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iCADEMY Middle East, Dubai Knowledge Park – The Review
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Review

iCADEMY Middle East, Dubai Knowledge Park – The Review

by February 12, 2020

Updated February 2020

Background: What Makes the iCademy Middle East School Stand Out for Parents?

Photograph of iCademy Middle east located in Dubai Knowledge Park

iCademy Middle East is the new name/brand for the K12 International Academy, an American all-through school first established in Dubai in 2008.  iCademy Middle East offers families and four distinct options, each catering to the needs of different children:

(1) A relatively traditional, but much more individual and child focused, school located in Dubai Knowledge Village in which children learn together in classrooms, with a teacher, but independently through, for the most part, blended on-line learning to compliment the teacher-led lessons; or,

(2) A pure on-line school in which children can learn from home in Dubai, or the wider UAE – or indeed anywhere in the world; or,

(3) A (vital) way for students at current American schools in Dubai to sit for Advanced Placement qualifications when Advanced Placement is not provided by their school. Extraordinarily, many US curriculum schools in Dubai do not provide Advanced Placement – despite AP qualifications being necessary to secure a place in a top UK or US university and, in the US, secure vital university credits; or,

(4) A school which runs specialised (iCad PLUS) programmes for children of determination that include industry placements. A registered International ASDAN International Centre, courses offered include Workright and Employability. This division of the school attracts parents from across the Middle East and iCad PLUS is considered by many parents to be the best available schooling for SEN available anywhere in the Middle East.

GEMS_INARTICLE

In each of these four alternatives, iCademy provides a school for parents that solves issues and sets itself apart in one key respect valued by families above any other – extraordinarily high levels of individual, child focused learning that simply are not, and cannot, be provided by the standard “bricks and mortar” schools that teach through classrooms to (relatively) high numbers of children. At iCademy, teacher: student ratios are exceptional:

For on-line learners – the ratio is 1 teacher for each child with every child having their own assigned one-to-one tutor to support their on-line learning throughout their education at the school. On-line lessons are run in small groups.

For those learning within the iCademy School in Dubai Knowledge Village the ratio is unmatched by any other school in the UAE:

  • KG phase – 1 teacher for a maximum of 6 children
  • Lower school – 1 teacher for a maximum of 8 children
  • Middle School: 1 teacher for a maximum of 10 children
  • High School: 1 teacher for a maximum of 12 children
  • The iCad Plus (SEN) Programme:  1 teacher for a maximum of 6 children

It is worth noting, up front, that iCademy is:

(1) Only the second school of its type, anywhere in the world, to be accredited by the NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges).

(2) The only on-line school in the history of Dubai education to have secured accreditation by the KHDA, Dubai’s regulator of schools.

(3) The school is accredited to Ohio state curriculum standards with full compliance in English, Language and Arts (ELA), Mathematics and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

(4) Is owned by the major US education provider Pansophic Learning:

“We believe that every child should be whatever they want to be in life regardless of where they were born.”

Ron Packard. Founder. Pansophic Learning US and iCademy Middle East.

 

Location  

iCademy is located in Dubai Knowledge Park (formerly Dubai Knowledge Village), with easy accessibility for parents across The Palm, Jumeirah, Al Barsha, Emirates Hills and Dubai Marina. The uniqueness of the school attracts families from across Dubai and beyond, with families commuting from as far as Sharjah daily. iCademy Middle East has a capacity of 250 students who wish to attend the school in Knowledge Village (from September 2020) and uncapped admissions for supported on-line study.

Map showing location of and directions to iCademy Middle East in Dubai. The school is based in Dubai Knowledge Village.

 

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement at iCademy Middle East School in Dubai

iCademy offers the following 10 Advanced Placement courses:

  • AP English Language and Composition
  • AP Calculus AB
  • AP Calculus BC
  • AP Biology
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP World History
  • AP US Government and Politics
  • AP US History
  • AP Spanish Language and Culture
  • AP French Language and Culture

AP qualifications can be taken by children in each of the four streams – but can also, as above, be accessed by students enrolled at other school in Dubai who need the AP qualification to gain accredited entry to top-tier universities globally. For American curriculum students in other US schools the Advanced Placement qualification is necessary for them to secure places in UK and many US universities. It is worth noting that the High School Diploma is rated internationally as a GCSE (14-16 years old), not A’ Level (16-18 years old) grade of qualification and insufficient for direct entry to graduate courses at university. More on this can be found in our High School Diploma Curriculum Guide here and our Canadian High School Diploma Curriculum here.

