Elementary and Middle School
ASD provides a full American curriculum for its students that is standards-based. This model of unit and course design has been shown to be more innovative in terms of moving to increased student-centered classrooms focused on learner agency.
Our continually updated curricular areas are designed with learner outcomes as our focus and excellent text materials are used as primary sources of information. Teachers have multiple supplementary resources available to help them effectively address the outcomes, including our outstanding library resources.
Using the American Common Core State Standards, the mathematics program challenges students to make meaning of mathematics using models, pictures and clear explanations of their thinking. The program focuses on the "why" of mathematics not on memorization of procedures or algorithms.
English Language Arts
Using the American Common Core State Standards, the language arts program helps students learn what savvy readers and writers do. Students engage in meaningful activities to practice skills they need in order to tackle a wide variety of texts. They are immersed in the writing process and continuously work toward crafting pieces that have a clear purpose, while understanding that they are writing for a particular audience.
Using the NGSS Framework, science education aims to challenge and inspire 21st century students to be scientifically literate. The framework adopts a three-dimensional approach to instruction: Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts and Engineering. NGSS performance expectations do not involve rote memorization of content; instead, the focus is on cultivating students' natural curiosity and pushing their creative boundaries by engaging them in exploring connections across the four domains of science: physical science, life science, earth and space science, and engineering design. In addition, the NGSS standards are aligned to the Common Core Mathematics and Language Arts Standards. When students are learning about science, they are also enhancing their skills in reading, writing and math.
Using the C3 Framework, Social Studies is focused as much on the future as it is on the past. Using the four dimensions of C3, students learn applicable skills and do deep dives into relevant topics using the historical content as a guide. The C3 Framework focuses on making students responsible citizens of the 21st century - problem-solvers of a new and rapidly changing world.
Using SHAPE (Society of Health And Physical Educators) America standards and guidelines, physical education provides students with a planned, sequential, K-12 standards-based program of curricula and instruction designed to develop motor skills, knowledge and behaviors for active living, physical fitness, sportsmanship, self-efficacy and emotional intelligence. SHAPE America believes every child in the United States and children in schools around the world deserve both a quality physical education and physical activity program.
Music education is delivered through the Core Arts Standards. The three main standards that we focus on are creating, performing and responding. Students engage in creating by completing and refining musical work such as compositions. In performance, students present musical work through instrumental and vocal performance. Finally, students respond to music by analyzing and interpreting the intent and meaning in that artistic work.
Using the Core Arts Standards, art education compromises three main standards: creating, producing and connecting. In creating, students refine and complete artistic work. In producing, students convey meaning through producing artistic work. In connecting, students relate artistic ideas and work to external contexts by the use of their personal experience and knowledge as well as relating to the larger social, cultural and historical context to promote deeper understanding.
Using the ACTFL Standards, global language education provides a framework for diverse students to learn reading, writing and communicating using a foreign language in a safe, fun and responsive environment. Materials and activities are designed to promote openness, research and curiosity.
Our vision interprets technology as a natural and essential part of everyday school life for all members of our school community. Technology is focused around an integrated learning approach. It is an instructional strategy that is embedded in the curriculum areas by our faculty. Technology empowers students to pursue purposeful learning experiences and inspires students to develop critical thinking skills which support continuous inquiry.
Using the the WIDA and Common Core State Standards, the Learning Support team for the elementary and middle years creates learning opportunities for students who are culturally and linguistically diverse. The team provides individualized support to enable access to all academic content allowing children to reach their full potential.
Elementary specialists include art, physical education, general music, Arabic and library skills.
Middle School students may select art, band, choir and other elective subjects based on the expertise and experience of our Middle School faculty.
ASD’s high school offers three programs of study: the American curriculum college-preparatory program which offers over 60 courses including 10 courses at the honors level; the Advanced Placement program which offers 20 AP courses; the full IB Diploma Programme which offers 28 courses including Theory of Knowledge (TOK); and 12 IB certificate courses.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) was started in 1968 in Geneva, Switzerland and is a two-year holistic program of study that incorporates six courses of study, as well as three courses known as the core. In these core courses, students study Theory of Knowledge, write a 4,000-word extended essay and complete a program of creativity, activity and service (CAS). The purpose of the program is to offer students a broad spectrum of coursework with high academic rigor, as well as to focus on character development, global-mindedness and an international perspective.
The AP Capstone program began in 2014 and was developed by the College Board to improve college readiness and critical thinking skills for university-bound students. Students earn an AP Capstone diploma by taking any four AP courses in addition to two required courses, AP Seminar and AP Research. Students complete university-level coursework focused on content related to the student’s interests while developing skills of research, critical thinking and communication. Students who wish to apply for AP courses are required to fill out our AP Application form.
Both the IB Diploma Programme and the AP Capstone program are academically challenging courses of study and receive the “most demanding” classification from university admissions departments.
Subjects offered at the high school level are English, math, science, social studies, global languages, physical education, fine arts, technology, health and electives. Each student must be enrolled in 16 semester classes and have a minimum total credit of 24.0 (recommended 27.5) in order to graduate from ASD.
A required course to be taken by all students is Arabic Culture (one year course). This course fulfills the Saudi Ministry of Education requirement to provide conversational Arabic and designated cultural topics that promote a cultural awareness of the host country.