Frequently Asked Questions

How old does my child need to be to enter ACS?

For KG1:

Your child must be 4 years old before September 1st in the year in which they will enroll (no exceptions)

For KG2:

Your child must be 5 years old before September 1st in the year in which they will enroll (no exceptions)

For Grade 1:

Your child must be 6 years old before September 1st in the year in which they will enroll (no exceptions)

For Grades 2 - 12:

ACS has guidelines for each grade level and the admission team is happy to review your child’s completed file to help make a determination on the best fit for your child

How long is the school day?

KG1 - Grade 5

8:00 AM - 3:10 PM

Grades 6 -12

8:00 AM - 3:20 PM

Does my child need to be fluent in English to attend ACS?

This depends on the age at which your child will be entering ACS. The older the student, the more important it becomes that they have a certain mastery of English. Having said that, ACS has students from over fifty countries, and many of our youngest students are not fluent in English when they arrive; our teachers are skilled at making them feel comfortable in class. Based on your application, ACS may require an English test to ascertain your child’s proficiency in English.

Does ACS only accept students at the beginning of the academic year?

No; in many cases children may enroll as soon as a seat is available. However, we must abide by any rules set by the Abu Dhabi Education Council. It is also important to note that high school students must join us at the beginning of the year or at the semester break.

Is there an application deadline?

If you want your child to start school at the beginning of the academic year (typically in late August), we strongly suggest that you submit a complete application before February 28, 2017. This will allow ACS staff to finish the review process before the first cycle of seats is released. Applications received after February 28th will not be considered in our first wave of seat offers.

How long does it take before I know if my child’s application has been approved?

Once the completed Online Application and Application fee are received by the Admissions Office, we will prepare the file for review by the Application Review Committee. We always do our best to work quickly but, depending on the time of year and number of applications, this can take some time. Once a decision has been made parents will receive a response from ACS; applications are either approved, declined, or require further review.

Please note that an approved application does not guarantee admission for the child. For August entry, grade level capacity is assessed in April, and as many approved applications as possible are subsequently admitted. Notices of an offer of admission are sent to those students via email. If a grade level is full, those applications that were approved (but not admitted) remain on the waiting list.

It is important to understand that many current ACS families will not know if they are moving until the summer months. Thus, we typically see changes in enrollment right up through the first week or two of school.

In our busiest time of the year, we ask that you allow our staff 6-8 weeks to process your completed application and respond with an answer on whether your child is approved for admission.

How is ACS accredited?

United Arab Emirates Ministry of Education, Abu Dhabi Educational Zone, License #19/ 1
Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA)
Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools (NESA)
Council of International Schools (CIS)
Overseas Association of College Admissions Counselors (OACAC)
American School Counselor’s Association (ASCA)
Association for the Advancement of International Education
Middle East South Asia Conference (MESAC )

Are parents encouraged to be involved at ACS?

Definitely! The ACS PTA (Parent Teacher Association) is an important part of our community.

The PTA mission is to build bridges between all members of the ACS Association, which includes families, alumni, personnel and trustees as well as enhancing our student’s learning experiences, fostering global citizenship, celebrating every child and strengthening communication between home and school, all through a multitude of programs and effective fundraising.

The ACS PTA welcomes new families to our community, runs special events for the school, supports our teachers and administration, and runs our Viper club. The PTA organizes classroom parents in the elementary school to assist teachers with special activities.

Does ACS accept students with special learning needs?

ACS provides learning support by trained professionals to identified students in a balanced service delivery model of consultative support, accommodations, small group instruction and/or in class support.

Does ACS provide transportation to and from school?

ACS does not have a busing service. Some parents drive their children to and from school each day. Others families have private arrangements for a van from their compound or neighborhood. A number of our students walk or ride a bike to school.