Costs for students to study for a full, one year AP subject at iCademy are AED3,990 per Advanced Placement and students must register in time to begin their courses by August/September each year to meet the Advanced Placement timings for examinations. The courses can be studied at home, on-line with full one-to-one teacher support. We rate the value proposition is as exceptional – and the opportunity life changing for students across many UAE US curriculum schools with no, or limited, AP provision.

Q&A

  • Parent: “Can my child register for three AP online courses PRIVATELY at iCademy (ie not through her school) to achieve the Advanced Placement qualifications to run in parallel with her study at her current school which does not offer AP?”
  • iCademy: Yes – but see notes below as three AP examinations would be very stretching for even the most gifted child.

 

  • Parent: If so, how much would each AP cost?
  • iCademy: AED 3,990 per complete Advanced Placement subject

 

  • Parent: When do we need to register at iCademy by for AP study?
  • iCademy: This must be done by August and September each year as these are two-semester courses.

 

  • Parent: When are the Advanced Placement examinations?
  • iCademy: The AP eexaminations are held in May. Both A and B courses need to be finished prior to this.

 

  • Parent: How many hours would my child need to study online per Advanced Placement each night?
  • iCademy: Each AP course requires approximately 90 minutes per day, 5 days per week of study.

 

  • Parent: Can I study for 3 Advanced Placement qualifications whilst also studying at my existing school?
  • iCademy: 3 courses would be a VERY full load for a full time student studying elsewhere. With determination and investment we would recommend an absolute maximum of two courses of AP study per year, and ideally one for students studying at other schools. To put this in context, our own iCademy Middle East full time students take a maximum of 2 AP + 4 regular courses.

 

  • Parent: Can  my child speak with her teacher whilst she is learning?
  • iCademy: Of course – and as often as needed.  Teachers run “office hours” at least 4 days per week in an online whiteboard where students can pop in with questions or individual help.

 

  • Parent: How can my child email her teacher per week for help?
  • iCademy: As often as necessary. Our AP courses are online-based courses with teacher support.  Study can be done in evenings and weekends and any live teaching sessions are recorded to be viewed at the student’s convenience.

 

  • Parent: Can I have a timeline for AP Study? When would Sarah need to (1) register and (2) start her AP studies?
  • iCademy: AP cohorts start the in late August through September each year. The latest a child can register this year is in August 2020. They would start their study in late August.  Your child, with hard work and determination would sit for their AP examinations on the first weekend in May 2021. The AP examinations are externally provided and proctored with very strict testing conditions. All US and international exams take place on the same weekend. Enrolments must take place over the course of the semester (90 days per semester) so there is no option for longer term enrolments.

 

  • Parent: What are the preconditions of enrolment in each AP subject?
  • iCademy: These courses are intended only for grades 10 and 11 students and have prerequisites. For example, AP Chemistry would require completion of regular High School chemistry plus certain HS Mathematics courses including Algebra II.

 

School based, Blended Learning in the Dubai Knowledge Village School

Photograph of students learning in the Icademy classroom at The Learning Centre in Dubai highlighting the mix of individual online learning, discussion and tutor led teaching

The blended programmes offered by iCademy Middle East combines the on-line teaching of a traditional K-Year 12 US curriculum with a physical school in which students can learn together, based in Dubai Knowledge Park. Students arrive at school at 8:00am and school finishes at 3:00pm. Children attend between 2 days and 5 days a week according to their individual needs and family finances.

The blended programme has local teachers (“Learning Coaches”), each holding a minimum Bachelor’s degree and full teacher training qualification. Core instruction is carried on interactively online with live US teachers and pre-constructed lessons, these supported by live seminars and group exchanges.

