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Report of the
Quality Assurance Review Team
for
American Academy of Beirut



Batrakieh area.
Karakol Al Drouz Avenue.
16 Mohamed Lababidi street.
Beirut., Lebanon P.O.Box 14-5900 Beirut, Lebanon.

Mrs. Reem Mohamed Kamal Al Hout, Principal

Review Dates: 05/13/2012 - 05/16/2012

North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and
the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement
(SACS CASI) are accreditation divisions of AdvancED.


American Academy of Beirut

Quality Assurance Review Report

Contents

About AdvancED and NCA CASI/SACS CASI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Introduction to the Quality Assurance Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Summary of Findings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Commendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Required Actions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Review of AdvancED Standards for Quality Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Standard 1: Vision and Purpose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Standard 2: Governance and Leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Standard 3: Teaching and Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Standard 4: Documenting and Using Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Standard 5: Resource and Support Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Standard 6: Stakeholder Communications and Relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Standard 7: Commitment to Continuous Improvement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Appendix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Quality Assurance Review Team Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
AdvancED Standards for Quality Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

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American Academy of Beirut

About AdvancED and NCA CASI/SACS CASI

Background. Founded in 1895, the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School
Improvement (NCA CASI) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and
School Improvement (SACS CASI) accredit public and private schools and districts in 30 states, the Navajo
Nation, Latin America, and the Department of Defense Schools worldwide.

In April 2006, the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA
CASI), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement
(SACS CASI), and National Study of School Evaluation (NSSE) came together to form one strong unified
organization dedicated to education quality. That unified organization, known as AdvancED, creates the world's
largest education community, representing 27,000 public and private schools and districts across the United States
and in 65 countries worldwide and educating 15 million students.

NCA CASI and SACS CASI serve as accreditation divisions of AdvancED. Through AdvancED, NCA CASI and
SACS CASI have defined shared, research-based accreditation standards that cross state, regional, and national
boundaries. Accompanying these standards is a unified accreditation process designed to help schools
continuously improve.

The Accreditation Process. To earn and maintain accreditation from NCA CASI or SACS CASI, schools must:

1) Meet the AdvancED Standards and Policies for Quality Schools. Schools demonstrate adherence to the
AdvancED standards and policies which describe the quality practices and conditions that research and best
practice indicate are necessary for schools to achieve quality student performance and organizational
effectiveness.

2) Engage in continuous improvement. Schools implement a continuous improvement process that articulates
the vision and purpose the school is pursuing (vision); maintains a rich and current description of students, their
performance, school effectiveness, and the school community (profile); employs goals and interventions to
improve student performance (plan); and documents and uses the results to inform what happens next (results).

3) Demonstrate quality assurance through internal and external review. Schools engage in a planned process
of ongoing internal review and self-assessment. In addition, schools host an external Quality Assurance Review
Team once every five years. The team evaluates the school's adherence to the AdvancED quality standards,
assesses the efficacy of the school's improvement process and methods for quality assurance, and provides
commendations and required actions to help the school improve. The team provides an oral exit report to the
school and a written report detailing the team's required actions. The school acts on the team's required actions
and submits a progress report following the review.

NCA CASI and SACS CASI accreditation engages the entire school community in a continuous process of self-
evaluation and improvement. The overall aim is to help schools be the best they can be on behalf of the students
they serve.

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American Academy of Beirut

Introduction to the Quality Assurance Review

Purpose. The purpose of the Quality Assurance Review is to:

1. Evaluate the school's adherence to the AdvancED quality standards and policies.
2. Assess the efficacy of the school's improvement process and methods for quality assurance.
3. Identify commendations and required actions to improve the school.
4. Make an accreditation recommendation for review by the national AdvancED Accreditation Commission.
A key aim of the Quality Assurance Review is to verify that the school is operating with institutional integrity that
it is fulfilling its vision and mission for its students.

