In American international schools around the world, there is demand for high-quality, American-style educational programs that offer access to options that domestic students take for granted, such as Advanced Placement® (AP®) and certain elective courses. That demand comes not only from American expats but also from foreign students looking for alternatives to their local education systems.
Such demand gave rise to London Academy in the Bouskoura section of Casablanca, Morocco. It is a private school which serves 250 students hailing from 19 different nationalities with an emphasis in three different languages (French, Arabic, and English).
“We are serving a population of students that seek to escape the French and Moroccan systems,” said London Academy Principal Angela M. Arigoni-Mesfioui. “Students are finding those programs too rigid [and] stressful, and passing the multitude of exams to graduate causes anxiety, depression, and a sense of failure.”
London Academy has found it difficult to recruit qualified teachers for the full breadth of courses it wants to offer, especially AP courses. The school also needed to ensure that its programming meets rigorous accreditation standards recognized by American colleges and universities so that students could realize their postsecondary goals.
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 its partnership with Edmentum, London Academy is able to provide students with access to AP® and elective courses that are hard to find outside the U.S., differentiating both instruction and the academy’s value proposition.
How They Did It:
London Academy administrators knew that online learning could be an effective solution to the challenges the school 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 explained.
Partnering with Edmentum’s EdOptions Academy met and exceeded those requirements, and it has proven to be a strong fit.
The students of London Academy spend Mondays through Thursdays working through their EdOptions Academy courses with the help of the program’s qualified virtual teachers and the school’s own staff. Fridays are reserved for students to receive additional English-language instruction and to get any extra support they need in their virtual courses. This can take the form of open “virtual office hours” facilitated by EdOptions Academy teachers, in-person tutoring with school staff, or meetings with parents to create action plans for students who need to catch up. By engaging students’ complete academic support networks, London Academy can quickly identify struggling students and take steps to get them back on pace.
“The EdOptions [Academy] system allows students to feel in control of their learning,” said Ms. Arigoni-Mesfioui. “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.”
Partnering with Edmentum has allowed London Academy to offer its students opportunities that can be found at few schools outside the U.S.
“The program allowed us to offer a range of courses that we couldn’t provide because we are located internationally,” Ms. Arigoni-Mesfioui reported. “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.”
The consultative, highly responsive approach that Edmentum and EdOptions Academy take has also been a difference-maker for the school. Every implementation is different, particularly an implementation with the unique goals and many intricacies of London Academy. Even across time zones and an ocean, London Academy’s Edmentum representatives are in weekly contact with the school, working collaboratively to find answers to challenges that have arisen and to adjust the implementation as needed.
“The communication between the student, parents, London Academy Casablanca teachers, and the EdOptions Academy teachers is topnotch,” said Ms. Arigoni-Mesfioui. “This high level of communication allows for strong partnerships to form and guarantees a high student success rate.”