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U.S. Department of State

Banjul American Embassy School

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Mr. James Swetz, Director
Banjul American Embassy School (The Gambia)
DOS/Administrative Officer
2070 Banjul Place
Washington, D.C. 20521-2070
Tel: 220-495-920
Fax: 220-497-181
E-mail: swetz@qanet.gm


The Banjul American Embassy School (BAES) is an independent, coeducational day school which offers an educational program from nursery (2 years old) through grade 8 for English-speaking students of all nationalities. BAES offers supervised correspondence high school courses with tutoring, from the University of Nebraska in grades 9 and 10. The School was founded in 1984. The school year extends from September to June with 180 days of instruction.

Organization: A 7-member Board of Directors who serve one-year terms governs the School. The BAES Association elects 6 of the Board members. Three of the 6 elected members must be Americans. The U.S. Chief of Mission appoints the seventh member. The headmaster has nonvoting, ex officio membership. Parents, legal guardians, the headmaster, and teachers are members of the BAES Association.

Curriculum: The curriculum and teaching methodology are those of traditional U.S. public schools. All instruction is in English, and fluency is required in all grade levels. There is an English-as-a-Second-Language program for those students lacking the necessary fluency in English. The School is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Faculty: The school headmaster, hired overseas, is the educational leader and chief administrative officer of BAES. There are approximately 11 full-time and 2 part-time faculty members including 4 Americans. The majority of the teachers are U.S. or U.K.-trained and certified, and undergo continual professional development.

Enrollment: Enrollment at the beginning of the 2000-2001 school year was 85 (N-8). Of that total, 10% were U.S. citizens.

Facilities: The School is located in Fajara, a quiet residential area in Bakau. It has 4 buildings, which include 13 classrooms, a library, a computer laboratory, an art room, and a state-of-the-art science laboratory. Recreation facilities include 2 playgrounds, a multipurpose hard-court, and a small soccer pitch.

Finances: In the 1999-2000 school year, about 95 percent of the School's income derive from tuition fees. Annual tuition rates are as follows: N: $2,280; Kdg.-grade 5: $6,790; grades 6-8: $7,930; English-as-a-Second Language fee: $1,140; and application fee: $50. A one-time school development fee of $850 is payable upon enrollment of each new student. (All fees are quoted in U.S. dollars.)

This Fact Sheet is intended to provide general information. The Office of Overseas Schools (A/OPR/OS) may have more detailed information. Prospective users of the schools may wish to inquire further with A/OPR/OS or contact the school directly for more specific and up-to-the-minute information regarding curriculum, special programs and the like.