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A Learning Community that Empowers Students to Achieve their Academic and Life Potential.

Frequently Asked Questions

Mission / Accreditation

RAS follows a multi-dimensional approach to prepare students, not just for academic success, but for success in all areas of their lives. By hiring only highly-qualified, experienced teachers and providing regular professional development, RAS ensures that students have exceptional role models and educational facilitators. By embedding technology in all levels of learning, RAS ensures that students are technology literate and gain the skills necessary to thrive in a technological age.
By emphasizing General Learning Outcomes (GLOs) of Problem Solving/Thinking Skills, Organizational/Research Skills, Communication Skills, and Character/Interpersonal Skills, RAS prepares students for lifelong learning and success in an increasingly global society. Through a rich and varied co-curricular program, we provide opportunities for students to gain skills and build confidence in a variety of areas. By fostering and encouraging parent communication and participation in their child’s learning, we work to ensure that students have a strong foundation of support on their educational journey.

Raffles American School is honored to have achieved full accreditation status from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in the USA. WASC accreditation occurs in a six year cycle. During the accreditation and reaccreditation process, all aspects of the school are analyzed and we develop action plans to guide us in our growth and continuous improvement over the next three to five years. An external team from the accrediting body validates our report and action plans to ensure that our plans are implemented. Each year, we submit a report updating WASC of the progress on our action plans. For more information please see our Accreditation Page.

Admission

Yes, our application process can be completed entirely online. We can also arrange for an interview via Skype. For applicants who need additional language screening, it may be necessary to set up an in-person English language screening to determine the best placement. Please feel free to contact our Admissions Team for more information.

Yes, the admissions process is the same whether an applicant is coming from another international school or from a local school in Malaysia or elsewhere.

RAS accepts applications throughout the year as part of a rolling admissions process. As an international school we understand that international moves do not always align with the American academic school year. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible before their move or school transition to ensure space is available.

All of the requirements for submitting an application to RAS are available on the Admissions Page of our website.

School Day

As we serve students from PK3 to 12th grade, have diversified facilities, and encourage creative teaching practices from our teachers, it is difficult to describe what a typical school day looks like across the student body. While there are some similarities and routines, there is also a lot of diversity depending on grade level and each day’s courses. Early Childhood and Elementary students begin the school day in their classroom at 8:00 a.m. The majority of learning at this level takes place in our well-equipped classrooms through circle time, group work/play, independant work/play, creative projects and other teacher led activities. Middle and High School students start the day at 7:50 and change classes in a block schedule until the end of the school day at 3:00 p.m. Students have a morning and afternoon breaks for snacks and rest/play, and a longer break for lunch. All students attend elective, arts and physical education classes in specialized facilities. For art, students may meet in the art room or in an outdoor space. For music, students may meet in a specialized music or band room with custom acoustics, in individual practice rooms or in the performing arts center. For physical education, students may meet in one or our two full-sized gymnasiums, our swimming pools, our dance room or our multi-purpose room. School ends at 3:00 for all students, who then have the option of continuing the day in one of our co-curricular activities. For more information on a typical school day for Boarding Students, please see our Boarding webpage.

RAS students are required to wear a RAS polo shirt on days when they do not have Physical Education (PE) class and a RAS PE sports shirt for Physical Education classes. Students can wear comfortable shorts, pants and skirts that fall within our school dress code policy in the Student Parent Handbook.

Yes. RAS offers door-to-door transportation for students both to and from school and after co-curricular activities. Please see our Transportation Fees for more information.

Our school bus service covers areas of Johor Bahru and Singapore. Please see our Transportation Feesfor more information.

