Ataya International High School has a long history in providing quality education to a varied population of students from Lebanon and other countries as well. It all started in 1971 when Mr. Toufic Ataya, the principle of the Elementary School at the International College of Beirut decided to launch a private elementary school called Ataya New School on Jeanne D’Arc street in Ras Beirut.
Mr. Toufic Ataya realized that many children were rejected by most schools for the simple reason that they did not meet the high standards set by the schools. Mr. Ataya realized that most of them had learning difficulties. Consequently these children were not given the right to education we all take for granted. Mr. Ataya decided as early as 1971 to include children that “were not up to standard” within the regular classroom and provide them with the opportunity to acquire knowledge and develop skills in a supportive and nurturing environment. Back in 1971 integration or inclusion were not heard of yet. Students with learning difficulties (L.D.) were labeled as lazy, unmotivated, and many more unflattering names .Mr. Ataya though otherwise and proceeded to launch the first integration program in the Middle East area.
The idea of having students with special needs in the “regular” classroom faced a lot of resistance and criticism at that time. Mr. Ataya did not yield to pressure as he had a strong conviction that the variety of learners in the regular classroom provided a richer learning environment for all its students. According to him, while students with special needs benefited from the wealth of teaching aid material and the enhanced teaching strategies deployed through the integration program, the same can be said about the regular students who were able to excel in their studies while developing a high sense of civic responsibility and sound moral values and ethics. With time, Ataya New School saw an evolution that enabled the transition from integration to an inclusive education.
As a result of this the following developments became an integral part of our school’s culture:
- Bullying became practically an extinct behavior within our students’ community.
- All students are provided with the opportunity to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes.
- All students are able to present a steady progress at all levels.
- All students acquire a high sense of civic responsibility while maintaining and developing their individual personality within their first year of enrollment.
Since 1971 Ataya New School graduates proved Mr. Ataya’s vision to be correct as they ranked among the best students in their studies when they enrolled in universities.
Mr. Ramzi Ataya completed his studies in Massachusetts USA and came back to Lebanon in 1980 to become the principal of Ataya New School. From 1981 to the year 2007 Mr. Ramzi Ataya did everything possible to make the special education and the learning support programs initiated by his father develop into a more structured and better organized framework. He added a team of experts consisting of a psychologist, a speech therapist and a psycho-motor skills therapist to the school’s faculty. This special education department provided the school with a well designed special education and learning support program. The results achieved by Ataya New School students continued to prove that ANS is a school with a tradition of excellence.
In 2013, Mr. Ramzi Ataya launched Ataya International High School in Hadat Hamra Street three hundred meters from the “Saint Therese” intersection. “This was a logical development of the Ataya tradition” affirmed Mr. Ataya, “We can now serve a larger number of students in a healthy (green area) and well equipped school.”
The reputation of the school speaks for itself, all one has to do is listen to the testimonials of our parents’ community, you will hear voices of satisfaction and support.