Banjul American International School (BAIS) was founded in 1984. It is an independent, coeducational day school for English-speaking students of all nationalities from pre-Kindergarten (age 2+) through Grade 12 (age 18). The school year extends from late August/early September to mid/late June with approximately 180 days of instruction. Official Gambian holidays are recognized, and long breaks are taken for the December/New Year and spring break.
Organization: The Board of Directors consists of six members, each serving a two-year term. The BAIS Association members (parents/guardians and teachers) elect five board members, and one member is appointed by the U.S. Embassy Chief of Mission or her/his delegate.
Curriculum: Instruction is in English. The core subjects: English, mathematics, science, and social studies, are supplemented with specialty instruction in art, French, technology/coding, inquiry, music, physical education and PSEL (personal, social emotional learning). The curriculum from kindergarten through 12th grade is aligned with AERO standards (including NGSS standards for science), and the PK curriculum is aligned with the New York State Early Learning Guidelines and delivered with a Reggio Emilia approach. HS students may take online elective courses independently, and AP courses are offered to students seeking to challenge themselves with college level coursework. Eureka math materials and EL Education English Language Arts materials are used alongside hands-on manipulatives and a variety of other resources to ensure that the AERO Standards (aligned with CCSS standards) are delivered to all students.
Faculty: In the 2023-2024 school year, BAIS has 30 total staff, 14 full-time teachers, 5 of whom are U.S. citizens, 4 host-country nationals, and 5 third-country nationals. Our faculty is small but diverse, representing eight countries: The Gambia, the USA, Lesotho, India, Sweden, Lebanon, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. They are directly supported by three teaching assistants and one individual student assistant. All but one of the BAIS teachers hold bachelor’s or master’s degrees and teaching certification.
Enrollment: At the start of the 2023-2024 school year, enrollment is 74 students (Kindergarten to Grade 5 comprises the majority of the students at 58%. Prekindergarten = 14%, Middle School 11%, and High School 18%.), including 26 U.S. citizens, 19 host–country nationals, and 29 third-country nationals.
Facilities: BAIS offers green spaces for students to play and enjoy, a rarity in Banjul. The current rented campus is a converted family compound and consists of four buildings which serve as ‘bookends’ to the outdoor recreation area, soccer field and basketball court. At the front of the campus, the administrative building contains the reception office, director’s office, library, computer lab, teacher collaboration areas and safe haven 1. The elementary building houses grades 1-5 and Music classes. At the other end of campus, the middle school/high school wing, with its science lab, humanities and French room, faces the early childhood building which houses PK, K, art, & math learning spaces.
Finances: Approximately 95% of the school’s income comes from tuition and fees.
Annual tuition rates:
PK Half Day: $ 6,257
PK Full Day: $8,230
K-grade 5: $20,446
Grades 6-8: $23,433
Grades 9-12: $25,287
The tuition fee covers the cost of all after-school activities, school social events, local day field trips, the yearbook, and other student activities.
A $200 application fee and a one-time only nonrefundable school development fee of $4,500 for all new students are payable upon enrollment. (All fees are quoted in U.S. dollars.) A hot lunch service is available from an outside provider for an additional cost.
Uniforms: BAIS polo shirts are available, but no uniform is required.
Special Needs: Review the Special Needs Profile for this school to learn more about their capability to support students with exceptionalities.
This Fact Sheet is intended to provide general information. Prospective users of the schools may wish to inquire further of A/OPR/OS or contact the school directly for more specific and up-to-the-minute information. Information and statistics are current as of September 2023 and are provided by the school.