Student Learning and Assessment

RAS’s goal is to educate the whole child through inquiry-based learning. Our curriculum follows the Common Core Standards for Math and Language Arts, Next Generation Standards for Science, and the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) for Social Studies. World Languages, Fine Arts, and Physical Education are also included in each student’s educational program. What really sets us apart are our four General Learning Outcomes (GLOs): problem solving/thinking skills, communication skills, character/interpersonal skills, and organization/research skills. These four GLOs are the backbone of both our educational and co-curricular programs and are assessed throughout the year in all areas. Important in all aspects of life, these four skills bridge the academic world to the real world. RAS’ inquiry-based approach is intended to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of subject content standards and General Learning Outcomes, preparing students for entry into the most selective universities in the United States and worldwide. Learning at RAS helps students to embrace life’s challenges and be successful in their chosen path. For more information, please see our Curriculum Overview.

At RAS learning does not just happen in the classroom. Student learning is fostered in the classroom, but also takes place during co-curricular activities, on field-trips, on annual overnight Explore Week trips, in library discussions, in school assemblies and during PTA sponsored cultural events. RAS places an emphasis on holistic opportunities for student growth and development. Many of these occur within our extensive co-curricular program, which offers students opportunities to gain and develop skills in a wide-rage of sports and arts activities. Please see our current Co-Curricular Handbook for a detailed list of activities and descriptions.

Student academic progress is monitored by individual teachers through summative and formative assessments each term. Assessments are varied to take into account students with different strengths and learning styles. Unlike school systems which limit student progress evaluation to one final test, at RAS student progress is continually monitored to allow teachers to adjust their lessons and teaching practices to meet current student needs. Overall student progress is measured through standardized MAP testing throughout the academic year. Additionally, RAS students are able to demonstrate intelligence and abilities that cannot be measured on a standard test. Student progress in the four GLO areas (Problem Solving/Thinking Skills, Organizational/Research Skills, Communication Skills, and Character/Interpersonal Skills) is monitored by classroom and elective teachers, and comments on student progress reports provide additional information to students and parents regarding progress, success, and ways to improve. Student-led conferences take place in the second half of the year to encourage students to demonstrate GLO skills and to further the partnership between students, parents, and teachers.

The MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) Test is an adaptive computer-based test, which measures student grade-level progress in reading and math. Every student is presented with a unique set of test questions based on their responses to previous questions. As students answer correctly, the questions become more challenging; if students answer incorrectly, the questions become less challenging. This ensures that they are scored according to their current ability and allows teachers to provide students with math and reading work that corresponds with their level of understanding.

Yes. RAS serves as an official SAT test site. We currently offer testing for October, November, December and June testing dates for up to 50 students. All students in grades 10 and 11 are required to take the practice SAT (PSAT) each year. Students in grade 11 are required to the take the SAT exam in June in preparation for college applications. Students in grade 12 will have the opportunity to take the SAT exams in October, November and December as necessary. Students are encouraged to visit Khan Academy and join the SAT Prep CCA at RAS for test preparation.

Student report cards are provided four times during the academic year after each full term. These reports provide information on student academic progress as well as their progress on the RAS General Learning Outcomes (GLOs). Additionally, student classwork and homework is graded and sent home with students; and classroom teachers are available to meet with parents to discuss student progress throughout the year.

Students are all individuals and learn and grow at different levels. However, in order to progress to the next grade level, students must show that they have met the learning standards for that grade as evidenced by their marks on their four term report cards. Within each subject area, teachers assist students in mastering specific grade level content standards. Over the course of one year, there are various “benchmarks” along the way to ensure that students are moving in the direction of mastery in each standard in each subject area. At RAS, the majority of our students progress successfully to the next academic year.

As students at RAS are assessed throughout the year, it is possible for teachers to adapt their teaching methods to meet student needs by providing differentiated lessons and materials for students learning at different levels. Because our class size is limited, a smaller class size allows teachers to provide more individual attention to students who need additional support or enrichment. Additionally, English Language Learning (ELL) and Student Learning Support (SLS) teachers are available to provide assistance as needed.

