Yanbu International School
Found in: Schools in Saudi Arabia
Yanbu International School (YIS) is an American-accredited school located in the residential area of the coastal city of Yanbu, Saudi Arabia and the only one situated on the western side of the country. Accredited by the Middle States Association, it is part of the International Schools Group, an organization that runs eight schools across Saudi Arabia directed by the head district and the Board of Trustees in Dhahran. Licensed by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Education, YIS is committed to providing a high standard of education to the expatriate community of Yanbu, open to students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. The student body is divided into three levels: elementary (grades K-5), middle school (grades 6-8), and high school (grades 9-12).
Yanbu International School was established by the Royal Commission of Yanbu in 1979 and was administered by International Schools Services, Inc., Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A. In 1988, YIS became a member of Saudi Arabian International Schools, Dhahran District (SAIS-DD) and a part of the International Schools Group in 1998.
YIS is an international school empowered with academic excellence," attended by "lifelong learners committed to lead with integrity." The school believes that the best education is a well-rounded education, and this education is the shared responsibility of the school, the government, the student, the student's family, and the community. At YIS, students are evaluated based on the belief that meaningful assessment occurs before, during, and after instruction. The school believes continuous improvement involves risk taking and a willingness to change. It also believes that quality communication, fairness and professionalism foster harmony and understanding within and between the school community. YIS understands that physical, emotional, and social safety are requisites for the learning and working environment. The school places great value in the fact that children are individuals learning at different rates and in different ways and works to prepare students for a competitive world.
ISG Exit Outcomes
Yanbu International School aims to have its students reach ten different goals by the time they graduate from the school. These goals, known as ISG Exit outcomes, deal with becoming a well-rounded student and citizen of the world. They include about being a responsible, respectful citizen of the world, appreciating the fine arts, accessing information and using technology effectively, being a critical thinker and creative problem solver, possessing high self-esteem, having a commitment to wellness, possessing essential knowledge and skills, and being an effective communicator, a lifelong learner willing to take intellectual risks, and a productive group member.
The YIS school cafeteria can hold around 150 students. The daily lunch-time catering service of a local fast-food company is available. To incorporate variety, the menu changes every couple of weeks, serving students and staff members items like all kind of sandwiches, chicken, beef, and pizza. A newly-opened cafe in the cafeteria now provides milkshakes, tea, coffee, soft drinks doughnuts, soft drinks, hot drinks, and ice-cream.
The school campus includes a library that contains approximately 30,000 volumes covering all genres and audiences. It includes an informative non-fiction section, an entertaining fiction section, and a section that contains books targeted towards younger students. The library contains four research computers, a photocopier, a printer, and six computers that run an advanced catalog software system that helps students locate books. Each individual YIS student and teacher has a library ID and can check out books for pleasure and research purposes.
The school has a swimming pool that is used for recreational and educational purposes. The Physical Education program at YIS includes two seasons of swimming; during the hottest months , students from grades 1-11 develop and refine their swimming skills. The pool is also used for recreational after- school swimming sessions. Located close by is a weight-lifting room equipped with the essentials for working out, including everything from dumbbells to treadmills. The school campus includes a gymnasium that holds equipment for many sports including soccer, football, hockey, basketball, table-tennis, cricket, badminton, baseball, volleyball, and track and field. The gym includes a changing room, while another two are located close by, conveniently next to the swimming pool. The school ground has a 100 meter sprinting track, a sandy playground area, and a hard court. The sandy area includes swings, seesaws, slides, and monkey bars for the younger students, while the hard court includes bleachers and the facilities play a variety of different sports.
The school has three constantly-upgraded computer labs with printers, scanners, and Intel Core2 computers. Students use them for educational purposes during their technology classes and also to gather research and prepare projects for other classes. The entire school is equipped with fast, wireless internet. The school has a cyber equivalent that is powered by the Moodle engine; many classes have online counterparts that enable students to keep up with their studies even though they may not be physically present in the school campus.
