The Shanghai American School was founded in 1912 and was closed in 1949. It was re-opened in 1980 on the US Consulate grounds. From September 1996 the school has two campuses, one in the west and one in the east, and an extension program in the Shanghai Centre.
In addition the western campus has just opened a new branch for high school students, also located in Zhudi about 100 meters away from the main campus. The US Consulate General serves as an umbrella organization, but their financial support is minimal. The American school is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and by the East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools.
The student body comprises about 1200 children from over 30 countries. The largest group is Americans followed by Koreans, Taiwanese, Australians, Germans, etc. The school has pre-kindergarten through grade 12 (ages 4-18). There is an average of 15 students per teacher.
Grades 1 to 5 study Chinese one period every day. Secondary school, grades 6 to 12, can choose to study Chinese, French or Spanish. There are both Chinese and foreign teachers, but most come from the US.
All teachers have a minimum of two years teaching experience. There are ESL classes for students who need help with their English language ability. Extra curricular activities such as sports, arts and baking, take place every Tuesday. The extra curricular activities are spread out over four periods a year, six weeks each period.
The western campus is located in Zhudi, about a 15-minute drive west of the Hongqiao Airport. They offer pre-Kindergarten through grade 12. The facilities include a library with books in English, a music room, a gymnasium and a large outdoor sports area. Each classroom has a computer for computer classes, and science experiments are also conducted in the classroom. There is a dining hall where the children can have school lunch at a cost of USD 3.00 (or RMB 25) per day.
The Shanghai American School has a Singaporean nurse, Ms. Angie Tai.
Kindergarten and Grade One programs are offered at the Shanghai Centre under a cooperative agreement with Seacliff Ltd. The classrooms are located on the eighth level of the western office complex. These full day programs are extensions of the Shanghai American School’s western campus. Students should bring their own lunches and microwaves are available to warm foods.
The eastern campus is located on the grounds of the Shanghai Links Executive Community in Pudong. It is approximately a half-hour drive from the Nanpu Bridge. They offer classes from Kindergarten through grade 12.
The school has a capital-funding program that will raise capital for building two new campuses that will be able to accommodate 2,000 students each. Purchase of a debenture or payment of an annual capital fee will have to be done in addition to payment of the tuition fees. A debenture buys a permanent seat in the American School, whereas the annual capital fee buys a temporary seat.