School Preparation. To prepare for the Quality Assurance Review, the school community engages in an in-depth
self assessment of each of the seven AdvancED standards. The school identifies and describes the evidence that
demonstrates that it is meeting each standard. Through this internal review, the school examines how its systems
and processes contribute to student performance and school effectiveness.

Summary of Team Activities. The Quality Assurance Review Team is led by an AdvancED certified team chair
and comprised of professionals from outside the school. The team reviews the findings of the school's internal
self-assessment, conducts interviews with representative groups of stakeholders, reviews student performance data
and other documentation provided by the school, and observes practices and daily operations. The team engages
in professional deliberations to reach consensus on the school's adherence to the standards for accreditation. The
team provides an oral exit report and prepares a written Quality Assurance Review Team Report designed to help
the school improve.

The Quality Assurance Review Team Report. Following the visit, the review team completes the Quality
Assurance Review report. After review by a nationally-trained reader, the report is submitted to the school. The
report contains commendations and required actions for improvement.

Using the Report - Responding to the Required Actions. The school uses the report to guide its improvement
efforts. The school is held accountable for addressing the required actions identified in the report. The NCA
CASI/SACS CASI State Office is available to assist schools in addressing the required actions. At prescribed
intervals, the school must submit a progress report detailing the actions and progress the school has made on the
team's required actions. The report is reviewed at the state and national level to ensure the school is addressing the
required actions.

Accreditation Recommendation. The Quality Assurance Review Team uses the findings from the onsite visit to
make an accreditation recommendation that is reviewed by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission.
Accreditation is granted by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission and communicated to the school following
action from the commission.

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American Academy of Beirut

Summary of Findings

A Quality Assurance Review Team representing the Office of International Services (NCA-CASI-INTL), a
division of AdvancED, visited the American Academy of Beirut in Beirut., Lebanon on 05/13/2012 - 05/16/2012.

During the visit, members of the Quality Assurance Review Team interviewed 1 member of the administrative
team, 52 students, 19 parents, and 29 teachers. In addition, Directors, Consultants, Alumni and Support Staff were
interviewed. The team also reviewed documents, student performance data, and other artifacts provided by the
school. Specifically, the team examined the school's systems and processes in relation to the seven AdvancED
standards:

1. Vision and Purpose
2. Governance and Leadership
3. Teaching and Learning
4. Documenting and Using Results
5. Resource and Support Systems
6. Stakeholder Communications and Relationships
7. Commitment to Continuous Improvement
The AdvancED standards focus on systems within a school and systematic methods of attaining high student
performance and organizational effectiveness. The power of the standards lies in the connections and linkages
between and among the standards. The Quality Assurance Review Team used the AdvancED standards to guide
its review of the school, looking not only for adherence to individual standards, but also for how the school
functions as a whole and embodies the practices and characteristics of a quality school.

Through its examination of the school's adherence to the standards, the Quality Assurance Review Team
identified the following commendations and required actions.

Commendations

The Quality Assurance Review Team commends the school for the following strengths and accomplishments.
While additional strengths are noted in the detailed review of each standard that appears later in this report, the
commendations listed below are the strengths that the team believes are most deserving of being highlighted.

Commendation 1

Commendation Statement:

The American Academy of Beirut (AAB) embraces and reflects the diversity that is Lebanon.

Evidence:

Like Lebanon, the school brings together students of different national origin, ethnicity, and religion. The

student body encompasses a wide range of personal life goals and aspirations, academic ability, learning styles,

and special learning needs. The Quality Assurance Review (QAR) team observed and interviews confirmed that

everyone is valued as part of the school family and work together in a caring and supportive learning

environment that is the American Academy of Beirut.

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American Academy of Beirut

Rationale:
A student said it best, "We have unity in our diversity." This is fundamental to future success in this diverse city
and country.

Commendation 2

Commendation Statement:

Each student is a "Unique Knowledgeable Character To Be" who is special and feels a personal sense of
belonging.