The school has a music room equipped with a variety of musical instruments, including autoharps, xylophones, recorders, pianos, guitars, drums, flutes, tamborines, triangles, etc. The art room contains a complete supply of arts and crafts materials, including yarn, paper, glitter, crayons, colored pencils, markers, pastels, chalks, clay, and paints.
Safety and security
At least once a month, YIS holds emergency drills, including fire drills, lockdown drills, and earthquake drills, to teach students how to react in the case of such events. The school is protected by strong security, including cameras, police, guards, surrounding walls, barbed wire fencing, and barricades. The school nurse is available to administer medication and any other necessary medical assistance during school hours.
YIS also provides a nursery in which staff member's youngest children are cared for during school hours. The school has an auditorium with a sound system, air-conditioning, brillant lighting, and the capacity to hold more than 1,000 people. The school provides free bus services for students and staff members to and from school.
Yanbu International School is a small but diverse school. It has a total of 299 students, with an age range of 4 year olds to 18 year olds. It has a high school, middle school, and elementary school. The high school has 47 students, the middle school has 83 students, and the elementary school has 169. Yanbu International School's students are mostly of 20 different nationalities, including Pakistani, Indian, Filipino, American, Canadian, Malaysian, Arabian, Sri Lankan, British, Egyptian, Bangladeshi, Irish, Brazilian, Syrian, New Zealander, Singaporian, Jordanian, Italian, German, Venezuelan, Korean, and Dutch.
YIS has twenty-seven qualified teachers from Canada, America, Pakistan, India, Lebanon, Britain, and Jordan. The guidance counselor Paul Thompson, is available for behavioral counseling and to help in expanding the usual plan if a student requires remediation, fails a course, or transfers without having completed a required course. The administration also includes a Business Office Manager, an Administrative Secretary, and a nurse who provides medical assistance when necessary during school hours. The school has a Network Technician who takes care of the technological aspects of the school. The YIS teachers are assisted by eleven aides, who also provide supervision in the work room, cafeteria, hard court, and playground. The school has six custodians who help keep the school environment clean and orderly.
Learning at the elementary stage at Y.I.S. revolves around the principles of integrity and character development, providing students strong knowledge and the ability to think, socialize, and communicate effectively. Middle and high school students are instilled with the developmental skills of independent thinking, test-taking, and the study skills required to reach respected universities.
Yanbu International School offers a great high school program to prepare the students for further education. A student must pass this program to earn a high school diploma. The program is helpful in preparing individuals for a four year college or university course of studies. The academic plan for middle school and high school includes math, science, social studies, specials, and elective classes. High school math covers algebra, geometry and calculus. In English, students study different works of literature, grammar, usage and composition. High school science comprises biology, chemistry and physics, while high school social studies includes an in-depth study of U.S. History, World History, Ancient History, and Economy. High school special courses include Global Languages, Physical Education, KSA History and Geography, Literacy, Community Service, and CALM. During the last period of the school day, middle school and high school students take elective courses covering a wide range of topic, including art, technology, world issues, and science.
At YIS, assessment occurs not only in the form of unit tests and semesterly exams, but also as homework, projects, essays, and other assignments in which students are required to apply their critical thinking skills and go beyond the evident. Report cards for middle school and high school are sent home at the end of each quarter, while elementary reports go home every trimester. Any letter grade above an F is considered a passing grade for high school and middle school courses.
Besides the quarterly report, high school students get a semesterly report based 80% on achieved grades and 20% on semester exams. At YIS, not all courses require exams. Each letter grade has a corresponding grade point, which is then averaged out to determine whether the student is eligible for the Honor Roll or High Honor Roll. Students with a high grade point average demonstrating the attributes of integrity, honesty, and character are placed on the Honor Roll/ High Honor Roll. A student must receive a grade point average of 3.5 to receive the Honor Roll and a GPA of 3.75 to be eligible for High Honor Roll.
