American Embassy School
|American Embassy School|
American Embassy School, Chandragupta Marg, Chanakyapuri|
New Delhi, Delhi 110021
|Head of School||Mr. James Laney Jr.|
|Number of students||
510 5PK-grade 5
|Average class size||
>12 students upper |
18 students middle
|Color(s)||Black and gold|
The American Embassy School (AES), South Delhi, India, is an independent, co-educational day school which offers an educational program from prekindergarten through Grade 12. The school was founded in 1952. The mission of the school is to provide "a balanced education defined by a joyful pursuit of excellence in academics, athletics, arts and service. We enable each student to be an inspired lifelong learner and a responsible, compassionate global citizen."
Its English-language motto is "Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve," while its Latin motto is "Domi ac foris," meaning "At home and abroad."
Admission and demographics
AES ensures that seats are available for US citizens, provided the applicant meets the school's eligibility criteria. About 40% of the student body holds a US passport. Eligibility in all other cases is limited to children whose parents or legal guardians hold a foreign passport, are temporarily residing in India and based in New Delhi, and the student lives with the parent or legal guardian. An Indian citizen applicant must meet all three of the following criteria to be eligible to apply for admission:
- the parents of the student are likely to stay in India for a period of 2 to 3 years,
- the student should have come from an American/international system of education (outside of India with the exception of the American School of Bombay and the American International School of Chennai) and has to return to the American/international system of education,
- the student is in a critical stage of education and studying in the AES is important for the student’s education. The American Embassy School defines ‘critical stage of education’ as Grades 9-12. 39 percent of the school's 1200 students in Pre-School to Grade 12 are Americans, the majority of students represent 53 nationalities. The interim school director for 2016-17 is Ellen Stern, and James Laney will be school director beginning in 2017-18.
For the 2017–18 school year, enrollment was 1160 in PK-Grade 12 from 50 nationalities. There were 165 faculty members.
The school is governed by a nine-member Board of Governors, seven of whom are elected for two-year terms by the American Embassy School Association of New Delhi, with an additional two non-voting US Embassy Representatives. There are also non-voting representatives from the faculty, parents and student body.
The curriculum is that of general academic, college-preparatory school. The school's testing program includes the College Board tests (SAT, SAT II, PSAT). Instruction is in English. French, Spanish, and Mandarin are taught as foreign languages. English-as-an Additional Language services are offered for non-native English speakers. The school also offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma and Advanced Placement courses. Most of the graduates go on to universities in the United States and other countries. The school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
The school includes two libraries, a 25-meter swimming pool (plus a diving pool and toddler pool), a physical education center with two gymnasiums, computer labs and "Makerspaces," several playgrounds, four clay tennis courts, grass and artificial soccer pitches, and a performing arts center (including a full sized theater). The school campus is spread over almost 13 acres.
In 2015–16 the school began responding to air quality concerns in Delhi by adding advanced filtration systems to all indoor academic spaces. In 2016–17 several indoor play spaces were also created for elementary recess periods when the outdoor air quality is poor. The Air Quality Index (AQI) in most indoor spaces now remains below 50 throughout the school day. In 2017–18 the school began addressing air quality with filtration systems in faculty housing as well. In 2018–19 the school will be installing outdoor air cleaners in an attempt to improve the air quality in its high school atrium.
School activities and Sports
Extracurricular activities include sports, performing arts, dance, visual arts, academic games, and other interests such as chess and climbing. The school is a member of MESAC (Middle East South Asia Conference) for Grades 8–12 and ASIAC (American Schools in India Activities Conference) for Grades 6–8.
The American Embassy School used to be part of The South Asian Inter-Scholastic Association (SAISA). During this time they were known as the AES Falcons and the school colors were red and white.
The school's community goals are also realized through extra activities. The "Reach Out" program enables students to interact with people from the "jugghi" or slums near the school. In this, the school has helped construct and staff a library, and studying area to promote literacy. The students may also participate in Make a Difference, Salaam Delhi, Amnesty International, Habitat for Humanity, Operation Smile, and other community services.
Nearly every classroom has a ceiling-mounted projector. There are cameras, digital microscopes, digital cameras, data probes, video cameras, audio recording devices, GPS devices and scanners.
The school offers a 1:1 program for students in K-12. Grades K-8 use iPads, and students in Grades 6-8 may take them home. Students in Grades 9-12 use laptops. The school also has MakerSpaces in each division.
AES has a large library with over 30,000 fiction, non fiction and reference books, 138 magazines and 2400 videos.
- Timothy Geithner, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, attended AES and has visited the school in his official capacity while in India 
- Alankrita Sahai, model and Miss Diva Earth 2014.
- Hannah Simone, actress, attended at age 16.
- Uma Thurman, actress, attended the school in 1979 while she lived in India.
In January 2014 the school was placed under investigation by the Indian government for alleged tax and visa fraud by its faculty. A report in The New York Times described a handout provided by the school to new teachers which instructs how to lie on Indian visa application forms to circumvent the need for a work permit, and to avoid paying income tax. The Indian investigation followed the Devyani Khobragade incident in the United States. Since that point, the school has been engaged in the "joyful pursuit of compliance" and is strictly following visa, work permit and tax regulations for all its teachers.
- Harris, Gardiner (9 October 2012). "Geithner Meets Chidambaram in Delhi". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 August 2018.