Evidence:
This school motto drives operations and services to students at AAB. Each and every student is known by name
by staff and fellow students. Each is recognized for special talents and needs. The 40+ classroom observations
made by the QAR team consistently showed small class size with teachers attending to each student's every day
needs.

Rationale:
Students enjoy a strong, personal sense of belonging at the school and benefit from knowing others care for their
well-being. When students know teachers and administrators care about their well-being, they want to come to
school each day and learning increases.

Commendation 3

Commendation Statement:

The commitment and dedication to special needs students are woven into the fabric of the school and
family at AAB.

Evidence:
The school continues to be true to its vision of meeting the unique requirements of special needs students by
providing a learning environment and program tailored to each student. A recent example of commitment is
the acquisition of additional space for the Learning Center. The integration of special needs students into the life
and operation of the school is also part of the educational experience for all students at the school. Students share
the sense of family in the school and appreciate the unique gifts and challenges others bring to that family.
During group interviews a senior student observed, "I feel better about myself because I have special friends."

Rationale:
All students are valued at AAB, and value each other. Because all students are valued and value each other, all
student needs are addressed and all students learn and grow.

Commendation 4

Commendation Statement:

New challenges, adversities, and problems are taken in stride and met with poise, confidence, and
persistence by students, teachers, and school leaders.

Evidence:

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American Academy of Beirut

Over the years AAB has faced and overcome major threats to its being such as the war in 2006 that resulted in a

large decrease in the expatriate population at the school. The school manages without concern many day to day

inconveniences and takes them in stride. These include the daily power shut down and related generator issues,

students who must walk through a classroom to get to the science lab, and other students who walk through the

library to get to their classroom. None of these hurdles have deterred the school from living its mission and

serving the unique needs of each of its students. Through it all, the history of AAB as presented in the profile

shows that the school continues to prevails and grow.

Rationale:
The American Academy of Beirut family is resilient and strong, ready to face tomorrow with confidence.

Required Actions

In addition to the commendations, the Quality Assurance Review Team identified the following required actions
for improvement. The team focused its required actions on those areas that, if addressed, will have the greatest
impact on improving student performance and overall school effectiveness. The school will be held accountable
for addressing each of the required actions noted in this section. Following this review, the school will be asked to
submit a progress report on these required actions.

Required Action 1

Required Action:

Develop and implement a comprehensive assessment system to collect, manage, analyze, communicate, and
utilize multiple sources of school and student data to create a complete profile, assess organizational
effectiveness, and drive school improvement initiatives.

Evidence:

The school collects valuable school profile data from a number of sources. The current assessment for improving

student performance, as detailed by teachers who were interviewed, is regular, extensive, and used to drive

instruction. Teachers routinely assess individual student learning as a means to individualization of instruction.

These measures, however, do not provide sufficient data to document year-to-year growth throughout the school,

to see trends over time, or to make valid comparisons to schools and students throughout the region or world. No

established protocol currently exists either to provide direction for on-going collection and analysis of school and

student data or to enable the communication and use of the results. There is need to expand assessment of

student performance beyond assessing 'for' learning to assessment 'of' learning.

Rationale:

Decision making and quality assurance are improved when based upon shared information gleaned from the full

analysis of valid and reliable data.

Required Action 2

Required Action:

Consolidate multiple school improvement goals, efforts, and plans into a single, written, formal school

improvement plan to ensure essential items are addressed first with others sequenced in order of priority.

Evidence:

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American Academy of Beirut

The team found directions for future school improvement efforts in a number of places including goals identified
in the newly created school improvement plan, areas of desired growth (3 years from now) presented for each
AdvancED standard in the standards report, and additional administrative goals presented in the school
overview. These multiple sources and plans tend to confuse the process of school improvement planning and
implementation. In addition, collectively these plans may present too many goals to be addressed with due
diligence at one time. Increase focus and unity of effort throughout the school through the development of 'one'
plan with clear goals, identified measures of success, research based intervention strategies, required professional
development, and logistical details.

