shop

Play areas for KG children are available across the school - all fully shaded

  • Multiple dedicated KG Play Centres – fully shaded and with safety flooring.

 

Sport

“North American International School recognises the unique needs of each child and provides sporting opportunities for all.”

The Approach to Sport. North American International School. February 2021. 

The school operates a traditional house system with four houses (Lincoln, Washington, Adams and Jefferson.) Competitive sports are encouraged, but the school is also committed to ensuring that Sport engages all children. There is none of the snobbery of A Teams or a culture of driving a wedge between the gifted and also-rans in Sport as at other schools.

Sporting facilities include:

  • Two Artificial Turf Football Fields
  • Basketball Court
  • Three Indoor Sport Centres

Further investment is in planning ….

 

Future Planning 2021 – 2026

The school has a clear, ambitious (and impressive) 5-year plan for future investment and development of the school as it gears up its ambition to achieve Very Good School status.

The plan, shared with us (February 2021), includes six key areas of focus:

  • Subject Breadth: Further development of subject choice options offering outstanding entrance opportunities for students to universities globally;
  • Value-add: Investment in further strengthening academic performance and student attainment across all phases with increasing use of data to inform individual child-centred personalised interventions;
  • Accreditation: Securing of KHDA Very Good with Outstanding Features School status;
  • Teachers: Increased investment in US-qualified Western teaching faculty with recruitment of licensed teachers from the US, broadly experienced in the American Curriculum and Assessment;
  • Whole child investment: Broadening of the range of extra-curricular activities offered to every student. The school has already embarked on an enhanced afterschool and weekend programme of ECAs, allowing students and families to participate in a growing number of clubs, sporting groups, and teams.
  • Facilities: Roll-out of five-year capital investment programme including the remodelling of the KG Playground; installation of new Sports courts; development of organic gardens; and, a new swimming pool to facilitate the inclusion of a swimming program at the centre of in-school and after-school Sports.

Worth noting that if the school does deliver the outstanding quality of swimming pool and supporting facilities it discussed with us, the fee ROI for parents will be outstanding plus.

 

Academic Performance

In 2020, 100 % of Grade 12 students at the North American International School achieved a Pass grade or above. Students graduated, inter alia, to universities in the UAE, USA, Canada, and Germany.

 

Scholarships and Bursaries

NAIS offers an Economic Hardship Scholarship in exceptional cases for existing families at the school experiencing severe financial hardships as a direct consequence of Covid-19. Scholarships provide families with up to 40% fee remission in cases where (1) there is an identified loss of employment by one or both parents directly caused by the Covid-19 pandemic; and, (2) where students would otherwise face leaving the school.

This is telling. Many of us know of families and children who have found themselves removed from their existing schools (and friends) because of a change in circumstances caused by the Covid 19 pandemic. Many schools say they care – this school (in no small part because of the altruism of its owners) have genuinely delivered caring – and when it mattered most.

 

Covid 19

The school has a number of programmes in place to ensure that no child is left behind because of the impacts on education caused by the pandemic. The school told us:

“We’re not going to be in this health crisis forever so it is important that we look to the future for the education of our children – and especially our younger children.

This is why, uniquely, we have created a KG1 and KG2 Accelerated programme that takes students who have missed school and “catch them up.”

Worried parents can be confident that our programmes get KG students ready for their education ahead – and fast.

We have the team in place and full wrap around facilities to support every child. The programme, based on experiential learning and learning through play, takes students to where they need to be – and where they would have been had the pandemic not struck.”

 

Bottom Line: The SchoolsCompared.com Independent Verdict for Parents 2021

Child in costume for musical theatre production at North American International School in Dubai

“A NAIS Student is a student who is excited about learning and growth.

Students do not have to come to us with a record of outstanding performance.

Rather they must come to us with a desire and commitment to learn, improve, and grow.

NAIS students see their peers as part of the whole community. They understand that in order for them to succeed, all members of the community must support each other. NAIS students view themselves as part of a family. They feel connected to their school and they have a vested interested in the success of the entire school collectively.”