Whilst students learn together in the same room, for the most part they do so intellectually separated with headphones and a screen. Learning is mostly an individual not shared experience – and each student studies bespoke programmes, these defined by their ability, interest, ambition and rate of learning. This said, children do develop friendships and because they attend school, ideas are shared and learning is much closer to traditional schooling.

Students at iCademy Middle East photographed by SchoolsCompared as they learn together at the school in Dubai Knowledge Park

The benefit of an iCademy education is that no child is ever left behind because it is intrinsically personalised and individual:

“At iCademy, the whole curriculum is individualised and personal.

Children can learn at higher or lower grade levels in different subjects according to their abilities needs and potential.

In more traditional schools children generally have to learn at the same speed across every subject.

But children are not all the same. And nor should we treat them that way.

Learning should be, as it is here at iCademy, built around the needs, potential and abilities of each child.  At iCademy, children learn at different speeds in different subjects and we wrap learning individually around them in ways that bring it to life and inspires.”

Diane Claver, Head of School, iCademy Middle East

In traditional schools, as a general rule, each child in a class is required to work at the same speed, regardless of whether they have grasped a concept or area of study. This is an acute problem in all subjects for some children – but a particular problem in Mathematics and the Sciences, where later knowledge depends on a firm grasp of areas learned before it. In traditional schools, teachers have no option but to move on to the next phase of learning when the majority of children in a class grasp a concept because of the demands of the curriculum. This leaves children behind and struggling. Equally, in traditional schools, the same holds true of children who are gifted and talented who would ideally race ahead with their knowledge – but are held back by the needs of the whole class. At iCademy, children learn exactly at their own pace, needs, potential, interest and ability.

Most traditional schools do seek to deliver an outstanding education. They are ambitious to deliver as far as possible an education targeted to the needs of each child. However, in practice, iCademy shows that traditional schools are trying to do this with their hands tied behind their backs. To some degree traditional schools, that simply do not have access to this depth of on-line learning, cannot avoid classes of children sharing exactly the same learning experience, exactly the same curriculum design, completely standardised lesson experiences and identical timings in which to learn.

Even the Tier 1 premiums cannot afford, or logistically manage, to provide an individual curriculum tailored to the needs and potential of individual children. In a traditional school that would require each child being taught separately with huge numbers of teachers.

Photograph of one of the Snug Learning Areas at iCademy Middle East School in Dubai with a younger child reading

 

iCademy can, and does, provide a genuine individual curriculum because its model of education is completely different.

Because children at iCademy Middle East learn independently, the curriculum content is automatically directly related to their academic profile and needs. Because that content is pre-recorded, subject choice and the speed of study is decided by the needs of the child.

The result is that iCademy is able to deliver programmes tailored to the whole spectrum of child abilities, needs and ambitions. It works beautifully for all children, from the most academically gifted to children of determination. It is particularly impressive when educating the “average” child which, in traditional schools, can get lost middle of things and never have the chance to shine.

Worth noting too that iCademy also extends education for children of determination up to the age of 21 so that they receive an education directly aligned with their required speed of learning.

Bottom line: traditional schools cannot come close to matching the level of attention received by children with 1:1 learning on-line and teacher-led class sizes well under half of even the very best Tier 1 schools in the UAE.

 

Pure all-through on-line learning at ICademy

 

The iCademy on-line division currently educates some 500 children, the majority of which access their education purely on-line. For some parents, keen to home school their children, the opportubnity here is for their children to reap the rewards of accredited teaching by experts, but within a home environment with the cultural and emotional benefits that come from this. many parents simply do not want to have children only to give them up to some anonymous third party school to educate. iCademy allows parents the opportunity to remain centre stage in the education of their children – but with the backing of structure and Advanced Placement qualifications for their children for later access to almost any university in the world.

There is too, interactivity with “live” on-line teachers and shared lessons in which children at home gain a sense of being part of a wider community of learners.

The core experience is however, individualised rather than shared.

