When Michael and Harriet Wright accepted job offers to work in the UAE, the parents of three, were full of enthusiasm. However, the enthusiasm was quickly tempered by the endless list of tasks that would need to be completed prior to relocating from Chicago, Illinois to Dubai.
To complicate matters, their new jobs would begin in late October, long after the start of a traditional school year. How would their children, grades 7 and grades 9 adjust to being in a new country while starting school late? Harriet recalls the late nights on the internet seeking information on everything from international schools to expat social life for teens. “Will the curriculum be the same? Will there be place for the children when they are starting school so late? Will they be able to make friends?”
Late September, the Wrights learned about iCademy Middle East, a Dubai-based, American curriculum online school. “The ad said, ‘it’s never too late for the first day of school’. It spoke directly to our situation, a Godsend!” recalls Michael Wright. “We were bit skeptical of an online school. But when we read that they were 14 years old and how happy other students are, we decided to give iCademy Middle East a try. It was the best decision we could’ve made.”
Dorlyn Weybourne, a Senior Enrolment Counselor at iCademy, says the Wrights’ plight is not unusual. “Although most of our students register according to the KHDA calendar and start in early September, we also leverage our technology and expertise to support families who require a more tailor-made learning experience.”
Dr Mohamed Mroueh, iCademy Middle East Head of School, explains it in detail.
“For a variety of reasons, every student and family are not ready for school the first week of September. Therefore, we offer ten enrolment dates each year as well as condensed summer terms. The idea is to make a normal and productive school year for every student regardless of when they started. There’s never a wrong time to start learning.”
In addition to new arrivals in the GCC region, iCademy Middle East has also seen an increase in students transferring from more traditional schools for reasons such as social anxiety and bullying, poor grades, lack of motivation/interest, medical condition, and students seeking a more flexible and personal education experience.
Jeffrey Smith, Director of Admissions, says there are still lingering concerns about Covid-19. “While Wednesday’s end to the mask mandate was met with relief and enthusiasm for most, there are still a significant number of students who are high risk for severe illness. Those students and families may be facing a bit of anxiety this week. We can help students study from the comfort and safety of their homes, while ensuring a robust continuity of education and academic growth.”
iCademy Middle East offers 10 enrolment dates throughout the year. The upcoming dates are October 12, November 2, January 11, and January 25.
For more information on iCademy Middle East, contact the enrolment department at 04 440 1212 or visit www.icademymiddleeast.com