WELCOME MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPALS Dear Parents and Students,
We would like to extend a warm welcome to those of you either returning to ALS or attending for the first time.
This Handbook is a guide for the ALS community to:
obtain information on day to day activities;
clarify expectations and responsibilities of students and teachers;
inform community members about how to get involved.
We urge both parents and students to read the booklet together and we encourage you to contact the school office if you require any information or clarification.
The newsletter, Spotlight, sent home monthly, is a major means of communication from school to home. Furthermore, our website is also a source of information, especially in cases of emergency. We hope that you will keep yourself updated by visiting it at www.alsschools.com .
We look forward to a productive year.
Majdi El Hajj Kathy Khayatt Farajallah
Boys’ School Principal Girls’ School Principal
MISSION STATEMENT Advanced Learning Schools provides students with an opportunity to acquire and demonstrate knowledge, appreciation and respect for their own cultural heritage, integrated with an understanding, curiosity, compassion and tolerance toward other cultures of the world. It provides an environment that encourages moral development, active and independent learning, analytical thinking, life-long learning, respect for individual differences, and sensitivity to the moral, social and environmental requirements of the global community.
ALS provides an environment that fosters understanding, independence, interdependence and cooperation.
Within that context we believe that:
ALS students appreciate:
Arabic culture, language and literature;
developing personal values while appreciating the values of others;
valuing one’s own culture while understanding and demonstrating respect for the culture of others; and
understanding multiculturalism within a global society.
ALS is a caring community that encourages students by example to:
share, cooperate and contribute responsibly to a global society;
develop sensitivity to appropriate work and social relationships consistent with the principle of equal rights, including gender equality;
display sound decision-making skills by reflecting on choices and consequences;
lead a positive, healthy life;
care for others as they would have others care for them;
share resources; and
build understanding and trust
ALS students strive for academic excellence by:
learning how to learn and discovering the joy of learning;
attaining depth and breadth of academic knowledge and understanding;
acquiring skills that support intellectual endeavour and academic success;
acquiring aesthetic appreciation;
understanding modern technologies and using them wisely and effectively; and
acquiring academic skills and knowledge required to gain entrance to and success at competitive local and international universities.
ALS students benefit from an international education whereby they:
gain historic and contemporary knowledge and understanding of the world through intellectual endeavour;
acquire international understanding by studying and experiencing other cultures while, at the same time, acquiring knowledge of, and appreciation for, their own cultural heritage; and
maintain the fluency of their mother tongue while valuing the acquisition of other languages.
ALS students are committed to the spirit of internationalism by:
demonstrating respect for human rights and for the principle of equal rights irrespective of race or gender;
practicing tolerance and living together in peace and developing skills for the peaceful resolution of conflict;
understanding their individual responsibilities within society and the relationship between rights and responsibilities; and
providing leadership that demonstrates an awareness of ethical and moral issues.
IB Learner Profile:
We have adopted the Learner Profile created by the International Baccalaureate (IB) as a guide here at ALS.
All members of the ALS community strive to be:
Inquirers - They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
Knowledgeable – They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In doing so, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.
Thinkers – They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems and make reasoned, ethical decisions.
Communicators – They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
Principled – They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.
Open-minded – They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.
Caring – They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.
Risk-takers – They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.
Balanced – They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.
Reflective – They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.
COMMUNICATION At Advanced Learning Schools, we value our parents highly. Their input and support help make our school a special place in the lives of their children. We encourage them to communicate with us and to become involved in our school. Parents are always welcome at the school. Any time parents have questions or concerns, they are encouraged to make an appointment to come and see us. The school will communicate with the community in the following ways:
The students bring home the school publication called, “Spotlight”regularily. It helps keep the community informed about all ALS and community activities.
The school’s website has a huge amount of information including the curriculum, contact details, events, and calendars. It is worth visiting the site regularly to keep up with what is happening in the school and therefore affecting your child.
Teachers will encourage you to contact them and to make arrangements to meet. If you want to see them, please contact them by telephone or email (or through the Principals' office) to make an appointment. The Principals and Counsellors are also available to discuss any issue related to your child and the school. They can be contacted directly, or through the Principals’ offices.
Teachers are encouraged to get in touch with you regarding important issues that involve your child. We recognize that if you do not hear anything then you will assume that all is well.
Reception will take a message if you cannot contact the teacher directly. If your telephone number changes at any time during the year it is crucial that you inform the school as soon as possible to keep the communication channels open.
The school will contact you using SMS to remind you of events, dates and information about your child. It is highly recommended that you update your mobile number with the Admissions and Marketing Office to keep communication channels open.
Teachers will contact you using email where appropriate and you are encouraged to contact teachers through email if this is convenient. If your email address changes at any time during the year it is crucial that you inform the school as soon as possible to keep communication channels open.
Parent / Teacher / Student Conferences
There are Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences regularly in the year. Please refer to the school calendar and web site for dates.
At the beginning of each school year we hold an Open House. The details of the evening are sent home. During the evening you have the chance to meet your son/daughter’s teachers. There will be an opportunity to discuss the curriculum, expectations and the various activities that will happen throughout the year. We encourage all parents to attend this evening. If you cannot attend then feel free to contact the school or the teachers to see them at a mutually convenient time.
There are a variety of ways to contact people at the school. We are happy to receive telephone calls and letters but e-mail is our preferred form of communication for non-urgent matters.