This is, we believe, the core choice here facing prospective parents. No review can guide a parent here. The balancing equation, we think, lie in the degree to which parents can provide an after school life for their children rich in social activities with other children to meet the broader social needs of a child’s education.

This said, on-line students, if they choose, do have arranged coffee mornings, year trips, camps, community and Facebook pages and newsletters, these run by the Community Relationship Manager at the school for those children who want to engage with fellow on-line learners.

 

iCademy Fees – Our View on Value for Money

In terms of fees too, measured solely on the quality of course provision, parents are securing a premium education (and in terms of individual child modelling significantly in excess of this) at up to half the equivalent fees of premium plus schools, this depending on the shape of education chosen. iCademy offers each family a large array of choices from on-line only provision to online mixed with two or more days each week that each child can spend at the school in Knowledge Park.

Of course, the comparison is not a fair one – this is a very different education and there is no comparison with facility provision. iCademy does not have facilities. Do not expect swimming pools, landscaped gardens, theatres and bells and whistles. So too, do not expect ECA programmes filled with startling breadth of opportunities for children from ballet to LEGO Robotics. Do not expect too a school with turrets or grand atriums.

But that is not the point. It is not the model of education on offer here. iCademy’s role, instead, is to deliver an outstanding academic education. The other, whole child part of the equation, is down to parents. As they point out, Dubai is filled to bursting with opportunities for children – and infinitely more than offered by even the best traditional schools. And it is parents that are, by far, better placed to source these. The potential savings on fees too, empowers parents to enrol children in any number of external ECAs as well as family trips that would otherwise not be affordable.

This said, iCademy does enjoy a number of close relationships with external providers, particularly in Sport. These include:

  • Spanish Soccer School at the Dubai Football Academy in Dubai Sports City
  • Claude Harman School of Golf at the Els Club

Fees are as follows:

Level / Grades Core Fees

(Paid by all students for access to on-line teaching and resources)

Optional School Fees for attending iCademy Middle East school in Dubai Knowledge Village
 

Option 1:

Additional cost for Attendance Two Days each Week

 

Option 2: Additional Cost for Attendance Three Days each Week

 

Option 3: Additional Cost for Attendance Four Days each Week

 

Option 4: Additional Cost for Attendance Five Days each Week

EYP AED 18,332 + AED 15,168 + AED 22,168 + AED 28,668 + AED 36,668
LS AED 18,332 + AED 16,668 + AED 25,168 + AED 33,668 + AED 41,668
MS AED 18,332 + AED 18,688 + AED 28,168 + AED 37,668 + AED 46,668
HS AED 25,672 + AED 17,828 + AED 26,828 + AED 35,828 + AED 44,328
iCad+ AED 25,672 + AED 17,828 + AED 26,828 + AED 35,828 + AED 44,328

So, the total cost for studying with iCademy Middle East On-line only is AED 25,672 per Year at High School Phase. To attend school full time at High School Phase, five days each week, the cost is AED 70,000 (Compulsory AED 25,672 Core Fees payable by all children plus additional AED 44,328 Five Days school attendance fees).

Clearly not all children attend school full-time, 5 days a week.  Many children attend for three days and balance this with on-line learning at home with their families.

The fees for on-line only learning range from AED 18,332 in KG8 to AED 25,672 in High School.

The fees for the iCad PLUS highly specialised and expansive programme for children of determination are around AED 70,000 for students attending the school full time – this remarkably inexpensive given the very high quality of this programme and degree of child attention at its foundation.

Finally, for children at other schools who are studying with iCademy only for Advanced Placement, the cost is AED 3,990 per Advanced Placement qualification. This is less than most parents pay for extra tutoring  – and the advanced learning from AP feeds both feds back into the HSD curriculum of their traditional schools and pens doors to leading universities worldwide.

Bottom line? The savings on fees compared with a Tier 1 Premium could enable parents to build a world class enrichment programme for children outside school – and one engaging parents too in the growing up of their child(ren).

The fundamental point here is that an iCademy education should not be dismissed out of hand. Some parents will do this because it is outside the normal parameters of what we generally think of as a traditional school. This is not a school, after all, that could even have existed at all for most parents reading this when they were growing up. iCademy could very well be described as school made possible by the Internet and the rise of technology.

