Amman - Post Report Question and Answers
What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?
There are a number of international schools that we visited, and we were quite impressed with a couple of them. Jordan is very family-friendly for expats. - Oct 2021
ACS was mediocre, not great. No experience with the other schools. - Feb 2021
For school aged children, families at post use ACS, the British school, Kings and the French school. There may be others. All seem good for different reasons - curriculum overlap with previous schools, special needs acceptance, sporting opportunities are all things that I know people consider when making the choices. My kids go to ACS and I find the management generally to be uncommunicative and unresponsive, but the teachers are great. Counsellors in HS provide excellent college preparation. Playgrounds and outdoor spaces are small and compact. There is no soccer field or track facilities if that matters to you. But there is a great theatre and library facilities, basketball sized gym if that is important to you. All schools have their pros and cons. I hear that the British school works better with you if your child has learning issues. If you put children in more than one school, know that the holiday schedules vary widely. - Jan 2021
Multiple schools to choose from. The embassy has a closer relationship with the schools and offers regular feedback. - Dec 2020
Good school options. Most kids go to Amman Community School, especially middle and high school-aged children. Some go to Kings Academy. Many younger kids go to the British school. - Sep 2020
They are available. Most people use American or British. My daughter went to the French School for preschool and we were happy with it. - Sep 2018
People used to enroll their kids in ACS without giving it any thought. However, when we read reviews of the past few years, we decided to visit several schools in the area. ACS admin seemed overly-impressed with themselves, and gave us the attitude of "if there's space available for your kid, we'll consider your application," so we didn't even bother applying.
We have been very impressed with ICS. With my experience of American schools, the transition to ICS has been great. Less drama, good uniforms, easy to understand homework routines, more diverse international community, more after school activities, good special needs accommodation, etc. We have one child in elementary, and one in middle school. I would give two thumbs up in a heartbeat. In fact, the enrollment of US Embassy children nearly tripled from last year from around 12 to 33. So, that should indicate a growing preference for ICS. However, I have heard that there are good teachers at ACS, so, I would just do my homework and ask several families who have their kids there. ICS is a longer bus ride compared to ACS, but that does not bother most people since ICS is just a 20-minute bus ride.
And now a shout-out to King's Academy for high school. We have a high schooler in King's Academy which is a top-of-the-line boarding school modeled after the King's alma mater, Deerfield Academy. If you have a high schooler who would thrive in an academic setting with eclectic staff, this school is for him or her. The embassy covers most of the tuition, but you will still be out of pocket 10K. (If you didn't choke, keep reading.) It is well worth every penny because they recruit the best of the best staff from around the world, and their graduates can basically go anywhere they want after graduation. Quite a few embassy families have chosen to put their high schooler there as a day student or even a week-day boarder. It's an exceptional school with a very high bar for academics and extra curricular alike. - Sep 2018
Quite a few options. The main school for US embassy kids is American Community School which has some great teachers but the quality declines in the higher grades. Other options include the International Community School (British) and the French school. There are also international schools that are have mainly Jordanian student bodies such as the International Academy Amman and the Amman Baccalaureate School. lso a top-notch boarding school in Madaba. - Mar 2017
There are a few schools: the American Community School, International Community School (British curriculum), Kings Academy (older kids only), and a few other smaller schools.
We have two children at ACS. We were pleased with the teachers and disappointed with the administration and the efforts to resolve serious behavioral issues in the school. The biggest problem is there are several children who entered the school very young, and 5 years later they have serious undiagnosed behavioral or learning differences which have been ignored or not properly addressed. Even though these issues were brought to the Administration's attention early (and for several years previously), the teachers were not given extra support, and the children's needs were not met. The disruptions in the classroom create a very difficult environment for the remaining kids. Both my kids' classrooms were like those in low-income Urban schools in the U.S.
