Student Life

Counseling and Learning Support

The ACS High School Counseling department addresses the academic, social, emotional, and personal needs of all students in a safe and nurturing environment. Our services include academic counseling, social/emotional counseling, college counseling, and learning support. Taken together, our programs help students explore their identities and meet their potential, both as individuals and as co-builders of the ACS community.

Academic Counseling

Counselors work closely with students to set academic goals, choose individual courses, explore potential career interests, and select the academic path most aligned with their long-term plans. We can help direct students to appropriate classes and interesting co-curricular activities, with the aim of enhancing personal development and pursuing excellence as well as improving their standing for university admittance.

The counseling team helps students cultivate habits and dispositions that foster success in the classroom. We guide students with tips on time management, goal setting, study skills, sustaining concentration, and staying motivated and resilient in the face of obstacles and disappointments. Our work with students prepares them to become independent learners ready to thrive at university and in their adult lives.

Social/Emotional Counseling

The counseling team remains available for students if they wish to discuss social and emotional concerns, or when they feel the need to seek assistance with a challenge of any sort. We are here to listen and with a combination of empathy and experience, we can help students target challenging behaviors, work on social development, build healthy relationships, sort through, and re-examine their values and goals to help them discover who they want to be. Our goal is to enhance the students’ experience throughout their formative years and support them in their process of finding their sense of personal identity and overcoming their personal challenges.

College Counseling

The College Counseling office supports students as they develop a plan that meets their individual goals for life after ACS. This may involve attending a university or college, taking a gap year, studying in a foundational program, or choosing another path. We encourage students and parents to explore all the options and make informed decisions based on what is best for the student. We believe that the “best program/university” is defined by how well it fits a student’s needs. 

We begin the college counseling process in Grade 9 and proceed gradually with interactive sessions and games that introduce students to the basics of university vocabulary and plant the seeds of longer-terms planning with career inventories and reflections on global citizenship and all that is available to those who pursue their dreams with passion and integrity. In Grades 11 and 12, we begin more practical discussions about targeting specific universities, preparing for standardized tests, writing personal statements, and obtaining letters of recommendation. We remain in close contact with students throughout the applications process in Grade 12, providing help finalizing applications, filling out financial aid forms, submitting visa paperwork, and preparing for the transition to university. Finally, alumni of ACS are always encouraged to reach out if they need assistance in transferring or reapplying to universities.

Learning Support

The Learning Support program is designed to support students with specific learning needs by providing assistance that helps students develop more effective study habits, discover learning styles that suit them best, and improve their capacity with time management and organization. ACS support services are individualized, and our learning support team collaborates closely with teachers and families to help students reach their potential. We provide opportunities for one-on-one and small group support, and, when necessary, we provide accommodations such as extra time and modified settings for assessments.

Co-Curricular Activities

Each Co-Curricular Activities Season offers a wide range of clubs to our high school students. These clubs are student-driven and focus on providing the students an extracurricular opportunity through the arts, technology, and fitness. In addition to the club offerings, high school students are eligible to participate in the ACS Athletics and Activities program. Please refer to the Athletics and Activities section for more information about the competitive team and individual sport program. Club offerings vary throughout the year and include the following:

  • Swimming
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Soccer
  • Cross-Country
  • Track & Field
  • Badminton
  • Model United Nations
  • Speech & Debate
  • National Honors Society
  • Chess
  • Drama
  • Nour International
  • HS Newspaper
  • Python Coding Club
  • Drama
  • Compassion Medical Club
  • Amnesty International Group
  • Solar Bottle Club
  • ACS for Animals
  • Jazz Appreciation Club
  • Development Club
  • Chess Club
  • SETA Club
  • Writers' Workshop

Community Service

The aim of ACS Community Service is to develop caring students who help create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. Service at ACS extends beyond the immediate school community and encourages students to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand other people and are accepting of differences. Service hours must be charitable work in which the student’s efforts are undertaken in order to better the community and give a helping hand where it is needed. Service may include working with NGOs, elderly homes, orphanages, hospitals, summer camps for refugees, and other camps and organizations that provide assistance to groups of people facing pressing socio-economic challenges.

Outdoor Education

The HS Outdoor Education curriculum promotes experiential learning and extends the classroom to the natural world. The central feature of Outdoor Education at ACS is the Week Without Walls program, which gives students an opportunity to live in a communal setting over the course of a week-long off-campus trip. Students learn new schools including SCUBA diving, home building, campsite set up, and tear down, among many others. These new challenges nurture empathy, foster personal growth, and cultivate an appreciation of nature and nurture empathy and respect for people from local communities many miles from ACS. These trips also help develop deep and lasting friendships among ACS students and create many enduring memories for our kids.
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