If this review achieves nothing else the above should provide enough food for thought to give parents the opportunity to weigh its merits and trade-offs in the balance. Life moves on, and it may well be, in some eventual form, that iCademy is defining, at the cutting edge, something much nearer to what all schools will eventually look like in the (not too distant) years to come.

 

School Leadership

Photograph of Cody Cleaver GM of iCademy Middle East School in Dubai

Cody Claver, General Manager, iCademy Middle East is recognized as an influential educator both in the Middle East and the US. In 2017, he was named by our sister site, whichschooladvisor.com, in the Top 50 Educators in the Middle East for his extraordinary achievements over the last decade at iCademy Middle East.  Mr Claver has been an educationalist for over three decades. He graduated with a specialism in secondary education, before undertaking a Masters in Educational Leadership (NSU Florida) and a further degree in School Administration (Idaho State). Mr Cody has achieved full accreditation as a Superintendent for the State of Ohio. Independent feedback from parents and students received by ourselves and our sister site, describe a man who is exceptionally kind, is deeply committed to inclusion and believes powerfully in the central importance of education in society. As one of our colleagues recorded: “… it is Mr Claver’s ability to reach out to those who can’t find their educational ‘fit’, together with iCademy’s curriculum adaption to suit each individual child, that is so extraordinary.”

 

Photograph of Diane Claver Head of Learning at iCademy Middle East School located in Dubai Knowledge Village.

Diane Claver, Head of School, iCademy Middle East, has been an educator for two decades. Mrs Claver brings with her to iCademy direct teaching experience across lower and middle school phases and has worked as a specialist High School adviser to leading schools across areas including curriculum design and teaching. Mrs Claver is also experienced in special education and school administration.

She brings with her direct experience from work for both the Idaho Virtual Academy and the Arizona Virtual Academy before joining the K12 International Academy and iCademy Middle East.

Mrs Claver holds a Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education from Arizona State University, and a Master’s Degree in Public Health (MPH) with an emphasis in Policy from the A.T. Still University of Heath Sciences. She was the top-ranked graduate within her class from each program.

Mrs Claver was the recipient of the 2016 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education.

 

Student achievement

 

Students at iCademy over the last three years have performed highly, particularly given that the school is highly inclusive. Grade score averages between 2017 and 2019 are:

  • A: 25%
  • B: 23%
  • C: 29%
  • D: 9%
  • F: 14%
  • Overall pass rate: 86%

iCademy students have achieved placements at universities worldwide:

USA

  • Adelphi University
  • Arkansas State University
  • Barry University
  • CSU Sacramento
  • Concordia University Irvine
  • Colorado State University
  • Dominican University of CA
  • Dyersburg State College
  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • Elmira College
  • Embry Riddle
  • Hult International Business School
  • Marymount California University
  • Menlo College
  • Niagara University
  • Oregon State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of California
  • University of Houston
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Montana
  • University of Mary Washington
  • University of the Pacific
  • University of Redlands
  • University of Washington
  • Western Wyoming College
  • Wheaton College

UK & EU

  • American University of Rome
  • Hult International Business School, London
  • Kingston University
  • Middlesex University
  • SOAS, University of London
  • University of the Balearic Islands
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of NY, Prague
  • University of Switzerland

UAE

  • Alpha Aviation Academy
  • American University of Sharjah
  • Canadian University
  • Emirates Aviation College
  • Herriot Watt
  • Murdoch University
  • Middlesex University
  • SAE Institute Dubai
  • Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
  • University of Wollongong
  • Women’s Medical College of Dubai

WORLDWIDE

  • Universite du Quebec a Chicoutimi
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Pretoria
  • University of Santo Tomas
  • University of Toronto
  • York University

It should be noted that children who wish to attend universities in the UAE (rather than globally – for example in the US, Canada or the UK) are encouraged to spend their final year at a traditional school because this guarantees MOE equivalency of the High School Diploma.

