Finance at SAS

Finance at SAS is intended to promote understanding and support of school policies within our large, diverse parent community.

Finance at SAS is intended to promote understanding and support of school policies within our large, diverse parent community.

The articles, published every few weeks in eNews, address a range of finance-related topics, such as the school’s annual budget, financial reserves, and student demographics. “Big picture” topics are also considered, such as developments in Singapore’s international school market and differences between nonprofit and for-profit schools. All Finance at SAS articles are archived here for the convenience of the SAS community.

Finance at SAS was started in 2011 by William Scarborough, chief financial officer from 2008 to 2017, who saw a need for better communication about these matters within the SAS community. Each year’s articles are numbered sequentially, from the 100 series in 2011–12 up to the 900 series in 2019–20. As of June 2019, the Finance at SAS series includes over 120 separate articles.

Chief Operating Officer Matthew Rogers will continue with the 900 series in 2019–20, and welcomes comments, questions, and suggestions for future articles. Please contact him at

Date Range

June 8 will mean the end of schoolwork for our students but the start of our facilities team's busiest time of the year. During the 54 work days (including Sundays) of the 2018 summer vacation, around 100 different projects will be tackled, involving an average of 60 contractors and at least ten construction vehicles daily.

Thanks to occupancy sensors installed during the student life center's construction last summer, saving energy in unused spaces no longer depends on someone remembering to press a switch.

At SAS we strive to maintain a friendly, welcoming atmosphere by keeping our security measures as discreet as possible. However, as a visible symbol of the United States and of Singapore's international community, we must err on the side of caution in today's uncertain world.

Our annual re-enrollment exercise is underway, and we invite all SAS families to complete the re-enrollment or withdrawal process by March 1, 2018. If you have already done so, we thank you.

With the 2018–19 budget adopted following Monday's community budget presentation, this week we paint the broader budget picture by explaining our priorities in managing the funds entrusted to us by our students' families.

Singapore American School has a spacious green campus, top-notch facilities, and excellent educational resources. But our greatest asset has always been our teachers. This week, we explore the demographics of these professionals, who focus their energy, enthusiasm, and expertise on educating your children.

We hope you enjoyed reading about where SAS students come from in Finance 703 last week. We now continue this discussion by exploring why SAS families are in Singapore, who pays the bills, how long students stay at SAS, and where our families live.

SAS parents are often amazed at the diversity of their children's classmates. This year, our community includes students from over 60 different nations. In part one of our annual student demographics article, we explore the 2017–18 particulars of our always-evolving SAS community.

As we finish our fifth week of the 2017–18 school year, we are pleased to present an update about enrollment numbers, new staff, and summer facilities projects.

The start of the summer holidays means the start of the busiest time of year for our facilities team. Over the sixty-one work days (including Sundays) of the 2017 summer break, eighty-one different projects will be completed across the divisions.

For many years, SAS has maintained financial reserves with the goal of ensuring our long-term stability and continued success. In the last year, the school board has reviewed how we organize, allocate, and invest these savings, and has combined them into a single pool called the endowment.

For parents, re-enrollment represents a renewal of your commitment to SAS for the following year, and completing the process guarantees your children seats at the school.

We have several priorities in deciding how to allocate the school's money. On the one hand, we strive to provide an excellent education that develops in every student the skills, knowledge, and character needed to thrive in the 21st century.

SAS has a total of 375 full-time equivalent teachers this year, not including instructional assistants and administrators. Their average age is around 45 years, similar to what it has been for the last eight years.

In the last two decades, educational options for foreign students in Singapore have expanded significantly. SAS, one of Singapore's original international schools and still one of few non-profit private schools here, continues to be among the most respected institutions for expatriate students. However, the changing educational landscape has implications for us.