In order to receive a High School Diploma from RAS, students must have completed courses totalling 25 credit hours. The high school counselor will work with students to ensure that they are enrolled in the appropriate classes, however students are responsible for meeting the requirements necessary for graduation. The following graduation requirements must be met between the 9th and 12th grades:

Department Number of Credits
Core: English 4.0 Credits
Core: Mathematics 3.0 Credits
Core: Science 3.0 Credits
Core: Social Studies 3.0 Credits
Foreign Language (2 credits required, 3 highly recommended) 2.0 Credits
Fine Arts 1.0 Credits
Physical Education 1.0 Credits
Health .5 Credits
Technology .5 Credits
Total Required Course Credits 18 Credits
Electives from Core Subjects (minimum of 2 aside from English) 2 Credits
Additional Electives 5 Credits
Total Number of Credits Required
for Graduation
25 Credits
Graduation Requirements and Planning For University /College Education

RAS supports students’ post graduation planning in a number of ways. In Grade 8, formal discussions with the high school counselor take place at the end of the academic year, as well as an evening information session for parents. In Grades 9 – 12, students meet individually with the high school counselor for course planning, constructing graduation plans, performing career assessments and discussing college options. Additionally, the counsellor will help guide students through the college application process as needed and provide all relevant information to colleges including transcripts and references. The counsellor is available to meet with students at any time to provide guidance on subject selection or future planning.

With the assistance of the high school counselor, students are encouraged to consider their options for college or university and to research scholarship options. The high school counselor is available to help as needed throughout the process.

Graduates from RAS can attend colleges and universities around the world. Our graduates have applied for colleges in the USA, UK, New Zealand and Malaysia. We currently have students applying to colleges in Germany, Canada and China. The high school counsellor provides guidance on the different requirements for each country.

The rigor of our academic program prepares students for the challenges of college. Additionally, because RAS looks to develop the student holistically, students are given the opportunity to develop not only their academic skills but also strong life skills. This is done through our GLOs, Advisory Program, CCA’s and Student Service Learning Program. Additionally, our Explore Week program and Boarding Program provide students with the opportunity to grow in responsibility, while still under careful adult supervision.

Student Health

RAS has an on-campus student health center and a full time nurse to serve student health needs as they arise during the school day, or during co-curricular activities. The nurse can provide first aid, as well as over-the-counter medications and prescription medication with permission from parents. Gleneagles Hospital is less than a 10 minute drive from our campus, in cases where more serious medical attention is necessary.

RAS understands the connection between good nutrition and increased student learning. RAS offers a full menu of healthy food choices for breakfast, lunch, dinner and morning and afternoon snacks. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided for RAS Boarding Students seven days a week. Day students are provided with lunch and a snack during the school week. Multiple hot plate options are available, in addition to a sandwich bar and fruit, vegetable and salad side plates, and snacks.

A full time counsellor is available to provide social/emotional and behavioral counseling for all students from Pre-K to Grade 12.

Student Support Services

Raffles American School (RAS) accepts students who show the potential to be independently successful in a mainstream college preparatory program and whose academic and social development can be supported through differentiated teaching and learning, as well as a leveled model of interventions. RAS offers a wide array of support services including Learning Support (LS), English Language Learning (ELL), and counseling to help students master the essential elements of the required grade-level curriculum at RAS. Every effort is made to best match student needs with provided services. Prior to receiving services, all potential ELL and/or LS students go through a thorough referral process, and a Learning Support Plan is developed to help guide the students learning at both school and at home. A Learning Support Plan may include in-class or small group assistance, 1:1 tutoring, study skills development and/or classroom modifications/accommodations.

RAS offers two programs for English Language Learners: the Sheltered Instruction English Language Learning (ELL) program and the English Immersion Program (EIP). The Sheltered Instruction ELL Program offers push-in and pull-out classroom support, as well as one to three additional ELL classes per week for lower-intermediate through advanced English language learning students. EIP is for students grades 3 – 10 wo do not meet our minimum English language requirements. This is a one-year immersion program that prepares beginning ELL students for the mainstream classroom. Our ELL support teachers are all ELL qualified/certified. For more information, please visit our ELL webpage.

