NEASC Accreditation

It's Official! GEMS American Academy Qatar is now an accredited school!

School Accreditation

It’s official - GAAQ is now accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). NEASC is an independent, voluntary, non-profit membership organization which connects and serves over 1,500 public, independent and international learning communities in the United States and worldwide. Specifically, NEASC Accreditation is a system of accountability that is ongoing, voluntary and comprehensive in scope based on a rigorous set of standards which define the characteristics of high quality, effective learning communities and encompass all aspects of a school’s operation.

The NEASC accreditation is a big part of an even bigger plan to transform student learning and growth within the GAAQ community.  In fact, GEMS American Academy Qatar has outlined a strategic 5-year plan that provides the framework to meet all strategic targets by 2024.  Thus, the school has identified 5 major learning plan goals that will guide academic and curriculum improvement over the next half-decade:

Major Learning Plan #1: Improve understanding and application of effective assessment strategies

   What will this look like in the future?  GAAQ will:

  • Review and refine all assessment to develop more authentic assessments of, as, and for learning
  • Provide professional learning opportunities to all teachers to improve their understanding of assessment practices

Major Learning Plan #2: Develop a common understanding of what their core values look like and embed learning activities to develop these attributes within the curriculum

   What will this look like in the future?  GAAQ will:

  • Execute clear, community-approved benchmark examples of core values for early years’, lower school and upper school
  • Review and augment the current curriculum to ensure that units of study incorporate learning activities to support the development of school values

Major Learning Plan #3: Expand application of inquiry / problem-based learning in order to increase learner autonomy and engagement

   What will this look like in the future?  GAAQ will:

  • Collaborate between faculty members to allow common-themed PBL (problem-based learning) tasks
  • Give new teacher mentors who can help share strategies for implementing PBL
  • Introduce new PBL units and learning activities that will be created for every subject area / grade level

Major Learning Plan #4: Develop units of study that allow students opportunities to explore areas of interest and passion that provide cross-curricular learning opportunities

   What will this look like in the future?  GAAQ will:

  • Develop a mentor teacher program to increase the use and acceptance of flipped classrooms and project PBL strategies; the aim is to restructure and differentiate how students learn
  • Grant student choice which allows them to be self-directed learners in their areas of interest and passion
  • Deliver cross-curricular opportunities across subjects and grades as commonplace

Major Learning Plan #5: Increase the capacity and practice of differentiating learning activities to ensure that all students have access to learning tasks that are at an appropriate level.

   What will this look like in the future?  GAAQ will:

  • Provide each student with the appropriate level of challenge in all learning activities
  • Offer gifted-and-talented students access to advanced units and courses of study and extension opportunities within other units
  • Provide teachers with opportunities to develop their differentiation strategies through professional learning

According to feedback from NEASC evaluators, the group remarked that “GAAQ parents spoke very highly of the supportive, welcoming learning environment and the strong sense of pride and spirit among the students.  Many parents spoke passionately about their reasons for choosing GAAQ after visiting the school for a tour and speaking with teachers, students and staff about the learning approach and school community.”  In fact, one evaluator noted that GAAQ “understands inclusion and has created a culture where students from diverse backgrounds, nationalities and learning abilities come together under one roof to create a positive learning community.”

Lastly, a sincere and deserved congratulations goes to GEMS Education, Head of School Mark Lentz, the Senior Leadership Team, faculty, non-academic staff, students, parents and various local stakeholders that have contributed and loyal to GAAQ during this journey. They sincerely appreciate the role that many groups and people have played in the school to achieve this prestigious honor!

Other School Distinctions

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College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Courses

Advanced Placement (AP) is a program in the United States and Canada created by the College Board which offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. American colleges and universities may grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores on the examinations. The AP curriculum for each of the various subjects is created for the College Board by a panel of experts and college-level educators in that field of study. For a high school course to have the designation, the course must be audited by the College Board to ascertain that it satisfies the AP curriculum. If the course is approved, the school may use the AP designation and the course will be publicly listed on the AP Course Ledger.

At GAAQ, we offered 5 AP courses for the 2018 - 2019 academic year:

  • AP Calculus
  • AP Environmental Science
  • AP European History
  • AP Spanish
  • AP Spanish Literature

In the 2019 - 2020 academic year, we will offer 4 additional AP courses:

  • AP Psychology
  • AP Computer Science Principles
  • AP Comparative Government
  • AP English Language

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Duke of Edinburgh International Award

This award is the world's leading youth achievement award which equips young people for life in over 140 countries and territories across the globe.  At GAAQ, the Award will be available to Grade 9 - 12 students starting the 2019 - 2020 school year.  The Award encourages students to design their own program of activities, set their own goals and challenge themselves to achieve their aims.  Since its launch 60 years ago, the Award has inspired millions of young people.  Through non-formal education, the Award can play a critical role in the individual, personal development of GAAQ's high school students.

Cambridge IGCSE Arabic

Since there is no AP Arabic exam, GEMS American Academy Qatar is now offering the Cambridge IGCSE Arabic exam for our high school students.