Whether you are a newly-enrolled parent at GAAQ or have been with us for some time, it is always helpful to touch on important information and we would like to provide our community guidance to some frequently asked questions.
When did GEMS American Academy Qatar open?
GEMS American Academy Qatar (GAAQ) welcomed students and their families in September 2014 for the 2014 – 2015 academic year.
Where is the school located?
Our campus occupies a prime location within Al Wakrah, Qatar, just minutes from the Al Janoub Stadium (2022 FIFA World Cup stadium site). We are situated down the street from the Al Meshaf LuLu Hypermarket and 5 minutes away from Ezdan Mall – Al Wakrah.
What facilities are available at the school?
We are situated in a new, 20,000 square-meter purpose-built facility that includes 21st century classrooms, indoor and outdoor play areas, rooftop sports field, libraries, cafeterias, ICT suites, dance studio, multi-purpose gymnasium, makers space, an aquarium, an aquaponic greenhouse, pond and a regulation football pitch. In addition, the facilities provide for band, choir and drama rooms, a fully-functional music production studio, art and ceramic studios and six purpose-built science and computer labs. All classrooms have interactive technology to make maximum use of multimedia facilities. Computers are equipped with the latest operating systems and educational software technology.
Which curriculum do you offer at GAAQ?
GAAQ offers a rigorous American curriculum from Pre-Kindergarten (3 years of age) – Grade 12 (17 – 18 years of age) to its multicultural student body. Along with U.S. core standards-based academics, the school also provides the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) program to support the holistic development of a child.
Is GAAQ an accredited school?
Yes, our school is fully-accredited by NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges).
What is the process of transferring to GAAQ if I live overseas/in another country?
Coming from overseas? Not a problem, click here to check out our school tour video! Our Admissions team is well-versed in navigating the international school transferring process and will assist you in the process as much as possible. If your student(s) qualify, it’s even possible to secure their seat(s) in our school well before you enter the country. With limited space a high demand for quality education, this process gives you peace of mind that your schooling needs are taken care of before you even arrive in Qatar. Please submit an application or reach out to our Admissions team at [email protected] for more details.
How many foreign languages do you offer?
English is the main language of instruction. In addition, the school offers Arabic, Spanish and French.
Which grades do you have in the school?
We have all grades in our building ( Pre-K – Grade 12).
For which grade should my child apply?
Do you admit students at any time during the school year?
Generally, during the school year, we enroll at the beginning of Term 1 (late August/early September) through the beginning of March.
For instance, for students that have never attended school before (typically Pre-K, KG1 or KG2 students), the deadline for enrollment is traditionally mid-October. For international student transfers, the deadline for enrollment is traditionally mid-February. Lastly, for local student transfers within Qatar, the deadline for enrollment is traditionally the beginning of March.
Subject to availability, deadlines and case-by-case scenarios, we will endeavor to accommodate admission throughout the year.
Do you accept both boys and girls?
Yes. Our class are mixed and co-educational.
Where do the teachers come from?
We recruit highly-qualified, experienced and inspirational teachers from around the world. Many of our teachers are predominantly sourced from the United States and Canada, but other educators come from Europe, South Africa and other parts of the world. Leaning on expertise from GEMS Education and following our trusted teacher recruitment model, we have significant familiarity in hiring dedicated teachers who care deeply about their students’ progress and well-being in addition to delivering inspiring subject lessons to ignite inquiry and creativity in your child.
Which countries will your students come from?
GAAQ students are an eclectic and dynamic mix of many nationalities from around the world. In fact, we have nearly 80 nationalities within our student body!
When does the school year begin and end?
For the 2020 – 2021 academic year, the school year starts on 23rd August 2020 and will end on 30th June 2021. Please refer to our Academic Calendar for further details.
What is the typical start and end time for school?
From Sundays – Thursdays, ALL students are allowed to enter the school building starting at 7:10am.
