Thursday, 7 July 2016
In February I wrote “The King Abdullah Academy is truly a remarkably bold and visionary
project, and I am excited to be involved. In my many years as a school Principal and as an
educational consultant in countries as diverse as New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, Japan
and Palestine, I have yet to come across such an exciting project so full of promise for the
Saudi Arabian people and for the Muslim community based in Virginia. I look forward to
welcoming you as founding members of this vibrant and innovative school community”.
A great deal has happened since then and the countdown to the actual opening of the
school is on. The foundation Faculty arrive by 1 August and students arrive during the week
of August 22.
Enrollments: All estimates of our first year enrollment have been exceeded and we
expect to commence with very few vacancies other than a small number at the High School
level. Every other level is already over-subscribed and we now have waiting lists at each
level and will no longer be accepting applications for 2016.
The Admissions Team is working diligently to process the applications and supporting
paperwork. Bear in mind that the task at hand is quite daunting - approximately 1200
applications - and will take time.
You may be jeopardizing your child(ren)’s space if you have not supplied the Admissions
Office with the requisite documents. To ensure that you have provided the necessary
paperwork, visit the link below for the details:
If you missed the application completion sessions, a second round will begin on Monday,
July 11 and run through Thursday, July 14. Bring all the necessary documentation as well
as the $200 application fee (check, cash or money order). Admissions staff and volunteers
will be on hand from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm on a “first come, first served” basis.
Former ISA students must like, all students, apply for admission and provide the necessary
documentation. If your child attended a school other than ISA, it is imperative that you have
his or her records sent directly to KAA. This can be accomplished by completing a Records
Release form (found on the website) and submitting to your child’s previous school.
If you are out of the country, documents can be e-mailed directly to the Admissions
Director, Barbara Balduman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Admissions decisions will be mailed by Friday, July 22.
Curriculum: Our consultants and teachers continue to plan for the implementation of
our E-STEM-A curriculum. Two ‘Curriculum Updates’ are on the website and a third is
about to be added informing everyone about the unique curriculum to be implemented. The
emphasis in the first year will be on transitioning faculty and students into a new way of
teaching and learning with priority given to careful cross-curricular planning, project-based
learning and grouping of students to meet their language and learning needs effectively.
Once the school is underway parents will be invited to participate in a STEM lesson to learn
first-hand how the teaching approach differs to what they may be used to.
Leadership in the important areas of Islamic and Arabic studies is in good hands.
Professor Kassem Wahba comes to KAA from Georgetown University and will be the
Director of Islamic and Arabic Studies. His team will include Dr Ahlam Musa from the
University of Michigan where she is a lecturer in ASL and ESL. She will have responsibility
for developing the ASL/ESL curriculum, resources and training programme. Both will be
bringing excellent leadership to a large faculty of teachers.
Uniform: Several design options for the school uniform are now available for viewing and
I hope we can provide the community with an opportunity to vote on their preferred uniform
style. Go to the website or going direct to https://www.binumi.com/studio, log in and vote on
the option that you think is most suitable. If you must sign in to Binumi.com, follow the
instructions and use the following code YILZVGIL when prompted.
There is an option of ‘no uniform’ also to judge how widespread the view is that no uniform
is an option that should be considered. A decision about the uniform will be made following
this community consultation and production will begin almost immediately. Information
about the final design decision will be posted on the website along with details about
availability of the uniform.
At enrolment parents complete a transport form. Once these are received it is possible for
Mr John Enders our Operations Manager to work with the Transport Manager, Mr
Abdulazziz Negash to establish the bus routes and the location of the ‘hubs’ where
students will assemble and buses stop for pick up and drop off. We have appointed two
Parent Liaison faculty who will work with parents in each location to help promote sharing of
local transport to/from the hub and possibly assist with supervision
School will commence at 7.55am and conclude by 4pm. On some days the bus services
may be scheduled for a later departure to ensure students can participate in some of the
many activities we hope they and parents will support. More information about this will be
available once school gets under-way.
The King Abdullah Academy