Additionally, the school purports to support mild special needs however there is one learning support expert for the entire elementary school. As noted above, there are numerous kids who need support and the coordinator is overwhelmed and unable to meet the needs. The Administration has stated they will only accept kids to the learning support program who are more than 1 1/2 years behind their current grade. So, for example a child who has received early intervention and is at grade due to the intervention no longer qualifies for support-even if they have a known learning difference that requires continued support. - Jul 2016
Most people send their kids to ACS and some send theirs to ICS and King's Academy. People are split on ACS. My take is the teachers are great. We have been very happy with that side of things. The administration? Awful. That is actually the general consensus. They are remote, obtuse, out of touch, and a disappointment. The school is closed over 36 days a year for holidays and "development days". The administration seems more focused on the facilities aspect of the school than education. The library was turned into a "learning center" which just translates into computers and study pods. They left some books but I was underwhelmed. I hear that bullying is a huge problem but I can't speak to that first hand. My advice? Research all the options before choosing a school. - Mar 2016
They seem fine from what I've heard--a couple options between the American school and the British school, or even King's Academy or the French school. - Mar 2016
There are a lot of private schools to chose from. Most all of the embassy Community attends ACS, ICS (British School) or Kings Academy (day and boarding school). I have four kids at ACE (in all three levels) and I toured the other two schools. We are happy at ACS. There is over 700 children from K-12. It is a top choice for the more affluent Jordanians. The teachers have been great. They require each student from 6th grade up have a laptop at school. Upper grade school up through high school goes on an extended field trip in the spring (May). High School's "Week Without Walls" lasts 7-10 days. There are 4 or 5 choices to go out of country ($2000-$3000) and students can also chose to stay in country and participate in a dig at Petra, get diving certified in Acaba or attend Flight School (these choices are about $750). The school is building an auditorium and pool but the project is behind schedule. When it is done, it will be beautiful. The construction is off to the side behind a wall so it doesn't affect the kids. Security has been rated as one of the best inspected. There is a playground, turf field for soccer, basketball and an large indoor gym. Unfortunately no uniforms. There are after school activities for a fee and they can fill up pretty quickly. The kids can ride home on a late bus. ICS is a nice, the newer campus is on the other side of town from ACS. Kings is a wonderful, academically strong school. My daughter was accepted into their high school program but we decided not to pay the $10,000 + extra from the allotted education amount and the students get home around 7:00pm. It makes for a long day. Again it is a great school... The other private schools are mostly Arab and follow different curriculum. I considered putting my kids into one of those schools so that they could learn Arabic but it has been nice to have a more balanced mix of kids. As it is, Arabic is spoken a lot at ACS between the students. I hear there is a big home school coop here in Jordan. - Nov 2015
We have 4 children who have attended ACS. It is an above average school, with its share of problems. There are some really good teachers--as well as some really bad teachers. Many of the local kids are disrespectful and spoiled; which can cause some problems. Having said that, there are some really good things happening there as well. They are adding on a big new section, which will be really nice once it's finished. By-and-large, we have been happy with the school. Parents who send their kids to ICS seem to like it. - May 2015
No personal experience but people seem pretty happy with ACS and the Lycee. - Mar 2015
There are 3 schools primarily used by Embassy families. The American Community School (U.S. AP program) has about 150 of our children, the International Community School (British curriculum, not IB) has a handful, and King's Academy (high school only, boarding, AP) has fluctuating numbers each year. This year there were 2 students, next year we anticipate 4-5 students. There are other options as well, Whitman Academy (religious based) and a thriving homeschool group (both Embassy and non-Embassy kids). Our children attend ACS in both high school and middle school. The academics are good, the grounds are limited due to location though there is a construction progect currently on building a gymnasiuam/natatorium as well as an underground auditorium. It's slated to finish Fall 2015. The biggest challenge with the school (currently at around 750 students, PreK to 12) are the cliques and the divisiveness between the expat kids and the local kids. Bullying is a problem, don't believe anyone who says it isn't. - Jul 2014
There are several schools -- most of the embassy families have their children at the American school although a handful enroll their children at the British international school. The Canadians have recently opened a school, though I think the grade level is only through middle school. There are a few other religious schools as well. Our children are young so we have had our son in preschool. The main preschool choices among the embassy community seem to be Eco Kids and Hill House. We have been very happy with Hill House, which provides curriculum in English and Arabic. - Mar 2014
We use three different schools. Hill House Preschool and Kindergarten provides English and Arabic instruction and has small student-teacher ratio and a really nice shady playground. We couldn't be more pleased with it. Al-Masar is a special needs school that has both English and Arabic classrooms. They provide therapy within the school day and can even accommodate children with significant special needs. It is small and a fairly long drive from where embassy families live, but they can provide busing. It is a terrific resource if you need special education or outpatient pediatric therapy. American Community School is pretty good. They are constructing a swimming pool which will open in 2015. Some embassy families also like ICS which follows the British system. A few use Kings Academy, which is both a day and boarding high school. All will provide bus service from your doorstep. - Dec 2013
Limited information. People seem to be ok with the American Community School, describing it as satisfactory but not great. - Aug 2013
Most parents send their children to ACS and are happy with the school. - Jul 2013
We like ACS a lot for our elementary school kids. It may not have the academic rigor or amenities of some other international schools in some other posts in larger cities (or places that have more money), but it is a warm and caring place with some fantastic teachers. Most people we know are very happy with ACS overall. Some families like ICS, and a few send their high school kids to Kings' Academy. A surprisingly large number of families also home school. - May 2013
Good schools. People are overall happy with ACS (American) and ICS (British), and a few send their kids to a Christian school. Also, there is a large homeschooling population here. Pre-K schools are good, too: Little Academy and Hill House. People seem happy with the school choices. - Mar 2013
There is the American Community School and the International Community School (British).We homeschool, but I think most are pleased with either of the above mentioned schools. - Apr 2012
Cant comment really, but most people seem to be happy with ACS. - Mar 2012
There are several good international schools in Amman. ACS (American) and ICS (British) are the big English-language schools, there is also a French school that offers bilingual instruction (either English-French or French-Arabic). There are a multitude of schools offering bilingual Arabic-English programs and several that have trilingual Arabic-English-French programs. Our son is in the French school (preschool), and we've been very happy with it. - Mar 2012
American Community School is adequate. Update in 2014: I have been attempting to obtain a final copy of my children's report cards from the American Community School for the past year and 9 months to no avail. I have emailed the school 5 times requesting the final report cards and we went in person twice over the summer of 2012 to try to obtain them. We are now in a difficult position as we need the final report cards for the school at our onward assignment. - Oct 2011
Most people are happy with the schools here. - Aug 2011