 

Bottom line? The SchoolsCompared.com Verdict 2020

 

“I was finding it difficult to keep up with the pace at my previous school because of the intense pressure of assignments and homework. I found that school kept me away from my hobby and passion, photography. I was exhausted by the end of the day and unable to attain the peace of mind to concentrate on my photography.

Three years ago, after deciding to leave my regular school due to profound stress, I joined iCademy Middle East.

The experience for me was completely new. It took me a while to adjust to my new study environment and the e learning system.

But through iCademy I learned to organize myself, study at my own pace, refer to lessons several times and ask my teachers for help when I needed to.

The support of my academic advisors is really encouraging and reassuring. They provide me with all the assistance I need in order to understand and analyze my courses.

iCademy Middle East is the right school for me.  Today I am more independent, courageous, confident and happy.”

Rida Shaikh, Grade 10 Student, iCademy Middle East

 

“I choose iCademy and online schooling because it helps athletes like myself.

Show jumping is not only a hobby but a day to day job that requires full dedication that can quickly overcome your life.

iCademy allows me to be flexible in my working hours and environment. It has given me the chance to complete my High School education whilst pursuing my professional career.

No other school in the Middle East offers this kind of education system and support for athletes like me.”

Cameron West , Professional Show Jumper and Grade 11 Student, iCademy Middle East

 

For many children, iCademy will automatically fit. One example is for parents waiting for a place to become available in a traditional school. Another is almost certainly for children with Special Educational Needs for whom a mainstream education may well simply not be able to match the tailored, individually focused offer of an on-line curriculum. Another is for children who are pursuing their gifts in, for example, music or sport where they need to practice during the day and study at night.

But there are also many parents for whom the opportunities here may well inspire a different way of looking at education. The savings alone (over a Tier 1 Premium) would pay for an enrichment programme that would exceed any possible offer by even the best schools and enable children to remain much closer to family life.

There are many children who thrive in small schools, or simply working alone, without the distractions and pressures of today’s increasingly large and, for these children, intimidating schools.

Finally, there are many parents with limited resources who, through iCademy, can give their children a stellar education to AP that they simply could not otherwise afford.

Worth noting too, that bullying, a perennial issue in traditional schools, is unheard of here. That in itself will be a clarion call for many children and parents.

All children are different. Choosing this model of education requires considerable thought. That might be sufficient to dissuade many, despite the many opportunities it offers. It certainly would not suit children who were not motivated, or who depend on being with other children and big school dynamics to thrive and gain their sense of self.

If after reading this, however, we have even partly given parents the tools to make that choice, we will have achieved something important. This sort of education, for the right child and family, simply cannot be bettered. For these children, and their families, iCademy shines bright.

Highly recommended.

© SchoolsCompared.com 2020

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Details to consider
2018/19 Overall ADEK / KHDA Rating

First inspection due 2020-21

2017/18 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

NA

2016/17 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

NA

2015/16 Overall KHDA / ADEC Rating

NA

Type of school

Private, for-profit

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

Option 1: On-line
FS1: NA
FS2: 18,332
YEAR 1: 18,332
YEAR 2: 18,332
YEAR 3: 18,332
YEAR 4: 18,332
YEAR 5: 18,332
YEAR 6: 18,332
YEAR 7: 18,332
YEAR 8: 18,332
YEAR 9: 25,672
YEAR 10: 25,672
YEAR 11: 25,672
YEAR 12: 25,672
YEAR 13: NA

Option 2: Study at Knowledge Village (Blended):
AED35,000 to AED70,000 - see main Fees section to calculate options

Option 3: iCad PLUS (SEND)
To AED 70,000 dependent on options chosen

Option 4: Dedicated Advanced Placement Study by Students from other schools
AED 3,990 per Advanced Placement qualification

Curriculum

United States:
High School Diploma (HSD)
Advanced Placement (AP)
Notes:
(1) Ohio State standards

External Exam Boards

Advancing Excellence in Education (AdvanED)
New England Association of Colleges and Schools (NEASC) full accreditation
College Board accredited
Common Core
NextGen
KHDA accredited
Notes:
(1) The school is a part of NESA (Near east South Asia Association of Private International Schools) and AISA (Association of International Schools of Africa)

