The American School

The American School in Gaza is a comprehensive private school founded in 1999, for students from kindergarten to 12th grade. In 2010, it had 400 students in 20 classes, with 20 students in each class. It is the only American school in the Gaza Strip, owned by the Palestinian Authority’s Palestinian Investment Fund. The school is affiliated with Educational Services Overseas Ltd. (ESOL), a company that runs international schools, and provides the school in Gaza with consulting and training, as well as endorsing its matriculation certificates. Classes are held in English and the curriculum is comparable to that used in the United States. The school grants its graduates with US high school diplomas, which are endorsed by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and ESOL.

In 2006, the school employed 26 teachers from the US and Canada, in addition to its teachers from Gaza. These teachers left the Gaza Strip in 2007 after Hamas took control of the government, and today the school has only three foreign teachers.

Israel bombed the American School in 2009 during Operation Cast Lead, destroying it completely. Since then, the school has been renting two buildings and a yard, funded by USAID. The buildings are too small for the school’s needs and are not equipped with an adequate library or sports field. The school board hopes to receive funding and start building an adequate alternative building for the school shortly.

For more on the American School:

To read the information sheet “Unraveling the closure of Gaza: what has and hasn’t changed since the Cabinet decision and what are the implications?”, July 2010, click here.
To read the news story “Aid groups say they, not Hamas, are thwarted by Israeli restrictions on Gaza”, Washington Post, December 20, 2010, click here.