On March 13, 2020, ASB, like all schools in Spain, was forced to close our campus in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Overnight, teachers and students of all ages had to adapt to a curriculum delivered 100% online. Thankfully, ASB was prepared for the challenge. We were fortunate that many of the learning tools that we depended on for delivering our curriculum, such as Google Classroom, Seesaw, ManageBac, and others, were already widely used by our students, and accessible to parents, before we moved to a virtual school model, making for a more seamless transition. ASB was also proactive in February and early March reaching out to other international schools to learn from their experience operating virtual schools.
This is not to say that the launch from in-school to virtual classrooms was without difficulties, but with regular student and parent surveys, as well as ongoing teacher professional development, we were able to make improvements from week to week, ensuring that our students continued to receive a challenging and engaging curriculum.
Many of our students are now back on campus for our summer programs, and we expect to open the school for all 900+ students on September 1st, for a full school day, Monday to Friday. Our hope is that we will not have to return to a virtual school, as we know it is in the best interest of our students to be able to collaborate together in a face-to-face setting. But if we must, we have nearly four months of experience to draw upon in order to continue offering our students a rigorous and innovative education.
Find out more about our Virtual Learning program from the 2019-20 school year.
Our goal with virtual school is to reimagine learning, rather than simply try to replicate what would have been offered in a brick-and-mortar classroom. We offer students at all levels a mix of live instruction (both whole class and small group meetings), which fosters connection and relationships, as well as instructional videos in all content areas, which allows for students to self-pace their work.
Just as in a regular classroom, we are also mindful that the delivery of the curriculum has to be tailored to the different grade levels. Read about some of the specifics for each division below.
"These are incredibly difficult circumstances for everyone, and we been impressed with the responsiveness of the school in setting up virtual learning and the lengths the teachers have gone to to make it work. As a point of reference, my sisters are in Georgia and California, with a total of 7 children in private schools there, and my impression is that the ASB virtual school experience is superior to either of theirs.
I hope you can keep your spirits up and know that there are many parents who support you, the staff and the teachers, recognize all you have done, and also realize that this is a work in progress that will doubtless improve over time. We are all in this together."
"I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all the work you are doing. We value the effort you have deployed in this operation and recognize how well you are handling this situation. Not sure on what planet others live but I am not aware of a single school around us that has been able to launch the virtual school that fast and which is such a good result. This is what we were expecting from the school and this is why, despite being locals, we made the effort to put them at ASB... we now can’t be happier to have them at ASB"
"I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU!!! The boys are really engaged with the virtual school and do it quite independently which gives us a break to do our work and house chores. It is a relief to know they are making educational progress. We feel really lucky to have all the resources and support from school. Our son did a small group meeting today and he was really happy and the teacher reached out for us with useful resources. All the ASB team is doing an amazing job and being a great support for our family."