After-school care is provided free of charge for siblings of students participating in Co-Curricular Activities. Parents of students in Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten can choose to enroll their child in our Extended Day Program until 5:30 for an additional fee.

Teachers

As an American school, our teachers are primarily from the United States. We do also hire highly qualified teachers from other international backgrounds, including the UK, Canada, and New Zealand. All of our core subject teachers are highly qualified, internationally trained and experienced. In addition, highly qualified Malaysian staff are also hired to teach language and elective courses and as teaching assistants.

RAS teachers all have teaching credentials from their home counties and several years of experience. Many have previous international experience and secondary degrees. All teachers have positive references detailing their previous teaching experience.

Regular professional development days are embedded into the school calendar in order for teachers to work together to keep abreast of best educational practices. Teachers also have the option of participating in external training, workshops and conferences.

School Fees

What is included in the tuition (school) fee? A year of academic classes Textbooks and basic school supplies A Meal Package including a nutritious lunch, and morning and afternoon snack Regular MAP Testing On-Campus Medical Attention and OTC Medication Counseling and College Preparatory Services Teacher-Led Co-Curricular Activities Use of all RAS facilities

Uniforms Optional Off-Campus Day and Overnight Trips Technology Fee (Grades PK4 – 4) / Individual MacBook (Grades 5 – 12) Application Fee, Refundable Deposit and Registration Fee Annal Re-Entry (Re-Enrollment) Fee Externally Led Co-Curricular Activities Please see our Fee Schedule for more information.

Raptors Parents for Education

New RAS families are led through the admissions process by a qualified admissions team. New students and families who join at the beginning of the year are provided with an orientation, which includes an introduction to RAS faculty and staff. Throughout the year, the school superintendent, Mr. Lyle Moltzan, sends home Weekly Update emails with information about what is happening at the school and parents are encouraged to contact their child’s teacher with any questions or concerns. RAS teachers, principals and counselors are always open to meeting with parents as needed. Additionally, meetings and events are arranged during the school year to allow for open parent-teacher communication including Back to School Night, and Parent-Teacher Conferences and Principal’s Coffee Mornings. The Raptors Parents for Education also sponsor cultural events such as the Welcome Back Barbeque, International Day and Family Fun Day which give parents and teachers the opportunity to meet in a less formal setting.

RAS believes that education is a three-way partnership between teachers, students and parents, and encourages parent participation and support in their child’s learning process. Parents are invited to be involved in the school through the Raptors Parents for Education, to attend school-wide cultural events or to volunteer in their child’s classroom or in another part of the school.

Technology

At RAS, technology isn’t just a replacement for a pen and pencil, rather is used to take students past where they could go without it. Students use technology to learn math concepts, access primary sources, investigate historical events, “visit” other cultures, participate in interactive projects, create multimedia presentations and much more. Technology is also used to differentiate lessons for students with different learning styles. All secondary students bring their own MacBooks to school for use in everyday coursework and elementary students have access to school MacBooks as needed. Teachers use MacBooks, Google Classroom and a variety of online resources as learning tools.

Facilities

RAS facilities are comprised of an academic village surrounded by athletic and arts facilities. The academic village was designed to encourage activity and interaction in a variety of learning environments through the use of covered walkways, bridges, shading louvers, and a checkerboard arrangement of modular classroom buildings and educational courtyards. Science classes take place in custom-designed science labs built to university-level standards. Our science program also includes a planetarium. Our athletic facilities include include two indoor, air-conditioned gymnasiums; an Olympic-size swimming pool, a learning pool, tennis courts, two soccer pitches, a track, and a baseball field. Our arts facilities include a 750-person fine-arts auditorium, black-box theater, practice rooms, and student art gallery. For pictures and more detail, see our Campus Design webpage.