In many parts of the world, a high-quality, American-style education is desired by both parents and students to open doors to college and career options. London Academy in Casablanca, Morocco serves students from 19 different nationalities in three different languages. Through their partnership with Edmentum, the Academy is able to provide students with access to Advanced Placement (AP) and elective courses that are hard to find outside the US, differentiating both instruction and the Academy’s value proposition.
“The [Academy] system allows students to feel in control of their learning. They are the ones choosing the electives they want and are interested in. In addition, the students like the fact that the platform is adaptive and they can go at their own pace,” said Angela Arigoni-Mesfioui, Principal.
How They Did It
In many international schools, there is demand for high-quality, American-style educational programs that offer access to options such as AP and certain elective courses. That demand comes not only from American expats but also from local students looking for alternatives to their education systems.
Such demand gave rise to the London Academy in the Bouskoura section of Casablanca, Morocco, a private school which serves 250 students hailing from 19 different nationalities in three different languages (French, Arabic, and English).
“We are serving a population of students that seek to escape the French and Moroccan systems,” says Ms. Arigoni-Mesfioui. “Students are finding those programs too rigid, stressful, and passing the multitude of exams to graduate causes anxiety, depression, and a sense of failure.”
However, it is not easy to be able to offer access to American educational norms internationally. London Academy has struggled to find teachers qualified to teach the full breadth of courses they want to offer, especially AP courses. The school also needed to ensure that their programming meets rigorous accreditation standards recognized by American colleges and universities so that students could realize their post-secondary goals.
London Academy administrators knew that online learning could be an effective solution to the challenges they faced, but only with the right partner.
“We needed a program that would provide our students with qualified teachers, strong and rigorous content, and a diploma accredited by a recognized agency,” Ms. Arigoni-Mesfioui explains.
Partnering with Edmentum’s Academy met and exceeded those requirements, and has proved to be that strong fit.
The students of the London Academy spend Mondays through Thursdays working through their Edmentum curricula, either in Courseware with the help of in-school teachers or in Academy virtual courses facilitated by its qualified virtual teachers. Fridays are spent working independently and provide an opportunity to help struggling students catch up to pace.
“The system allows students to feel in control of their learning. They are the ones choosing the electives they want and are interested in. In addition, the students like the fact that the platform is adaptive and they can go at their own pace. Some accelerate, while others take their time and are paced by the teachers,” says Ms. Arigoni-Mesfioui.
Partnering with Edmentum has allowed the London Academy to offer its students opportunities that can be found at few schools internationally.
“The program allowed us to offer a range of courses that we couldn’t provide because we are located internationally. It is difficult to find AP teachers and hire them for all the AP courses. Now we have a full range of electives, honors courses, and AP courses,” says Ms. Arigoni-Mesfioui.
Every implementation is different, particularly an implementation with the unique goals and many intricacies of London Academy. Even across time zones and an ocean, the Academy’s Edmentum representatives are in weekly contact with the school, working collaboratively to find answers to challenges that have arisen and adjusting the implementation as needed.
“The communication between the student, parents, London Academy Casablanca teachers, and the Academy teachers is top notch. This high level of communication allows for strong partnerships to form and guarantees a high student success rate.”
“I think if we look at the data of students passing courses from last year to this year, we will find that our student success rate has increased. Right now all students are graduating on time. We have yet to have a student not graduate on pace. We have several students that have earned trust and work on an honor system that are graduating one year earlier than expected,” Ms. Arigoni-Mesfioui reports.
In the past two school years, students at the London Academy have accomplished something that is the dream of every high school in the world – all students who applied to college were admitted to their first-choice schools. Students have left for university in China, England, Morocco, and Korea. In the summer of 2019, Harvard will welcome its first Academy student.