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American Community School Beirut

Coordinates: 33°54′03″N 35°28′38″E / 33.900799°N 35.477242°E / 33.900799; 35.477242
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American Community School Beirut
67 Nigeria Street, Jal El-Bahr

Coordinates33°54′03″N 35°28′38″E / 33.900799°N 35.477242°E / 33.900799; 35.477242
Other nameACS Beirut
HeadmasterThomas M. Cangiano
Age range3-18
Enrollment1130 students
LanguageEnglish, Arabic, French
Color(s)Blue & Gold    
SloganBuilding for the Future: Educating for a Lifetime
Fight songK-N-I-G-H-T-S
AthleticsBasketball, Soccer, Volleyball, Badminton, Track & Field, Swimming, Rugby, Tennis, Golf, Archery
AccreditationMiddle States Association of Colleges and Schools
PublicationACS Matters
Tuition± $17500
Feeder toAmerican University of Beirut

The American Community School Beirut (Arabic: مدرسة الجالية الأميركية في بيروت), also known as ACS Beirut, is a private school located in Beirut, Lebanon. Founded in 1905, it is traditionally attached to the American University of Beirut. As an independent coeducational institution, it offers education to students of all nationalities, ranging from preschool, students aged from 3 years, to high school grade 12 of the type K-12. It offers the International Baccalaureate and the Lebanese Baccalaureate programs as well as its own college prep program.


The school was founded by a small group of American parents from the American University of Beirut, then known as the Syrian Protestant College, who wanted a school where their children could receive preparation for entrance into American universities. The small faculty school thrived and by 1920 had expanded from its original home on rue Bliss to a red-roofed house on rue Sidani. At this point, the American Presbyterian Mission joined the AUB in sponsorship of the school. It was at this point that the school was renamed to the American Community School. By the 1940s, the student body had grown to more than 900 primarily Western children; the present building was built in 1949 with funds provided by ARAMCO. Today, students are primarily Lebanese, as with the university.

The school celebrated its Centennial on June 24, 2005, and in June 2011, ACS Beirut celebrated the graduation of its 100th graduating class. Dr. George H. Damon Jr. remained Headmaster of the school from 2003 till his retirement in 2013.[1]

ACS's history is described by Wade Morris Jr. in A History of ACS; The American Community School at Beirut 1905-2012.[2]


[3] ACS Beirut offers three types of a high school diploma. The American High School Diploma program prepares students for admission to colleges and universities in the US. All graduates will earn the high school diploma. Additionally, ACS offers the International Baccalaureate diploma as well as the Lebanese Baccalaureate diploma. Each of these three diploma programs has a slightly different course of study, but only in selected grade levels. For the IB Diploma Program, the course of study is differentiated in the last two years of high school. For the Lebanese Baccalaureate, the course of study differs in grades 9 and 12.

Campus facilities[edit]

The ACS campus is located within a short distance from the Mediterranean sea. The Lower School building consists of a library, computer center, auditorium, multipurpose hall, art room, as well as the Early Childhood and the Elementary Administrative Wing. The Middle School building houses all Middle School classrooms, science laboratories, lego robotics lab, High School student services, counselors, infirmary, special support personnel, college counselor, and community service advisor, as well as the Upper Library and the Middle School computer center. The building has its own auditorium and music room and houses the School Cafeteria. The Upper School Building, also known as BD Building, consists of a bookstore, Community Lounge, Print Shop, IT Department, High School classrooms, and laboratories, as well as administrative offices. The gymnasium, built in the late 1950s, stood as an architectural landmark for decades and includes a basketball court, locker rooms, a dance studio, and a fitness center. The faculty building was completed in April 2015. The first basement and ground floor host music rooms for elementary, middle, and high school divisions. Elementary language rooms and Grade 5 classrooms are located on first through the third floor. The residential part consists of 16 typical apartments starting on the 4th up to the 11th. The Head of School residence is located on the 12th and 13th floor with a rooftop that is used for social gatherings, as well as collecting solar energy to help become environmentally friendly.


ACS Beirut is notable for its athletics program. The athletics program partakes in several sporting conferences, including NESAC along with locally held tournaments. The athletics department at ACS Beirut promotes a "student-athlete" relationship whereby the academic standing of a student is the prerequisite for a student's athletic standing.

There are several awards presented to student-athletes at different levels in Middle School and High School. While all team members are presented with participation patches, four outstanding athletes are presented with four awards respectively. These awards, determined by the coach, are the Fighting Heart Award, the Most Improved Player, Perfect Attendance Award, and Coach's Award. In a more holistic approach, there are three awards, the Spirit in Sports Award, Junior Knight Award, and Knight Award. The Spirit in Sports Award is presented to the athlete that displays outstanding school spirit, sportsmanship, and participation. The Junior Knight Award is presented to one male and one female from grades 9 and 10 who demonstrate outstanding dedication, skill, sportsmanship, and leadership. Likewise, the Knight Award is presented to one male and one female who demonstrate the same values described by the Junior Knight Award, however, it is presented to students from grades 11 and 12. Additionally, select seniors are recognized through two awards, The Blair Harcourt Award and the Farah Family Athletics and Leadership Award. The Blair Harcourt Award is presented to the senior with academic distinction, 3.3/4 GPA or higher, as well as athletic distinction, standing in parallel with the values of the Knight Award. The Farah Family Athletics and Leadership Award is presented to the senior who excels in the academic program at ACS Beirut, demonstrates leadership and commitment, and positively impacts the athletic and academic life at ACS Beirut.[4]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Special dinner held recognizing Dr. George H. Damon, Jr., retiring head of the American Community School at Beirut". American Community School, Beirut; News Post. 2013-07-15. Retrieved 2014-07-01.
  2. ^ "Børre Ludvigsen Web Archive".
  3. ^ "ACS Beirut".
  4. ^ "ACS Athlete Handbook" (PDF). acs.edu.lb.
  5. ^ Ken Micallef. "Stewart Copeland: Staring Down the Future". Modern Drummer. Archived from the original on 2007-09-14. Retrieved 2007-09-16.
  6. ^ "Biography of Malcolm Hooper Kerr". Middle East Studies Association. Archived from the original on 2007-06-03. Retrieved 2007-09-16.

External links[edit]