Canadian International School Abu Dhabi reviews

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Canadian International School Abu Dhabi reviews

Postby shawarma » 04 Jan 2009, 16:10

Canadian International School Abu Dhabi (CIS) - information page.

CIS is a new school open September 2007. Possibly more of a Canadian school than the other Canadian school in Abu Dhabi - Abu Dhabi Grammar School (established 1994).

Add information updates, reviews, comments to this topic. Especially information to confirm, correct, or answer the following questions ...

  • Principal or Headteacher name: Laurie Meredith?
  • Executive body, owner's name:
  • Number of students (approx):
  • Nationality of most students, or nationality breakdown: Mostly Canadian or US?
  • Number of teaching staff (approx):
  • Nationality of most teaching staff, or nationality breakdown: Mostly Canadian or US?
  • Range of students: CIS established as a K-12 school but KG and primary level when open in September 2007. Which grades added in future years?
  • Teacher salary range per month (and details of package - accommodation, flights, medical):
  • Any other comments which would be helpful for students, teachers, and/or parents:

[edit]Update 15 March 2011: some posts moved to moderator forum pending legal advice regarding potentially slanderous comments. Please see forum posting rules, especially about expressing negative opinions.[/edit]

[edit]Update 18 November 2013: Given the number of negative comments posted about this school, a couple of points:

1. The 2012-2013 ADEC school report for CIS (dated 25 Aug 2013, based on inspection in Nov 2012) was overall quite favorable, especially compared to many other schools in Abu Dhabi. The report was focused on learning and facilities for students, not on treatment of teachers and housing conditions, however it did include this comment:
The leadership and management of the school are very effective. Two years ago the school was struggling to cope with a very high turnover of teachers and students. From this position, the school is now stable and has very clear purpose and direction. School leaders have an accurate view of strengths and weaknesses. They are very well supported by the superintendent and the owner's representative in their drive to meet the school’s ambitious aims.

2. A number of comments here have been posted anonymously without an account, which means it is more difficult to know if they are from different people, or one or two people posting repeatedly with different names.

The detailed comment regarding claimed contractual and legal violations by the school has been removed from this topic. There might or might not have been some truth to it, however, it did describe a situation and administrative behavior which is quite believable for some schools in the UAE. Although to be fair it did also claim some teachers performed illegal (in the UAE) actions.

3. Information was given to us which indicates that some staff or former staff might have a personal axe to grind with CIS. Since this information was not made public by the sender, it will not be made public here other than this comment (unless the sender chooses to comment in the topic), however the source does appear to be more authoritative than the posts in this topic.

4. Both the claims made by people posting here, and in the information sent to us, are not unusual for schools in the UAE. As in it is not unusual to make such claims, it is not unusual for them to be true, it is not unusual for them to be false.

If you are offered a job at CIS, ask about staff turnover, employment conditions, housing conditions, working conditions, these forum comments (and comments in other forums), ask to talk to some current or previous teachers, write it all down, make sure your contract specifically and clearly details anything agreed to, and doesn't include things you didn't agree to. Then if your instinct still says something doesn't feel right, figure out why, and then make a decision. Don't expect school administration in the UAE to treat teachers as they would be treated in western countries. Even schools with western management. Management usually adapt to UAE labor customs and practices quicker than the teachers do.[/edit]
Please use the forum for questions, not the PM system.
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Joined: 27 Sep 2007, 00:39

Re: Canadian International School Abu Dhabi CIS review

Postby CIS info » 13 Oct 2010, 21:03

Principal: Darcy Reynolds
Nationality of students: Mixture: Canadian, Australian, European, Indian, American, Emirati and Middle Eastern, South American, Japanese.
Grades available: KG-11 with Grade 12 opening next year (2011-2012)
CIS info

Re: Canadian International School Abu Dhabi CIS review

Postby Bobo » 05 Nov 2010, 02:09

New teachers are not given healthcare, in violation of UAE law.

Re: Canadian International School Abu Dhabi CIS review

Postby DesertMom » 06 Nov 2010, 20:21

WARNING TO TEACHERS: be very careful if you decide to work at this school. The school's treatment of staff is very poor and don't expect to receive everything that has been promised to you, including your full pay. As a parent in the know, I have seen good teachers treated terribly on a number of occasions.

There are plenty of better teaching opportunities in Abu Dhabi (which is a great place to live and work) and you are best served seeking these instead.