Number of A Levels offered

10 Advanced Placement (A Level Equivalent)

A Levels offered

Advanced Placement qualifications are available in the following subjects:

AP English Language and Composition
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC
AP Biology
AP Chemistry
AP World History
AP US Government and Politics
AP US History
AP Spanish Language and Culture
AP French Language and Culture

I/GCSEs offered

High School Diploma

Selective

Fully inclusive

Waiting list

No

Value Added

Not published (projected high)

Number of Students

(1) Capacity at Knowledge Village school: 120 currently, 250 from September 2020 with opening of new campus. Current role 118.
(2) Online capacity: unlimited. Current role: 450+
(3) Capacity on the iCad PLUS programme for Children of Determination is capped at 25 places. Current role is 22 children on this programme.
(4) Place availability for the Advanced Placement programmes is uncapped although parents are encouraged to apply as soon as possible given the fixed timings of Advanced Placement examinations.

Teacher to Student Ratio

K2-Year 2: 1:6
Year 3 - 5: 1:8 (Blended)
Year 6-8: 1:10 (Blended)
Year 9-12: 1:12 (Blended)
iCad PLUS: 1:6

Largest nationality teachers

US (on-line) / International (local)
Notes:
(1) All local teachers ("On-line Learning Coaches") hold a minimum-Bachelor's degree and full teacher training qualifications)

Teacher turnover

<10% (low)

Year opened

2016: iCademy Middle East
2007-8 K12 International Academy
Notes:
(1) School ownership/leadership has remained consistent throughout this period)

Location

Dubai Knowledge Park (formerly Dubai Knowledge Village), Jumeirah 2, Dubai

Student composition

118 students
Nationality: Western (largest nationality grouping)
Special Educational Needs (SEN)10% High School/30% Middle School/50% Elementary School

Gender

Mixed, co-educational

School canteen

Yes

Owner

Pansophic Learning, Virginia, USA.
Ron Packard, Founder and CEO

Admissions Telephone

+971 (0) 4 440 12 12

Web Address
Leadership

100%

Community

80%

Facilities

100% (based on academic facilities)

Quality of teaching

100% (dependent on child)

Student personal responsibility

100% (dependent on child)

Quality of curriculum

100% (judged on its own metrics)

School Governance

NA

SEN Provision

100% (dependent on child)
Notes:
(1) On-line programmes have been reported to offer a good fit too with a high percentage of children on the mild to moderate Special Educational Needs spectrum and particularly, in relevant subjects, for children with autism who benefit from a protective home-based schooling environment.
(2) We rate the school-based iCad PLUS Programme for children of determination outstanding.

Curricula - Which country is it from?

United States

Curricula - Who underwrites it?

NEASC
Ohio State
Common Core
KHDA

Strengths

• Exceptionally targeted curriculum designed around individual children
• High value, low-cost fees that for the right children deliver a world class academic education
• A solution for many students in a vast number of circumstances including where mainstream education does not meet the needs of their children
• Proven delivery with more than a decade’s experience in the Middle East and full support of a heavyweight US on-line education provider
• KHDA accreditation – unique for this type of schooling
• Children can simply, and seamlessly, transfer in and out of the curriculum to mainstream alternatives
• Exceptional NEASC accreditation - rare for this type of school
• Children can learn at times and speeds that fit with their needs, rather than having to learn in fixed timetables at other schools

Weaknesses

• Parents will need to invest in after-school activities and ECA activities to provide balance.

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Value
A+
A-
Languages
A
A
Teaching
A
A+
Communications
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A+
Differentiation
A+
A+
SEND Provision
A+
A
Scl Community
A-
A+
Opportunities

• An education that could, and does, provide a lifeline for many children and families. Added value in terms of academic attainment here is exceptional for children, but it suits children who are self-motivated best. Families do need to invest in the broader whole child activities outside school to balance the academic study and focus provided by iCademy. For the right children, this is a very highly recommended school.

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About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of SchoolsCompared.com and WhichSchoolAdvisor.com UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at] schoolscompared.com

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