J. A. McCauley. Principal. North American International School Dubai.

 

Last year, North American International School raised its KHDA Inspection ratings in over 20 different categories, achieving Good School with Very Good Features status in the process. To do this, the school underwent something of a revolution and a game-changing investment in quality across every part of school life:

“Our investment in Teaching and Learning within the school is significant. Last year North American International School began its long-term strategic investment in very high calibre, Western-trained teaching faculty to drive up standards and the attainment of students. The professional development of teachers has seen the expertise these new leaders have brought to us, cascade throughout our school. Students have benefitted powerfully. 

Assessment is also now place centre stage with the implementation of US curriculum standards aligning our teaching very closely with Common Core State Standards.

Parents too now place a key role in shaping the development of my school. Their voice matters.”

J. A. McCauley. Principal. North American International School Dubai.

The new school Principal too is an evangelist for American education as a force for good:

“US Curriculum Schools, at their best, offer students increased subject choice and significantly enhanced opportunities for hands-on learning compared with other school systems. Students in the US system, as say compared with British schools, are not locked in to a particular set of subjects.  Rather they have so many more opportunities to explore different subjects – and so developing a much broader range of skills. Students in the US system are given the opportunity to discover their passions -and their talents.

Mathematics and Science courses too, in the US system, are taught sequentially to allow the student to build on their foundational understanding and, only then, move to more advanced concepts.

This is why I believe that the American educational system is unequalled in the world and absolutely the right educational framework for the education of children.”

We found Mr McCauley credible, professional and inspirational. We have no doubt that he has the ambition to deliver for students. If the school delivers on its five year plan, there is also no reason at all why it will not secure KHDA Very Good, or better status.

As it stands today then, this is a school that brims with potential and the capacity to excel. The extraordinary achievements of the school last year provide a roadmap for the school moving forward, and demonstrate its ability to deliver a rapidly improving, high standard of education for every child against near inconceivable odds.

We would like to see some simple changes. Unlike so many schools at this price point, North American International School has an auditorium. It should be the absolute crown jewels of the school’s facilities – but its bizarre colours and strange choice of staging materials thoroughly cloak its potential. It would take very little to update it and make it better represent the ambition of the school. So too, if the school can deliver on its plan for a swimming pool, it is right to recognise that this will open a whole new world of competitive sports for its children – and place the school in the very top tier of school’s in its fee structure/class.

It is this driving ambition for students, backed by an owner committed to invest in the school and children, that ultimately explains why this school is so loved by its students and families. Small scale dynamics, high calibre school leadership, ambition in spades and a rich, commitment to inclusion and child welfare mark this school out as one to watch.

Yes, the web site needs work. Yes, social media is not nearly as well developed as in many other schools. Yes, some of the colours used in the school are less than classical, or indeed classy. But these are, truly, skin deep issues when set against the substantial, very real successes of a school on a mission to break every glass ceiling of equivalent schools in this fee segment on what matters – the success and happiness of its children.

It’s something to behold.

Highly recommended.

© SchoolsCompared.com 2021. All rights reserved.

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Details to consider
2018/19 Overall ADEK / KHDA Rating

Good with Very Good features

Rating FS

Good

Rating Primary / Elementary

Good

Rating Secondary / Middle

Good

Rating Post 16 / High

Good

Type of school

Private, for-profit

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

KG1: 29,087 discounted to AED 21,500
KG2: 29,087 discounted to AED 21,500
Grade 1: 31,413 discounted to AED 23,000
Grade 2: 31,413 discounted to AED 23,000
Grade 3: 31,413 discounted to AED 23,200
Grade 4: 31,413 discounted to AED 23,200
Grade 5: 31,413 discounted to AED 23,200
Grade 6: 31,413 discounted to AED 23,300
Grade 7: 34,904 discounted to AED 26,600
Grade 8: 34,904 discounted to AED 26,600
Grade 9: 40,721 discounted to AED 31,000
Grade 10: 40,721 discounted to AED 31,000
Grade 11: 46,539 discounted to AED 34,500
Grade 12: 46,539 discounted to AED 36,500

