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 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 in 1971.
Mr. Toufic Ataya realized that many children were rejected by most schools due to the fact that they were low achievers due to 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 in order to provide them with the opportunity to acquire knowledge and develop social 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 …
The idea of having students with special needs in the “regular” classroom faced a lot of criticism at that time. Mr. Ataya did not yield to pressure as he had a strong conviction that the variety of different kinds of learners in the regular classroom provided a better 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, 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.
As a result of this the following developments became an integral part of our school’s culture:
- Bullying became an extinct behavior within our students’ community.
- All students have the opportunity to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes.
- All students were able to present a steady progress at all levels.
- All students presented a high sense of civic responsibility while maintaining and developing their individual personality.
Since 1971 Ataya New School graduates transferred to other schools and proved Mr. Ataya’s vision to be correct, they ranked among the best students in their new schools.
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 more structured and better organized. 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.