American School of The Hague

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De Amerikaanse School in Den Haag
American School of the Hague (logo).jpg
Critical Inquiry, Creative Thinking, Clear Communication, Commitment to Others
Type Private American School
Established 1953
Director Rick Spradling
Faculty approx. 150
Grades pre-k through 12
Number of students approx. 1,100
Athletics Baseball, Basketball, Cross-country, Swimming, Softball, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball
Mascot Trojans
Arts Theater, Photography, Visual arts, music

The American School of The Hague (ASH) is an American school in Wassenaar, Netherlands. Children can attend the school for a maximum of 13 years, from Pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade. It is one of the three international focus schools in the area, others are the International School of The Hague and the British School in the Netherlands in Voorschoten. There is a French school and German school both which run their national curriculum. There is also an international school The American International School of Rotterdam, that serves some of the area just south of The Hague. Some local Dutch schools have English-stream programs.


ASH was founded in 1953. Its purpose was to provide an American style education to children of international cooperation and government employees.[1] The board of trustees has eleven members who are elected by the parents. The school is accredited by the Middle States Association and by the Council of International Schools.[1] The school has three divisions, elementary school, middle school and high school.[1] In 1989 a new campus was built, next to the Rijksstraatweg in Wassenaar which was opened by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and First Lady Barbara Bush.[2]


Admission to the school is subject to the agreement of the school that the program is suitable for the student. ESL support is provided, but in the High School a reasonable knowledge of academic English is required. Children entering K-1 must turn age 4 before October 1 of that year. Race, nationality, or creed are not part of the admissions criteria. Class and grade level assignment is determined by looking at past records.[3]


Elementary school[edit]

Most classes in elementary school are self-contained. However, the arts, Dutch, computer, library and PE are taught by specialists. Field trips are regular and are linked back to the curriculum.[4] More than 50 teachers work in the elementary school. The current elementary school principal is Tim Messick.

There is an art program called Art Masterpiece sponsored by the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). The program allows students to make connections between great works and their personal lives.[4] Parents introduce the students to pieces of art from different time periods and different media. The students are expected to think about what they see, about techniques and they should form opinions.[4]

The elementary wing of the main ASH campus is located at the North East side of the school, closest to the parking lot of the school, on the other side of the Rijksstraatweg. This is where second to fourth grade is located. It has its own atrium, cafeteria, library, playgrounds, gym, music and performance suites and technology labs. In the summer of 2012, the Early Childhood Center (ECC) was built. The ECC is a special building for Elementary School children from Pre-Kindergarten to first grade. [4]

Middle School[edit]

Grades 5-8 are seen as Middle School age students.[5] The Middle School has its own library, yet shares the theater and other parts of the arts and modern languages departments with the high school. The middle school has two wings, one located South West, opposite of the central high school library and one next to the high school library (North). The current middle school principal is Peter Coombs.[citation needed] This is Mr. Coombs' second year at the American School of The Hague.

Students in middle school can choose from a variety of extracurricular activities. There is an art club, chess club, the drama club who do a play in November, a talent show in the spring, there is an Honor Band, Honor Choir, a spring musical, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.[citation needed]

The classes in ASH in Middle School are of big variety. The 5 core classes in Middle School are: Math, Science, Social Studies/Humanities, Language Arts/English, and Physical Education. Furthermore, students should take an additional language such as Spanish, French, or Dutch, as well as taking an arts class such as Theater, Dance, or Music.[citation needed]

High school[edit]

Grade nine to twelve are seen as High School age students. [6] The High School has about 410 students. The High School has two wings of the campus. One only for Math and Modern Languages, and another for all other subjects except the arts. All arts classes are located on another side of the campus. The current High School Principal is Paul Mackaill, and the High School Dean is Karla Uhlenhake.


In order for students to receive a high school diploma at the end of year 12 they have to have a certain number of credits. The following credits are required:

  • Four English credits,
  • 1 credit human understanding (Ex. philosophy),
  • three credits social studies,
  • three credits in Mathematics,
  • three credits in Science,
    • in three different types of science,
  • two credits in modern language,
    • students must reach the third level of a language,
  • one IT credit,
  • two credits in the Art Department,
  • 1.5 P.E. credits,
  • Half a credit of health class,
  • 3 credits in other electives, meaning anything that does not fit in the previous categories or any credit that exceeds the minimum stated above.

Students can chose American High school classes, AP or IB.