Rationale:

A single, comprehensive school improvement plan embraced by the school community is a key to success in the

on-going quest for total excellence at AAB.

Required Action 3

Required Action:

Design and implement a systematic program of professional development for teachers that is directly

aligned to school initiatives and school improvement goals.

Evidence:

The current professional development program is described by teachers and administrators as being on an "as

needed" basis. There is no evidence of a unified program of professional development that is aligned to student

performance goals, designed to address school-wide initiatives such as meeting the diverse learning needs of the

students in the Learning Center or enhancing teacher skills in their classroom advisor role, and based on input

from a formal teacher needs-assessment.

Rationale:

School effectiveness and student performance are improved when all teachers have the knowledge and skills

needed to fully implement school improvement initiatives.

Review of AdvancED Standards for Quality Schools: The team reviewed the school's adherence to each of the
AdvancED standards. The findings from this review are provided in the next section of this report.

Next Steps

The school should:

1.
Review and discuss the findings from this report with all stakeholders.
2.
Ensure that plans are in place to embed and sustain the strengths noted in the commendations section to
maximize their impact on the school.
3.
Develop action plans to address the required actions made by the team. Include methods for monitoring
progress toward the required actions.
4.
Use the report to guide and strengthen the school's efforts to improve student performance and school
effectiveness.
5.
Following the Quality Assurance Review, submit the Accreditation Progress Report detailing progress
made toward addressing the required actions. The report will be reviewed at the state and national level to
ensure that significant progress is being made toward the required actions. Lack of progress can result in a
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American Academy of Beirut

change in accreditation status.

6.
Continue to meet the AdvancED accreditation standards, submit required reports, engage in continuous
improvement, and document results.
Celebrating Accreditation

Following the visit, the Quality Assurance Review Team submits an accreditation recommendation to AdvancED
for state review and for action at the national level by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission, which confers
accreditation and communicates it to the school. Upon receiving its accreditation, the school should celebrate its
achievement with the school community. The NCA-CASI-INTL accreditation seals are available at www.advanced.
org/communicationskit for accredited schools and districts to post on their website and to use in school
communications. Flags, door decals, diploma seals, and lapel pins are also available and can be ordered from the
website to help you share your accomplishment with your community.

Summary

The accreditation process engages the school in an ongoing journey of continuous improvement. The next steps in
this journey are to build on the strengths and address the required actions noted in this report. Doing so will enable
the school to advance in its quest for excellence and deepen the fulfillment of its mission for all students.

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American Academy of Beirut

Review of AdvancED Standards for Quality Schools

The primary requirement for accreditation is that the American Academy of Beirut demonstrates that it meets the
seven standards for accreditation. The findings of the Quality Assurance Review Team regarding the standards for
accreditation are summarized on the following pages.

Standard 1: Vision and Purpose

Standard: The school establishes and communicates a shared purpose and direction for improving the
performance of students and the effectiveness of the school.

Description - The team noted how the school met the intent of the standard based on the preponderance

of evidence:

According to information provided in the profile, American Academy of Beirut (AAB) is located in the
heart of Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon. It is near the edge of a middle class, diverse socio-economic
residential area; thus, a multinational body of students and staff members is at the core of the school. One
of the most prominent features of the school is the Learning Center where the needs of special education
students are met. The school houses 186 students and a staff of 44 instructional and non-instructional
members. The facility is a renovated villa that was built during the time of the Ottoman rule over
Lebanon. Founded in 2001, the school has grown slowly over time with progress periodically interrupted
by war and the challenges that accompany the process of rebuilding a country after years of civil strife.
The 2006 war resulted in the departure of a high percentage of Beirut's expatriate population, which was a
significant setback for the school; however since that time progress and growth have been steady.