Re: Canadian International School Abu Dhabi CIS review

Postby SunnyGirl » 27 Dec 2010, 12:12

Worst school ever, from one teacher to another, do not teach here. Contracts are not fulfilled and to say the administration is useless is an understatement. The staff turnover is high every year because those teachers who don't get fed up and leave early or get fired for standing up for their basic rights refuse to come back for the next year of their contract. I teach there at the moment and will not be coming back. Boo on this school..very disappointing year :(

Re: Canadian International School review

Postby Canadian » 14 Jan 2011, 16:04

The new administration at CIS is excellent. The admin treats the staff very well. I am very happy teaching at this school. SunnyGirl is not a teacher at this school.

Re: Canadian International School review

Postby xo » 01 Feb 2011, 09:22

I am very happy with the quality of education at kindergarten and early elementary level at the Canadian International School, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi. My children are at those levels.

As for comments about mis-treatment of teachers, if the school violates UAE laws, then surely the country's authorities should follow up on that.

The school needs to build an assembly hall with raised theatre platform, and sort out its swimming pool, which it is currently doing.

Some high quality schools are set to open soon in Khalifa A, and if CIS intends to compete then it needs to get its act together, if there are, indeed, any serious problems going on.

Re: Canadian International School review

Postby Welovecanada » 01 Feb 2011, 18:54

Jameson wrote:Note to parents: do your homework before sending your children here, because I wish I had.

I have to agree -my mistake was not to do the homework and ask around more, the school has no rules to go by for class behaviors or school clothing to be modest and descent as in any reasonable school in Europe or even Canada, basically so controllng students make up the rules and teachers seem to be the weakest link. Admin in general is useless mostly and unable to solve issues -they keep on asking for donations and it seems they are here to have fun while in UAE forgetting their role towards keeping kids safe and motivated for learning.

Re: Canadian International School review

Postby jj » 22 Feb 2011, 08:38

what is the housing situation like for teachers? Apartment? Is it clean? Livable? close to grocery stores? what are the amenities nearby? are the teachers able to bring their spouse?

Re: Canadian International School review

Postby Johnny » 24 Feb 2011, 03:28

You basically live in the middle of the desert 35 minutes away from the city, surrounded by partially built compounds. You can walk for 20 minutes through the sand, climb under two fences, and cross two four lane highways to get to one area that sells small groceries and some take out food. Some of the apartments are infested with ants, and the air conditioning breaks down now and then. When it does rain (not very often), the apartments flood. It also takes a very long time to get internet set up (if you manage to get it at all). To get around you basically need your own vehicle, which is not that expensive.

You can bring your spouse, but unless they have something to do they'll be bored out of their skull because there is nothing around the apartments.

If you are serious about teaching here, ask the admin about the teacher turnover rate over since its establishment, especially over the past two years. The turnover rate is extremely high for a reason and that is because teachers are treated like garbage. Ask the admin why the rate is so high, see what they say.

I'd be less worried about the accomodations and more worried about the reputation of this school, if you're considering taking a job there. Very bad admin who do not take care of their teachers.

If you want to work in Abu Dhabi, teach in the public system (ADEC). It's difficult to find a good private school, but plenty are better than this one.

Re: Canadian International School review

Postby jj » 27 Feb 2011, 12:32

Thanks for the reply. It's unfortunate that teachers are treated poorly. Are they not supported by the ATA? How can a school keep on running like this and nothing is done about it. I will consider other options.

Re: Canadian International School review

Postby Interested » 03 Mar 2011, 11:19

Very helpful information everyone has given here. I am wondering if things have improved over these last few months. I know the school was being inspected and surely they must have gotten their act together for that. How many teachers work at this school? I am currently looking into moving to the UAE and working at this school was one of my options. More feedback on daily life, teaching, the students or anything else you can share would be appreciated.
Thank you!

Re: Canadian International School Abu Dhabi review

Postby lori » 06 Mar 2011, 19:04

Does anyone know if all the admin is returning? I see postings for almost all subjects. How are the students at the school? Are the students hard to manage? Is the problem only with admin? If any have answers please let me know..

Re: Canadian International School Abu Dhabi review

Postby Albertan » 14 Mar 2011, 08:58

Thanks all for you responses! Have an interview coming up and must say - I am thinking twice. I have a young family and husband who would join me. Any thing looking up here? Any place you would suggest?