Extracurricular activities[edit]


ASH offers a variety of sports for all ages. ASH offers sports for high schoolers at both Varsity and Junior Varsity level. The following sports are offered at ASH: Baseball, Basketball, Cross-country, Swimming, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball.[7] At the varsity level students participate in the International Schools Sports Tournament playing teams from Paris, London, Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich, Sigtuna and other places.[7] There are also practice squads (intramural sports) for those students not playing on JV or Varsity teams.

Model United Nations[edit]

ASH's Model United Nations team has participated The Hague International Model United Nations for almost 40 years. It brings more than 3,000 students together from 125 schools during the last week in January. Students from ASH can become delegation members, administrative staff, or an officer. To attend MUN as part of the administrative staff, one must not only reach perfection in grades, sports and attitude, but one must not be tardy in any occasion.[7]

National Honor Society[edit]

The ASH National Honor Society is an exclusive group for students who are selected based on their service, character, and leadership. Students participate in projects at the school.[7]

Other activities[edit]

The school newspaper at ASH is called The Echo, and they publish weekly at[7] Peer Support Program. Peer Support Trainees help their peers and facilitate discussion groups and learn to help Kindergarten through grade 12 students in advisory on various subjects.[7] Students from grade 3 to grade 12 can choose to be a part of the Student Ambassador program at ASH. The Student Ambassador program at ASH is renowned worldwide for its ability to welcome new students, families, and staff into the community. In the High School, Student Ambassadors organise an Orientation Week in which new students and their families learn their way around the school as well as meeting new people. The Student Senate helps classmates enjoy their school year by organizing dances and by advocating for student issues.[7]

ASH dedicates one day in the spring to International Day where students and staff dress up in their national "costumes." Elementary school rooms are decorated to portray various nations and the High School sets up booths in the cafeteria, where students may try foods and snacks from different cultures.

Performing arts[edit]

Students can audition for the dance team in September.[7] Every year, in December the high school musical takes place. In 2014, the musical was West Side Story. In 2013 the musical performed was Fiddler on the Roof. In the past musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar (2012), Pump Boys and Dinettes (2011), and Pippin (2010) have been produced. Auditions are necessary to get in.[7] In Spring there is High school play or sometimes an opera.[7] There is a choir and band that students can join.[7] Lastly, students can choose to participate in the Speech and Debate Tournaments where students from various International Schools meet to debate.[7]

Also in Middle School every year in May they have a musical. Past musicals include "H.M.S. Pinafore" (2013), "Beauty and the Beast Jr." (2012), "The Lamp of Underdal" (2011, written by ASH), "Seussical" (2010), The Pirates of Penzance Jr. (2009), Mulan Jr. (2008), Honk! Jr. (2007), and Guys and Dolls Jr. (2006). Most of the Musical School musicals are Jr. because they are shortened versions of full length musicals and are appropriate for Middle school.[citation needed]

There is a large annual concert at ASH for grades 3-12 called Extravaganza. In Middle School and High School, one can participate in 1 or more of the music classes at ASH including Choir, Strings, and Band. There are also many opportunities for students to get involved in music not only during school, but after as well. For example, ASH has an auditioned after-school vocal ensemble called JAKK, this group performs a variety of genres from Pop to Classical to Jazz, they mainly sing A Cappella. Furthermore, ASH offers a Jazz Band which performs at various locations around Holland. An audition is required to get into the Jazz Band as well.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "The American School of The Hague – A Brief Overview of ASH". Retrieved 2008-02-14. [dead link]
  2. ^ Radcliffe, Donnie (1989-07-18). "Friendship and the First Lady". The Washington Post. With Barbara Bush it's unveiling plaques or cornerstones. Yesterday she assisted at the latter for the American School of The Hague at nearby Wassenaar 
  3. ^ The American School of The Hague – Welcome to Admissions
  4. ^ a b c d "The American School of The Hague – Elementary School Welcome". Retrieved 2008-02-14. [dead link]
  5. ^ The American School of The Hague – Middle School Welcome
  6. ^ The American School of The Hague – High School Welcome
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "High School Handbook" (pdf). The American School of The Hague. 2007-2008 edition. pp. 38–43. Retrieved 2008-02-14.  Check date values in: |date= (help)[dead link]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°8′46″N 4°25′20″E / 52.14611°N 4.42222°E / 52.14611; 4.42222