The American School of Alexandria (ASA) is located in Alexandria, an ancient city founded by Alexander the Great with a modern population in excess of 3.5 million inhabitants, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Alexandria enjoys a temperate climate with January temperatures reaching a high of 75 degrees F. and in July a high of 85 degrees F. The city has a light "winter" rainfall and is cooled by breezes from the sea in the spring, autumn and summer months. Swimming, sailing, scuba diving as well as year-round tennis and golf are the principal outdoor activities. Teachers can join The Alexandria Sporting Club which offers swimming, squash, tennis, horseback riding (also, polo), golf, weight/exercise facilities, and a terraced club house with several dining rooms.
There are organized and coached athletic activities for children at The Sporting Club. Alexandria is 2 1/2 hours by air conditioned train from Cairo (sixteen dollars roundtrip, first class), a two-hour flight from Greece and a three-hour flight from Italy, with daily flights originating from its own international airport with service to such foreign destinations as London, Frankfurt, Athens, and Beirut. Teachers and their dependents receive resident's visas (and work permits) through the School which entitles them to sharply reduced domestic airfares and hotel accommodations. Teachers and their families may spend their weekends and vacations exploring Luxor (Karnak and the Valleys of the Kings and Queens) in Upper Egypt, as well as Sharm El Sheik on the Red Sea in southern Sinai (among the best snorkeling and diving in the world), Petra in Jordan, Damascus in Syria, Jerusalem in Israel, and Istanbul in Turkey.
Egypt is a very safe country where women feel comfortable walking alone at night or taking a taxi. Violent crime is virtually unknown and theft a rare occurrence. The cost of living is low with fish, lamb and local, field ripened produce, including oranges, lemons, grapefruit, avocados, tomatoes and artichokes, available in the markets throughout the year. Most faculty members have at least part-time domestic help. The quality of life in Alexandria for ASA faculty members is high. Almost all Western products are available locally. The society is tolerant and the Egyptian people friendly.
Integral to ASA's academic program is a week of all-school field trips called "Learning without Walls," which occurs in the spring. During the week, Elementary School trips focus on Egypt, but beginning in the 8th grade or the last year of Middle School, trips may include Damascus and Aleppo, Syria or Istanbul, Turkey, and for the High School, Moslem Monuments, Spain, Renaissance and Baroque Rome and Florence, Italy, and Paris and its environs in France.
The School, through AMID-East offers SAT II subject tests. In addition to the SAT I and II's, The School gives the PSAT practice test to 10th graders in anticipation of the SAT's. The School integrates SAT I Review and Preparation in math and English courses. Additionally, ASA has a fulltime, professional Counselor who offers a broad range of counseling services for the student body, including college/university guidance. Uniquely, the School has a Special Education Program for a limited number of learning challenged students. Less than six percent of the student body is enrolled in the Special Education Program. While the Special Education Program has its own Resource Room, the mildly, learning disabled students who are admitted are mainstreamed.
The American School of Alexandria firmly believes that small class size is highly conducive to learning. Small class size allows the teacher the opportunity to address individual, academic needs, and to tailor teaching to each individual student's learning style. To that end, classes in the Elementary section of the School are 9-12 students per class (K-6); in the Middle School (grades 7-8) and High School (grades 9-12) classes may hold approximately 5-18 students each. For a small school ASA has extensive sports facilities including an on-site swimming pool, playing fields, gymnasium, dance studio, an exercise/weight room.
The American School of Alexandria encourages students to participate in extracurricular activities such as Student Council, Environmental Club, Debate Team, Model United Nations Club, Drama Club, Dance Club, Computer Club, Community Service, Chess Club, Guitar Club, Sports Club, school newspapers, and intramural and interscholastic sports. Individual teachers sponsor one club which meets one day per week.
Because Egypt is largely a Muslim country, the school day and week run from 8:30-3:30, Sunday through Thursday, except during Ramadan when the day ends at 2:30 and on Tuesdays when the day ends at 2:45. The students enjoy a two-week "Winter Holiday" (Christmas Break), a two-week "Spring Break," and celebrate American Thanksgiving and a generous number of Egyptian civil and religious holidays. Faculty members must be in Egypt one week prior to the beginning of the school year.
The school year, divided into two semesters or four quarters, generally ends the last week of June. The School day operates on a period. Teachers have a maximum of 25-fortyfive minute contact periods per week with students, and lunch and detention duties are minimal.
The school assists teachers in finding two and three bedroom, furnished apartments with modern appliances located in the best neighborhoods of Alexandria. The School stores teachers' personal effects over the summer holiday months. Most teachers travel in Europe and North America during the summer vacation. The School provides transportation to and from school for teachers (there is no need for a car as taxis are very inexpensive), the school provides assistance in medical care. The school provides annual airfare for teachers who were contacted by the school and hired from abroad.