The tuition fees for a pre-kindergarten enrollment in the current school year of 2007-2008 is 20,210 Saudi Riyals. The tuition fee for enrollments in Kindergarten- Grade 5 is 40,650 Saudi Riyals. Each enrollment in Grade 6-8 costs 42,090 SR, while the high-school tuition fee is 45,320 Saudi Riyals. An initial registration fee of 1,500 Saudi Riyals should be deposited for each new enrollment made.
Activities and events
Yanbu International School hosts a variety of activities for its students. These activities, usually done during lunchtime or after school, allow students to learn and enhance different skills and abilities, such as communication, leadership, art, sports, languages, and music.
Y.I.S Tech Crew
This activity is available to grades 5-12 to teach them about many thing such as: Wikis, blogs, and much, much more. Not only that, it also teaches the students a lot about responsibility and technology. Some kids may think computers are just for games and fun but they are wrong; there is more to computers than playing and using it for personal uses: like email, and downloads. Thats why Tech Crew is very beneficial and fun for kids. The Tech Crew members have to respect the equipment they are assigned to.
The school also organizes field trips and outings for the student body. Over the past few years, Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) trips have taken middle and high school students into the nearby desert for the day as well as overnight. Educational trips to places like museums are set as well.
Each school year, the school observes and celebrates different occasions, such as U.N. Day, Earth Day, Dr. Seuss Day, and 100 Day. United Nations Day is a huge celebration in which the entire student body dresses up in traditional clothing, shares their native foods with one another, and attends/ takes part in a function on stage in the school auditorium. On Earth Day, students take part in activities to help make the environment a cleaner place and usually attend a school assembly. 100 Day is celebrated by the younger students at YIS; after 100 days of school, students in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 2 participate in activities and spend an entire day understanding just how much the number 100 is. Dr. Seuss day is celebrated by the YIS Elementary community, and includes readings and related activities of the famed children's author on his birthday.
Held a couple of times each school year (typically in January and in May and UN Day), these events showcase the talents of Y.I.S. students. Talent shows are generally shown to the entire school in a dress rehearsal a day before the actual talent show, which the parents are invited to attend. The talent show features both modern and cultural songs/dances, and musicals or plays.
During the last week of the school, the entire school participates in a knowledge game called Quiz Bowl. There are three separate divisions of the competition: Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, and MS/HS. The questions come from the students themselves and what they have learned in the school year in each of their subjects.
After consecutive quiz bowl matches, where two teams play against each other and try to win as much points before they run out of questions, the two teams that managed to rack up the most points compete for first place in the auditorium. The students that make up the winning team receive certificates. Quiz Bowl also has a counterpart in sports; the teams plays volleyball, hockey, and soccer against each other during the first half of each quiz bowl day. The event is a fun way to help students review everything they have learned in the school year and improve their teamwork, sportsmanship, and competitive spirit.
Groups and committees
The students and parents who make up the YIS community can choose to join different groups with varied aims, based on their interests. By choosing to become a member of a committee or group, students and parents get the opportunity to play an active role in school matters and events, as well as display their talents to the entire community. Middle-school and high-school students with musical inclinations can join the school band or choir to improve and show their abilities; members perform before the entire YIS community during important school functions. Students with a taste for drama and the performing arts can join Musical Theater, an elective class that puts on a yearly production for the school. The school also has a yearbook team composed of middle-school and high-school students who spend the first half of the year planning, designing, and taking photographs to include in the school yearbook. The middle- school and high-school leadership classes provide an opportunity for students to learn, refine, and demonstrate their leadership abilities. The leadership classes consist of aspiring young leaders; they make up the Student Council, YIS' leading student body and sponsor of many different school activities and events. The Spunkster Circle is a similar committee that focuses on leadership, and promotes leadership abilities within females. Interested students can also try out for a place on the schools athletic teams and participate in soccer, badminton, volleyball, softball, basketball, and table-tennis tournaments with other ISG schools in the country during different parts of the year. YIS also offers students' parents the chance to get directly involved in school affairs and events with the Parent Advisory Council.