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.
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 600 series in 2016–17. In total, Finance at SAS includes nearly one hundred articles as of June 2017.
Chief Operations Officer Matthew Rogers will continue with the 700 series in 2017–18, and welcomes comments, questions, and suggestions for future articles at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our three previous SAS Mythbusters articles were of interest to many readers, This week, we answer questions about goalpost safety, campus drinking water, morning traffic, accident insurance, and school board remuneration.
We are deeply grateful to all who support the school through donations of money, time, expertise, and enthusiasm. Without this support, many of the special opportunities our students enjoy would not be possible.
Unlike most of Singapore's international schools, SAS includes all required school trips—except for Interim Semester—within our tuition fees.
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.
As our two previous SAS Mythbusters articles provoked many positive responses, we are pleased to consider another batch of SAS "myths" and explain the facts surrounding them.
Several weeks ago, we shared demographic information about where SAS students come from (read Finance 603 here). We now move on to information about why SAS families are in Singapore, how long students stay at SAS, and where our families live.
Families new to SAS are sometimes surprised by our security precautions. We strive to maintain a friendly, welcoming atmosphere at SAS by keeping our security measures as unobtrusive as possible.
For most SAS parents, the diversity of our student population is one of the best things about an SAS education. This year's SAS community includes students from 62 countries, all learning with and from each other.
As we come to the end of our fourth week of school, we hope that all students are well on their way to making new friends, settling into routines, and becoming comfortable in classes, divisions, and activities.
Welcome back from summer break, and to our new families, welcome to SAS! Finance@SAS is the school's finance column, written with the goal of enhancing our community's understanding of the financial, operations, and investment decisions made by the school administration.
As we reach the end of another year, we thank you for reading our school finance articles. We hope that giving our large, diverse community regular updates about the school's financial decisions helps to promote parents' understanding and support of school policies.
We are pleased to announce updated contracts with Hoe Brothers Catering and Yeap Transport for next year, ensuring continued high standards of service for SAS diners and bus riders.
During the 57 days (including Sundays) of the 2016 summer vacation, 99 different projects will be tackled, involving an average of 80 contractors and 15 construction vehicles daily.
What do you wonder about SAS? Our finance articles cover a variety of topics, from school demographics to the financial effects of haze, but we know there are topics our readers would find interesting that we haven't even considered.
This week, we are pleased to share with you the myths that parents wrote to us about, as well as myths we have overheard or seen on social media. We have selected those that would be most interesting to current SAS families; please look out for a future Mythbusters series that will address rumors commonly traded by families less familiar with our school.
For SAS students, one of the most exciting, interesting, and fun places to be in is the library. In recent years, the three SAS libraries have evolved to meet the challenges of the information age.
Many SAS parents make vital contributions to Singapore American School by volunteering their time and skills in classrooms and activities.
For most independent schools, a clear and efficient re-enrollment process is crucial to financial stability, staff recruitment, and program consistency.
For the final article in our "SAS and the Community" series, we focus on how the school's commitments to service learning and environmental responsibility affect the broader community.
With the 2016-17 budget now available, we would like to give it some perspective by explaining our priorities in managing the funds entrusted to us by our students' parents. Singapore American School is a member-supported school, and all parents are members.
This week, we are pleased to present information about Singapore American School's economic impact on Singapore as a whole.
Singapore American School has a beautiful green campus, state-of-the-art facilities, and widespread access to media and technology. But our most important asset has always been our teachers.
This report profiles the school's community involvement during calendar year 2014. We hope it will help SAS students, parents, and staff to better understand SAS's impact on the world outside its gates, and will promote good relations with local and national policymakers, business groups, and other interested parties.
After a hiatus of several years, SAS resumed its summer school program with two (2), two-week sessions in June.
Indoor recess, closed cafeteria windows, and guards wearing face masks: these are all obvious indications that life changes when the haze descends. Thankfully, the air seems to be clearing; but as Singapore has dealt with the region's worst haze episode since the late 1990s, we at SAS have also had to alter activities and re-organize events in order to keep students and staff safe and comfortable.
Eighty percent of Singapore American School students arrive at school each morning riding on one of Yeap Transport's buses. With 3,154 student riders, 129 buses, and 253 regularly scheduled daily trips this year, the bus company must balance operating efficiency with the safety and comfort mandated by our contract.
Most SAS students are living in Singapore because a parent's job brought them here. This year, 65 percent of our students have parents working in one of five sectors: finance (24 percent), manufacturing (17 percent), information, communication and technology (10 percent), oil, gas, and energy (7 percent), and consumer goods (7 percent).
At Singapore American School, children from different backgrounds learn and socialize together, and their diversity is part of what makes the school special. This year's SAS community includes students from 49 countries, all seeking "an exemplary American educational experience with an international perspective."
At this time of year, it always feels like far too many friends and classmates are leaving. According to the admissions office, 705 students had withdrawn by the end of April, including our 297 departing seniors, the largest ever SAS senior class.