Additional Information for U.S. Embassy Families

Coming Soon: High-Speed Rail. After years of planning, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will soon be connected by a high-speed rail link which will put the cities just 28 minutes apart. This new railroad line creates an exciting new opportunity for JAIS families to enroll qualified students in grades 9 through 12 at our sister campus in Even Yehuda, the Walworth Barbour American International School.

Trains have already begun traveling along the full route for testing purposes. (The image shows an artist’s rendering of the new Jerusalem railroad station.)

Financial Aid for Preschool. As a State Department-supported school, JAIS recognizes the value of helping families thrive while posted in Jerusalem.  JAIS will offer financial aid to members of the U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem who enroll in the preschool program. Parents will need to fill in a basic financial aid application and submit a copy of their most recent W-2 form.  Additionally, for families whose children will continue with JAIS as kindergarten students, payment of preschool registration fees will be deferred until the kindergarten year. Each family’s financial aid package will be tailored to their particular financial profile, and applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Special Needs Admissions. JAIS is an inclusive school and can accommodate students with mild to moderate special needs, including mild emotionally disturbed, mentally handicapped, speech impaired, and visually impaired students, as well as those on the autism spectrum. Admission for special-needs students is made on a case-by-case basis, and families must inquire first to determine if the school has the resources to support the needs of each student.

Please note that our campus has many stairs and no elevators, so students requiring wheelchairs cannot be accommodated. When necessary, we refer families to experts in the local community to administer psychological testing and to diagnose specific learning disabilities. All students with special needs are reviewed by the learning support team before admission. We prefer not to pull-out excessively, but rather utilize support shadows if needed. The learning support program consists of mild pull-out sessions (usually during the modern language class) as well as in-class support.

New and Improved Middle School Program. Last year we made some exciting changes in our middle school. All classrooms in grades 5 through 8 have been renovated and are located in close proximity to each other, creating a warm and collaborative atmosphere for this age group. Students begin and end the day in homeroom/advisory, providing consistent support in the critical areas of study skills, organization, digital citizenship, relationship building, and growth mindset. Core academic classes are taught for each grade level, and students now have daily Project Time to work more deeply on individual writing, research, and other activities. Swimming is a club choice in the middle school program in addition to regular PE classes, and students can choose from a variety of additional clubs and afterschool activities to explore their interests. Each year also brings opportunities for fieldwork, service learning and overnight excursions amidst the cultural riches of the region. Most importantly, students are supported by a dedicated team of teachers who understand and enjoy this unique age group.

Ways to get involved. The Jerusalem American International School is always looking for talented and qualified adults to help make our school stronger. We support a vigorous and active Parent Teacher Association (PTA) which organizes a variety of community events such as International Day. Many parents serve as classroom volunteers, support a student club, chaperone a field trip, or help to promote school improvement initiatives through the Advisory Board. And we’re always looking for experienced, qualified teachers to help out as substitutes or fill mid-year vacancies. Please feel free to contact us at principal@jerusalemais.org to express interest or ask questions about potential opportunities.

Security Partnerships and Neighborhoods. JAIS maintains close ties with both the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem and the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. Security precautions and protocols are reviewed and updated on a regular basis, and field trips are accompanied by trained security personnel according to Ministry of Education requirements. The JAIS campus is located within an enclosed, secure compound within the quiet residential neighborhood of San Simon.

Families who have a choice of residences in Jerusalem are encouraged to choose a home near our campus in the southwest quadrant of the city. Doing so will make daily transportation easier. While traffic in the city is generally moderate, it can get congested at rush hours, and routes can sometimes be diverted during times of political tension. Many school families live in the nearby neighborhoods of San Simon, Katamon, Pat, Malcha, Arnona, Talpiot, German Colony, Baka, Beit Zafafa, Abu Tur, and Talbiyeh.