El Zahraa School has made significant achievements in order to reach the strategic goals. Several aspects played a major role in our success.
1) School Building:
Parallel to the annual growing enrollment from 103 students in the academic year 2011-2012 to 258 students in 2016-2017, the school has expanded by building two additional floors to decrease the capacity number inside the classrooms. In 2014-2015, the school has changed the students’ furniture to be conductive to effective student grouping and allow flexibility in terms of class activities. In 2019-2020, the school renovated the computer labs to cope with the technology needs for growing number of students.
2) School Facilities:
In consequence of the increasing number of students in our school, we have given due care to improving the school facilities including science labs, computer labs, multimedia lab and library. In 2014-2015 all the classrooms were equipped with projectors and in 2016-2017, all classes were equipped with smart boards to increase the usage of instructional technology across the school. In 2015-2016, the internet speed was also enhanced to 8 Mbps and additional emergency line was installed according to MAP requirements.
In 2016-2017, the school installed its own server to guarantee the protection of the website and to create emails in order to communicate with all students and staff. In 2018-2019, the school purchased one leased line 20MB upload-download and three ADSL lines 30 MB download. In 2019-2020, the school installed cameras in some of the school important areas. The process will continue in coming academic year by installing the cameras in the classrooms.
3) Student Enrollment:
The number of student enrolled in ZAS has been increased from 103 in students 2011-2012 to reach 328 students in 2019-2020.
4) School Awards:
- 2013-2014: The school received two certificates of appreciation for the participation in a Festival called Alexandria the Town of Security & Tourism”
- 2014-2015: The school was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation, 4th Place in Poetry Competition at Educational Eastern Directorate, Alexandria.
- 2015-2016: School principal was awarded a certificate of appreciation as a member of an AdvancED External Review Team.
- 2016-2017: The School Quality Assurance Accreditation for renewed for 5 years.
- 2019-2020: The School has won the best scripts award in the Pharos University competition “Act Your Job” among fourteen various international schools in Alex
5) Test Center license:
In 2018-2019: El Zahraa American School succeeded to finalize all the procedures and requirements to be the first ACT test center in Alexandria, Egypt.
6) Pharos University Protocol
In 2018-2019, El Zahraa Language School signed agreement with Pharos University. The protocol was signed for duration of 3 years between Mr Mostafa Essa, the Head of the School Board, Mrs Heba El-Khawaga, the School Principal of American Division and Mr Ramadan Abu Elela the Vice President of Pharos University and Dr Ihsan Nasef Executive Director of the University Training Center.
After signing the agreement, the school held presentation at Pharos University, after which was assigned to receive a group of 25 students for a special training; 12 students from English Department & 13 students from Spanish Department.
The training contained variety of assignments, sessions and introductions to different working areas at school ending in the final 5th day, by presentation from the students.
On the completion of the training, each student received the certificate and was appraised accordingly to the specific rubric provided by the University.
The main idea of protocol is to exchange training and educational experiance between two establishments and expose the University students to variaty of different professions and possible future career and for the school students to prepare them for future learning at University campus.
7) Academic grades:
By studying the students’ performance data analysis, the data team observed some areas are above the expected levels of performance.
According to the SAT assessment, Grades 11 and 12 scores of 2017-2018 were compared to scores of 2018-2019 to identify areas of improvement as well as areas of decline. The area showing high expected positive trends is English, especially in grade 11; the percentage of students who got more than 500 increased from 37% in 2017-2018 to 43% in 2018-2019. Concerning Mathematics, the scores exceeded the expectations as the percentage of students who got more than 600 increased from 37% in 2017-2018 to 52% in 2018-2019 in Grade 11 and increased from 61% in 2017-2018 to 73% in 2018-2019 in Grade 12. The result reflects the effectiveness of the curriculum and the instructional strategies presented to our students.
Concerning the total SAT score, the percentage of students got more than 1060 increased from 67% in 2017-2018 to 81% in 2018-2019 in Grade 12.