Curriculum

American/US
Notes:

External Exam Boards

College Board:
Advanced Placement
SAT

Selective

Fully, unambiguously inclusive

Waiting list

No

Value Added

Not published

Number of Students

502 (February 2021)
Notes:
Capacity: 1500 students on all-through opening

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:8

Largest nationality teachers

American and Canadian
Notes:
Other nationalities:
UK, New Zealand, Arab, Indian

Teacher turnover

33% (2019-20)

Year opened

September 2007

Location

Mirdif, Dubai

Student composition

International
Notes:
Emirati: 186
SEND: 48 + 13 Gifted and Talented
Circa 45 nationalities including UAE, UK, US, Pakistan, Indian, Jordanian

Gender

Co-educational
Notes:
Boys: 269 (February 2021)
Girls: 233 (February 2021)

School canteen

Yes

Owner

Arwa A Taher (Director)

Abdul Hussain Taher (Founder)
Zainab A Taher (Founder)

Admissions Telephone

+971 (0)4 288 48 44

Web Address
Attainment Nur SEM

60%

Attainment Pri SEM

53.3%

Attainment Sec SEM

40%

Attainment Post-16 SEM

53.3%

Progress Nur SEM

60%

Progress Pri SEM

60%

Progress Sec SEM

53.3%

Progress Post-16 SEM

60%

Arabic Native Primary Results (Native)

50%

Arabic Secondary Results (Native)

50%

Arabic Post-16 Results (Native)

40%

Arabic Primary Results (Add.)

50%

Arabic Secondary Results (Add.)

40%

Arabic Post-16 Results (Add.)

40%

Islamic St. Primary Results

60%

Islamic St. Secondary Results

50%

Islamic St. Post-16 Results

40%

Leadership

60%

Community

60%

Facilities

60%

Quality of teaching

60%

Student personal responsibility

80%

Quality of curriculum

60%

School Governance

60%

SEN Provision

60%

Strengths

• Advanced Placement.
• Committed, passionate leadership.
• High value fees offering strong ROI.
• Curriculum built around California state standards and NextGEN Science.
• Small school intimacy with small class sizes and high teacher:student investment.
• Strong ethic of inclusion.
• Long-standing school with experienced educators and strongly supportive community and parents.
• Highly structured, ambitious school investment plan with the aim of securing KHDA Very Good School status.
• Ambitious, creditable and considered plan for school development over the next five years.
• Happy school dynamics
• Passionate school leadership deeply committed to US education and the welfare of students.

Weaknesses

• For a US curriculum school, some of the colour-ways are jarring.
• Investment in the Auditorium would re-pay dividends. The facility needs to be toned down and made classy.
• To deliver the scale of ambition evident in the school's five -year plan will require powerful investment and courage from the school's owners.
• Web site and front-facing communications need a major overhaul to best celebrate the achievements of children, the success of the school and the sheer courage of its ambition for fast-paced improvement.

Rating
Our Rating
User Rating
Rate Here
Academic
B-
B+
Value
B+
B
ExtraCurricula
B-
C-
Languages
B
B-
Sports
B-
C-
Arts & Drama
B-
C-
Teaching
B-
B-
Communications
C+
C-
Warmth
A
A+
Differentiation
B-
C+
SEND Provision
B-
C+
Scl Community
A+
B-
Scl Facilities
B-
B-
Opportunities

It would be churlish not to look beyond the anomalies and rare mis-steps to recognise the extraordinary achievements of North American International School, and its outspoken accomplished Head, in just a single year. There is so much untapped potential here. Yes the school needs to get some of the basics sorted, but for the most part, these basics are frivolous and skin deep. In terms of substance the achievement here is extraordinary and inspiring. If the school can deliver on its five year plan, what will be delivered for students will be game-changing. We wish North American International School, its parents and students every possible success.

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About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of SchoolsCompared.com and WhichSchoolAdvisor.com UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at] schoolscompared.com

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