From Sundays – Thursdays, PK and KG1 students are starting school at 7:30am and can dismiss as early as 12:30pm. However, if a child stays past this time, then the child can be picked-up at 2:15pm (Sundays – Wednesdays) or 1:30pm (Thursdays).
From Sundays – Wednesdays, KG2 – Grade 12 students are starting school at 7:30am and dismiss at 2:15pm. On Thursdays, these students dismiss at 1:30pm.
Is there an application fee?
No, we do not charge an application fee. You will only be charged 200 QAR for an assessment fee (for all Grade 1 – Grade 12 prospective students).
What are your tuition fees?
Are students required to sit entrance tests?
Yes, we conduct an assessment for each child as a part of our admissions process. Please see our Admissions Process page for further information.
How do I apply?
How can I obtain help with completing the application form?
If you are experiencing issues completing the application online, then please contact our Admissions department at [email protected] or by calling +974 4032 9000 for additional assistance. Lastly, you are free to visit the school and we will assist you with the application in-person.
What if I have additional information to provide in support of my child’s application?
If you have supporting documentation that you were not able to submit with your application (i.e., Qatar ID or residence visas), scanned copies can be forwarded to [email protected]. Please be sure to quote your child’s name and SR number in the correspondence.
Can I make an appointment to discuss my child’s application?
Yes, our Admissions team is here to assist. They will be more than happy to meet at the school to guide you through the application process and answer any questions you may in English and in Arabic. Please contact [email protected] in order to schedule an appointment.
How do you support healthy lifestyles?
We are committed to promoting healthy lifestyles at GEMS American Academy Qatar. We serve a wide range of healthy, delicious lunches and snacks in our cafeterias. Children are taught about health and well-being and all students undertake regular physical activity through our PE lessons and numerous afterschool sports clubs and sports team. Our guidance counseling program ensures that students can access emotional and mental well-being support as required.
How can I order the school uniform?
Parents are able to obtain school uniforms by purchasing directly from our school store.
Do you provide transport to and from the school?
Please refer to our School Transport page for detailed information. We have bus service ranging from Al Wakrah to The Pearl (Doha). In fact, the majority of our students live in Doha.
If you are a family interested in taking the Qatar Rail line to our school, we have a dedicated shuttle bus service for our students and staff which provides transport to and from the Ras Bu Fontas station. Take a look below at some major rail stations and its proximity to the Ras Bu Fontas station:
- Qatar National Library to Ras Bu Fontas 33 minutes
- Al Rayyan/Al Qadeem to Ras Bu Fontas 30 minutes
- Al Waab to Ras Bu Fontas 28 minutes
- Al Sadd to Ras Bu Fontas 22 minutes
- Msheireb to Ras Bu Fontas 13 minutes
Do you accommodate students that require learning support?
Yes, but the admissions of students that require learning support is subject to the maximum student caseload of our Student Support Teachers (SST) and seat availability per grade.
Do you have nurses available on site?
Yes, our school has two full-time nurses on site at all times. There is a dedicated First Aid Unit Center for students who are feeling unwell. For any emergency situations, our school is less than 8 minutes away from Al Wakra Hospital.
How can I find out about job opportunities at GAAQ?
Do you offer The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award?
Yes, we have a program for The Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award for students in Grades 9 – 12. Participants in the DofE International Award, as it is commonly known, design their own program to fulfil such topics as Service, Physical Activity and Skills and Adventurous Journey. These topics fit very well with the ethos of the American curriculum.
Does your school support eco-friendly and sustainability initiatives?
In 2018, a simple sustainability survey conducted by our Advance Placement (AP) Environmental Science students uncovered a lack of eco-friendly and sustainability support in our school. Therefore, these students embarked to change the culture and ethos around this through relentless pursuit of recycling, biodiversity, elimination of plastic bottling and greenhouse planting, to name a few. In this short time, GAAQ became the recipient of the Qatar Green Building Council’s “School Sustainability Award in 2019 and earned the FEE’s prestigious Eco-Schools Green Flag award in 2020 (just the 3rd school in Qatar to receive this award).