School Bus transportation is provided for students who live at least 3/4 of a kilometer away from school. A schedule of times, routes, and safety guidelines is available.
Communication between home and school is critically important to the success of a student.
Parents are informed of student progress through formal and informal parent conferences, mid-trimester progress reports and end-of-trimester report cards. Academic progress can be accessed anytime through the PowerSchool parent portal. Parents are encouraged to contact their child's teacher(s) and the school administration whenever they have questions or concerns.
At the beginning of the school year, an Open House is held by each school to acquaint parents with the curriculum, classroom procedures, staff, and facilities. Parents have an opportunity to step into their child's work-a-day world to meet teachers and administrators and to initiate an ongoing partnership between the home and school.
Important documents to bring
A parent should accompany their child to the school to begin the enrollment process. It is vital that parents hand carry the following materials to assist with student placement and registration:
- Prior Scholastic Records
- Evidence of Date of Birth
- Medical Information
- Immunization Records (from birth)
All expatriate students eligible for company-operated schools must demonstrate the capacity to fully benefit from the provided educational program; be free from severe learning disabilities; possess a level of English language proficiency that will contribute to experiencing academic success, as English is the language of instruction; be approved for school attendance by the Director of Pupil Personnel and Special Services; and be placed in an appropriate grade by the school principal.
A student who will become four years of age on or before August 31st of a given year is eligible for entrance into the K4 program at the beginning of that school year.
A student who will become five years of age on or before August 31st of a given year is eligible for entrance into kindergarten at the beginning of that school year.
A student who will become six years of age on or before August 31st of a given school year is eligible for entrance into grade 1 at the beginning of that school year.
Students in grades 2-9 are placed following an evaluation of prior school records, an analysis of standardized test results, discussions with parents and/or the student, and pre-placement evaluation results.
Secondary Schools Placement Program
The secondary schools placement program is designed to assist parents and students with the selection of secondary schools. School guidance counselors will assist new grade 9 arrivals with the selection of secondary schools. Copies of the student's prior scholastic records and standardized test results are essential for this process. It is recommended that families of grade 8 students visit secondary schools during their annual vacation to begin examining these institutions as early as possible.
Secondary school placement booklets are distributed annually to families of middle level students and contain information pertinent to the boarding school experience. The Saudi Aramco Expatriate Schools publication, "Where In The World Are You Going To School?" defines the school's role in providing counseling services, maintaining a placement file, and administering the SSAT. The book outlines the family's responsibilities and provides a calendar of events that guides prospective students through the process of selecting and applying to boarding schools.
Helpful Secondary School References
- TABS Boarding Schools Directory
- Private Secondary Schools
- The ISS Directory of Overseas Schools
- International Schools Group (ISG)
- Educational Assistance Program
Saudi Aramco's Employee Relations Support Services administers a program of financial and travel assistance for eligible boarding, day, and public high school and college students attending schools outside of Saudi Arabia. They are also eligible for financial assistance to attend local international secondary schools. Detailed information on eligibility, applications, and regulations are available from Employee Relations Support Services.
The School Year
The Saudi Aramco Expatriate Schools 175-day calendar begins in September and ends in June. It is divided into three trimesters of approximately twelve weeks each.
The school week is Sunday through Thursday, with weekends on Friday and Saturday. This schedule conforms to the Company and the national Saudi Arabian workweek. The school day for students consists of six contact hours in grades one through nine, and five and one-quarter contact hours for kindergarten. Company and national holidays are observed.
Student sessions are generally held in the mornings with the afternoons devoted to teacher planning and professional development. The intersession periods provide time for:
- Additional or enrichment instruction in the academic subjects
- Students to explore individual talents and interests
- Supplementing the regular trimester curriculum with mini-course and co-curricular activities and instruction
- Staff development and program planning
- Teachers and families to take annual repatriation leaves
Saudi Aramco Expatriate Schools administers five standardized tests. Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) is administered in the Fall and Spring to students in grades 3 through 9 and the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) to students in grades 3, 5 and 7. The Writing Assessment Program (WrAP) is administered annually to students in grades 3 through 9.
The Secondary Schools Admission Test (SSAT) is given yearly to students in grades 8 and 9. The assessment measures writing, reading and comprehension, verbal, and quantitative abilities. The results are used by secondary schools to help determine placement. Registration is automatic and Saudi Aramco pays the fees. Students in grades 6 and 7 may elect to take this test; however, they must register through the school counselors and pay the Secondary School Admission Test fee.
Saudi Aramco Expatriate Schools maintains established standards of student conduct before, during and after school, including school sponsored events. School handbooks emphasize standards for positive behavior.
Guidelines for student dress are established by Saudi Aramco to comply with the customs and traditions of Saudi Arabia. These guidelines require modest dress for adult males and females. Since adulthood in Saudi Arabia is a factor of physical maturity, many of Saudi Aramco Expatriate Schools' students are considered adults.
With this in mind, it is important that students adhere to the dress standard. Clothing or jewelry with slogans, designs or images purported to be controversial, obscene, or advocate the use of drugs, alcohol or tobacco are not permitted. The students in grades 5 through 9 must take care to appropriately button their clothing and cover their shoulders. Tight fitting, revealing, or short clothing is not acceptable. As a general rule, if there are any questions as to the appropriateness of certain clothing, it should not be worn to school.
In each Saudi Aramco Expatriate Schools, children have the services of a guidance counselor. The guidance counselor is responsible for testing programs, special student counseling, and meeting with parents and teachers to resolve student academic difficulties. Middle level counselors also provide secondary school placement services.
Student Services Team
Saudi Aramco Expatriate Schools has special assistance programs available for students who have moderate, often temporary, learning difficulties. Each school has a Student Services Team (SST) consisting of the guidance counselor(s), reading specialist, a speech and language teacher, student services specialist(s), and an administrator.
With parental consent, the SST in each school screens both new and teacher-referred students for special assistance. During the school day, children attend special assistance sessions, after which they return to their regular classes. The sessions vary in length and frequency for each student, depending on individual needs. The SST reviews the progress of each student. As a result of their findings, the team may recommend continuation or termination of special assistance.