In comparison of spring 2017-2018 and spring 2018-2019 and concerning the MAP assessment, data team indicated that the percentage of Grade 10 students, who got proficient and advanced levels in Mathematics, exceeded the expectations and increased from 58.3% in 2017-18 to 62.3% in 2018-19.
Concerning Reading MAP assessment, the percentage of students, who got proficient and advanced levels in Grade 9, increased from 11.1% in 2017-18 to 16.2% in 2018-19. Grade 10, increased from 14.3% in 2017-18 to 21.2% in 2018-19. This is a satisfied result since most of grade 10 students are newcomers.
8) Standardized test implementation:
In 2015/2016 our school implemented the standardized test MAP, which aims at evaluating student learning progress in English & Math subjects. First MAP test was in spring 2016, and it’s scheduled to be conducted twice a year for grades 7 to 10. To encourage all the students to participate in the learning process, the school is continuing provide the test free of charge.
The school also holds the yearly PSAT as a standardized test, which serves as a practice test for the SAT, but its score can’t be submitted to colleges. The most common reason for taking the PSAT is to receive feedback on strengths and weakness.
Starting 2018-2019, as the first ACT test center in Alexandria, students can practice the ACT Aspire.
9) Staff development plan:
The school held several training workshops for its teaching staff in various fields including methods of teaching, class management, teaching strategies, digital learning, multiple intelligence, model lessons and learning styles. In addition, Effective Learning Environments Observation Tool (ELEOT) was implemented in 2016-2017 as a way to make effective learning and to make sure that all the students are involved in the learning process. Many of the school staff has increased their English proficiency level attending courses for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels. The school implemented a rubric method for teachers to assess and evaluate their performance. The Placement tests are implemented online for the first year at school in order to enhance the digital learning and using technology among school staff.
Teachers who did not meet the expected performance levels are placed in a professional development plan and are provided with additional resources and regular progress reviews. They are given the opportunity to participate in Global conferences in order to develop their teaching and learning skills provided by the school free of charge. Many of the teachers are pursuing their personal development by enrolling in educational diplomas and master degree programs.
The school board connected the staff development with the salary raising system in order to encourage teachers and administrators to improve themselves and enhance their skills.
10) Scientific Awards:
In 2016-2017, two of grade 11 students got 1st position in the National First Tech Challenge (FTC); a competition in which teams of grades 7-12 are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head to head challenge in an alliance format.
11) Sports achievements:
We’re proud with our students contributing in various sports activities. Many of our students have been awarded on both national and international levels. This includes football, basketball, handball, volleyball, karate, fencing, swimming, tennis table, and athletics. Nationally, the students were awarded the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places; internationally the biggest achievement was in swimming category winning 3rd place in Germany and 2nd and 3rd place in African championship, in fencing category in African Championship with the result of winning the 2nd place.
In 2018-2019, the school won the first rank among various international schools in a Telematch competition in Pharos University.
12) School voluntary work:
Our school is actively participating in number of social activities. The school social team is visiting several social institutions like: orphanages, nursing houses, hospitals to provide the necessity to its tenants. After identifying their needs, other visits are arranged on regular basis and items provided are a variation of gifts, financial support, clothes, and medicine.
The social team is organizing special event day for orphanage children by taking them to a recreational place for fun. During the Holy month of Ramadan, the team offers distribution of food to the needy. In the winter season, clothes and blankets are collected and distributed to the poor.
13) Parent involvement:
As this issue plays an extremely important role in students’ achievement, our school doesn’t limit the connection with the parents to a direct contact only through conferences. There are many ways like: having an access to school website, traditional publications and the School Management System which is updated on a regular basis, in addition to the Facebook Group and Page as the school believe in the importance of the social media.
14) Guidance counselor:
In 2016-2017, the school has appointed a full-time Guidance counselor to help students in their lives by advising, guiding, structuring the courses and trying to understand what motivates them to improve their skills for future development. The program is modeled to meet their personal, academic, career, and social needs. In 2018-2019, some of our students started their educational journey in universities outside Egypt by the assistance of the school guidance counselor.