New Families

Innovation Lab

ACS has a longstanding tradition of supporting our new families as they transition to ACS and their new home in Abu Dhabi. 

The ACS PTA New Family Welcome Committee helps support family transitions into our school. If you are a new ACS family, we hope you find the below information useful as you begin your journey with us. If you have any questions, please reach out to our Admissions team members, who are happy to assist.


Buddy Family Program

Since 2011, the Buddy Family Program has matched nearly 900 new families with current ACS families to help ease the transition to ACS and life in Abu Dhabi. Whether you are a new family seeking support in your transition or an established family looking to help, our Admissions Office is available to get families involved and help make connections. 

Buddy matches are generally provided over the summer, in the first weeks of school as new families join ACS, and then again in January when we welcome another group of new friends. Buddies are available to answer any questions about ACS and the family’s move to Abu Dhabi. 

Current ACS families volunteer to be buddies and we do our very best to make matches to connect families that have at least one child of the same gender and grade level, as well as similar child or family interests.

We hope that buddies remain a helpful resource as the school year gets underway. These matches often lead to great friendships and connections.


ACS counselors work with families during their transition into ACS. They assist with answering questions, providing social and emotional support, building an academic schedule, arranging new buddies and providing orientation events.

For Middle and High School students, when making a class schedule, students may be required to sit for course placement exams. There are opportunities to sit these exams remotely or on campus. ACS counselors use Google Meet and email to conduct preliminary interviews and answer questions. However, new students are highly encouraged to meet with their school counselor face-to-face prior to the start of school.

Middle School ACS Founders Memorial.jpg


The U.A.E. Ministry of Education requires students to wear a school uniform each day.  ACS strives to comply with this mandate while providing options in your child's daily style.  Please make arrangements to purchase your child’s uniform in advance of their start date.


Students who join ACS at the start of the school year will attend an orientation for all new students and families. For those who join later in the year, counselors will provide similar information during a scheduled meeting in order to help ease the transition.

New Student Buddies

The ACS student body is transient. Many students come and go each year and therefore, most new students find our returning students to be quite welcoming. Counselors will help match up returning students with new students through the Student Buddy Program.

1:1 Computer Program

ACS offers a 1:1 laptop learning environment. All students in Grades 4-12 are required to have their own Apple Mac laptop computer.

Learn more about our Educational Technology Program



ACS operates on a rotating schedule, with students attending four courses on one day and four different classes on the next. Courses are 80-85 minutes long with a break period mid-morning and lunch. The High School schedule offers students opportunities for extra help during a daily study hall, as well as after school. 

School Calendar

ACS operates on a US style academic calendar. School usually begins in late August and ends in mid June.  The school year includes a fall, winter and spring break.



ACS has a cafeteria that offers “hot lunch” options, as well as a salad bar and soup. ACS also has a kiosk that sells sandwiches, juices, and other healthy lunch and snack items. Lunch on campus is approximately 15 to 20 dirhams. Students may also opt to bring their lunch. *Available on-campus food options may change due to current government guidelines.


ACS offers a wide variety of extracurricular opportunities. Our athletics, arts and clubs programs are well-developed, with opportunities for travel and competition at an international level. In addition to these activities, students at ACS are active with service learning initiatives and trips abroad.



ACS is an American School in a Muslim country and celebrates both the holidays of our host country and traditional American holidays.