Abdulla Bin Otaiba School is based in Abu Dhabi. The school has nearly 1,500 students, and the student cohort consists primarily of second language learners with a 100% Emirati student population.
In August 2019, Abdulla Bin Otaiba School became a Charter School. Aldar Education began to manage the school and significant adjustments were made to the teaching and learning strategies at the school to meet their new targets.
The school realized that they needed to find a solution to support the teaching and learning of Math, Reading, and Language Arts. They wanted to ensure it could provide individualized learning for all of its students. The most critical consideration was that it should support the learning of all of their learners for whom English is a second language.
Mr. Adam Keaveny, Vice Principal at the school comments on Exact Path and says,
“The bespoke learning is incredible. All of our students are second language learners, and the fact they can have something that is pitched to their level is so beneficial. It’s also a way to engage the children who have struggled during this pandemic. Working in the Middle East provides a whole host of challenges, especially with the hours children go to sleep and get up. So having a program that is accessible for them at any time of the day means we have been able to engage more learners.”
Initially, Mr. Keaveny was concerned about partnering with Edmentum and using a solution that was originally designed for first language learners. He commented that “in truth, initially, I was very skeptical as I have worked with several programs in the past, and they don’t seem to have longevity”. However, Edmentum reassured him that Exact Path had been effectively working with ELL worldwide and that, in fact, the diagnostic test means that learners are presented with material at their actual learning level irrespective of their grade level.
Introducing a new solution into a school requires careful and strategic planning to manage the change for teachers, students, and parents. Extensive training and the use of “competitions and rewards has made things as easy as possible. We use healthy competition amongst students and staff and send support documents out in dual language, including the videos that Edmentum has created.”
Exact Path is now part of the school’s curriculum and a key element of the school’s teaching and learning. Mr. Keaveny commented that,
“It is integrated into our lessons and homework and is an incredible learning tool. It builds on children’s learning and supports teachers’ learning. It allows teachers to be really focused on students’ needs and to help tailor their lesson plans. It has become part of our curriculum and an expectation which staff have really bought into.”
To further support students, the challenges on Exact Path are used to encourage their motivation to learn. “Exact Path is by far the most useful tool we use and the features from the Learning Paths and the Challenges enable us to motivate the children” comments Mr. Keaveny.
Exact Path is also supporting the school’s goals and progress to encourage parental engagement. The school uses competitions and videos to engage parents in using Exact Path at home. Mr. Keaveny says that “For those parents who are engaged, they are hugely engaged. We have competitions where they have to reward their children and send photos. They love the videos we put out with shout-outs.
“Simply put, the children and the parents are engaged. The teachers also don’t see it as an add-on but a part of the learning for the students.”
The school has also had parent training on the product, and this was delivered in dual language to support parental needs. Mr. Keaveny agrees that this has been very successful in helping with the implementation of Exact Path.
Due to the successful implementation, Mr. Keaveny is very pleased with where the school currently is with Exact Path. Commenting on its benefits to the school, Mr. Keaveny says that
“Exact Path has enhanced engagement, improved competition, and raised standards. Everyone at every level is invested in the program now. This has not always been the case. However, we are at a stage now where I can confidently say that.”
The school has seen much success from using Exact Path for both teachers and students. Mr. Keaveny comments: “I think it’s an amazing tool that helps teachers and students. It enhances learning and does not replace or replicate what goes on in the classroom. However, it provides teachers with an incredible resource and children a familiar place to develop their learning. It is used by every child in the school, and the impact is vast.”
Staff at the school have also found the level of customer service that they have received to be impressive. Mr. Keaveny says that “I really do wish to highlight our support representative. Staff have reached out to her, and she has run small-group training sessions. She is there for me personally so quickly for any need I have as I run the program. The fact we are up and running is largely down to her.”
Lastly, the proof of the success of Exact Path is demonstrated by the fact that Mr. Keaveny would recommend it to other schools. The product and the support the school has received from partnering with Edmentum and using Exact Path has made the implementation process possible and is why Mr. Keaveny recommends his experience.
Abdulla Bin Otaiba School has seen considerable success from partnering with Edmentum and using Exact Path.
In the future, Edmentum will continue to support Abdulla Bin Otaiba School with this success and with its future endeavors, particularly with supporting them beyond the pandemic. They will also work together to support the school with its implementation of Study Island, another solution in the Edmentum suite of products that the school has chosen to implement.