The Universal American School-Kuwait is a non-profit, private co-educational, college-preparatory day school serving approximately 1800 international students ages 3 to 18. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS) accredit us. UAS offers a full American academic program based on the American Education Reaches Out (AERO) standards while maintaining Arabic language and Islamic religion classes for our Islamic families. As an international school we prepare our high schools students for overseas university life by offering a variety (12 annually) of College Board Advanced Placement courses as well as world languages such as French and Spanish. Our instruction in the core program and electives programs is 100% in English. Approximately 68% of our students go on to attend college in North America.
The school employs approximately 350 staff with the instructional program numbering about 225 teachers and support personnel. All teachers in grades KG2-HS hold a teaching certificate from their home country. We do employ Kuwaiti teachers in areas of Arabic, Islamic religion and in some of our general academic programs. However the majority of our teaching staff is from the United States, and Canada. Our emphasis in on native English speakers as a key to developing critical communication skills in our English as a Second Language students.
There are four things that UAS is bringing out in me as a leader:
- It is a challenge to be an effective communicator and stay on track with our time-lines when working with a variety of cultures throughout our school. Effective communication has its basis in listening and as a leader of a larger staff listening has been magnified as a critical communication skill.
- My ability to shape the five variables of the complex change model supported the communication necessary to bridge the cultural context and help our staff implement necessary changes almost seamlessly.
- The ability to work along side experienced western administrators who have a variety of experiences in a consistent approach to program review and improvement has been a joy in our first few months together.
- Within international schools staff relationships are more than good teaching teams, it is about fostering good social opportunities as well.