Re: Canadian International School Abu Dhabi review

Postby Caringmom » 18 Apr 2011, 12:25

I have to say the school is doing nothing to improve the admin are far worse than any other neighboring school they re here to raise money for their pockets nd not interested in kids welfare which is the last thing on their list, teachers are trying their best with minimum resources and support. No swimming pool or under maintenncefor four hers now, no canteen for kids poor behaviors of students

Re: Canadian International School Abu Dhabi review

Postby tina » 17 May 2011, 13:10

hi , can anybody help me with this school as i stay just opposite to this school planing to teaching in this school.does CIS hve any day care facility for the staff children

i m a well qualified lady searching for jobs in a school with day care facility in it for my 6months child.if anybody knew it pls advice me any school or about this school.

thank you,

Re: Canadian International School Abu Dhabi review

Postby abudhabi » 04 Sep 2011, 19:45

I really like CIS. I really like the admin and I think that the teachers around me do a great job. The students are a fabulous bunch, really well mixed in nationality, ability, and personality. I'm a returning teacher and would probably renew my contract again. The benefits of teaching internationally are definitely felt here, I have a lot of prep time each week so I feel confident and ready when my students come in. I don't think the school is perfect, but I don't think that any school is!

Re: Canadian International School Abu Dhabi review

Postby caroljo » 16 Jan 2012, 23:27

I applied for a job teaching secondary art and drama at the Canadian International School of Abu Dhabi and then I read this forum. It seems that the school has some unhappy parents and teachers and I am wondering if anything has changed since the last post of Sept 2011. If I did have the opportunity to teach there I would likely take my teenage son who in grade 11 and he would finish high school there. However, if the school is not up to par and the administration is not good I would not even consider making the move. Can anyone else give me some feedback about the teaching and living conditions there. I'm particularly concerned with what kind of place we would be living in and if there is anything for a teenager to do there besides school. Also, could anyone tell me what I would expect for salary being that I have a 5 year degree and 5 years teaching experience?
Thanks :)
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Joined: 16 Jan 2012, 23:15

Re: Canadian International School Abu Dhabi review

Postby unhappyteacher » 15 Jun 2014, 22:37

Teachers beware of this school and its administrators! Basic contractual rights are not respected and you WILL be fired if you stand up for these rights. As a former teacher I have witnessed this firsthand. Take a look at the teacher turnover rate; it's incredibly high because this school treats its teachers like a cheap source of temporary foreign labour that is totally expendable.

When I taught at this school we had to fight for our full pay-cheque and had to fight for our medical coverage, both of which were supposed to be guaranteed by our contracts. After this fight several teachers were fired for no reason, other than standing up to the administration.

Teach at this school if you must, but take these and other cautionary tales to heart and just be careful!

Re: Canadian International School Abu Dhabi review

Postby AD2014 » 27 Oct 2014, 13:03

If the school is so badly managed, and the teachers are so badly treated, then the learning outcome cannot be great. I am a parent and I want to move my two children to a different school. Can you please confirm this is one to avoid?


Re: Canadian International School Abu Dhabi reviews

Postby yenvietbi » 09 Nov 2014, 11:21

My daughter has been in CIS for the third year. We are absolutely happy with the school. She loves the school, teachers, staff and her friends so much. We don't feel regret to choose this school though we decided to send her here due to no place in any schools in the city.

The school is totally clean, safe and comfortable for children. we always feel welcomed and cared whenever we visit the school by arrangement or ad-hoc. Nurses are available for taking care when my child is sick. Admin staff is careful and updated us immediately in urgent cases.

The curriculum is rather difficult, as commented by other parents, especially for small children. I knew that many parents don't want their children under much pressure in first few years of study. This school is quite hard on reading comprehensive and writing. My daughter was struggling with her reading at grade 1 till now however we got assistance from teacher and learning support staff. We are not English native speaking. That is the only thing we must focus on. Plus, we are on the side of pushing my children working hard from early years, we prefer them studying more than playing games on internet or watching too much TV...One more thing is that sport and other facilities in this school are new and under good maintenance. We are really happy with that. Some other schools do not provide swimming lessons on winter. This school does. I have not visited music room but my daughter said it is OK.

Teachers and staff leaving...maybe issue in first few years of running, I have no idea. Yet the principal changes every year which I don't know daughter' teachers have been there for few years and they are still in the class. Teachers and staff are so supportive and friendly. School fee is affordable as well.

If you might want my idea, That is a big vote for this CIS. I also send my little son to this school next year. We love the school.
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