School leaders report that the original partners and administrators with limited stakeholder involvement
crafted the mission and vision statements several years ago. These statements remained virtually
unchanged for several years. Over the past three years, revisions have been made with extensive
involvement of the faculty. The drafts are shared with parents and students, and surveys administered to
provide opportunities for input. The process has evolved to the point where the vision and
mission statements reflect the basic values and priorities of the school and there is broad awareness and
consensus among all stakeholders, as evidenced by extensive survey data and informal discussions and
observations. Teachers speak of the critical importance of tolerance in working with students,
understanding that meaningful attitudinal and behavioral change often requires patience and time.

The mission and vision statements are prominently displayed in classrooms and common areas throughout
the facility. The statements are ensured a high degree of exposure as they are included in handbooks,
newsletters, and on the website. Essential goals are further reinforced by the highly visible use of the
school logo and motto, which emphasize knowledge and character. The motto includes the words,
"unique, knowledgeable characters to be," which sum up the spirit of developing the potential of each
individual. Students remark with pride on the fact that the school is open to all, and that the needs of each
individual are met regardless of background, ethnicity, or achievement level. This remark is consistent
with the portion of the mission statement that states, "Recognizing that no two students learn in the same
way, or at the same pace." AAB's individualized program fosters equal learning opportunities and
stimulates each student's cognitive potential. Remedial intervention programs are offered for students with
learning difficulties. AAB also houses a Learning Center for students with special needs who are often

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American Academy of Beirut

provided with the opportunity to be integrated in extra-curricular school activities. Interviews with
parents, students, and teachers make it clear that all constituent groups are well aware the mission and
vision; and, a strong commitment to the goals is expressed in these statements.

Three years ago, the school had not developed a school profile. Since that time, an informative profile has
been created including extensive demographic data, limited student achievement data,and recruitment and
retention information. The historical and environmental scanning information is detailed and provides
critical background information relative to the challenges AAB has faced over time in a city and country
that has seen significant turmoil

Observations and interviews reveal that advisory sessions are held at the elementary level to advance the
goal of character education. At the middle and high school, class advisors provide support and guidance to
grade level groups. Students report that they approach their advisors whenever they are having
difficulties; academically, socially, or personally. This structured approach provides ongoing support for
all students, consistent with the goals of fostering effective communication, strong character, and
providing for the success of each student. The goals concerning knowledge, character, communication,
and tolerance were observed by the team to be driving forces in the instructional process. Teachers speak
consistently about the importance of the practical application of learning and follow through be developing
highly engaging, interactive, and project-based lessons. In the process, effective communication skills and
essential elements of learning are routinely reinforced.

The school's vision statement includes a strong emphasis on the development of tolerant and effective
communicators. In interviews with parents, students, and teachers, it was evident to the team that these
priorities are both widely shared and commonly embraced. The student population and teaching staff are
diverse constituting of a blend of over 15 nationalities and many religions. Observations reveal that the
school goes beyond mere tolerance, providing opportunities for diverse groups to interact and develop true
appreciation of people's similarities and differences. During the QAR visit, a barbecue was held involving
the entire school community. The atmosphere was one in which people of many different backgrounds
simply enjoyed being together as part of the diverse community that defines AAB. In all observed
instances, student, teachers, and parents interacted in a caring, respectful, and mutually supportive manner.

During interviews, the school improvement team expressed the desire for greater stakeholder involvement
in the continuous process of revising the vision and vision over time. Their stated goal is that all teaching
and learning will reflect the vision, so the goals are driven by student performance outcomes. Currently, a
high degree of individualized programming and instruction is observed at all levels, and teachers monitor
and foster character development through regular individual advisory sessions.

Strengths - The team noted the following successful practices deserving of recognition:

The values of tolerance, effective communication, and focus on acquisition of knowledge are
evident in the daily life of the school.
Students, teachers, and parents are committed to the essential goals expressed in the AAB vision and
mission.
Opportunities - The team offers the following opportunities for improvement for consideration by the
school:

Increase opportunities for parents and students to participate in the on-going revision and updating
of the AAB vision and mission.
Expand the range of achievement data displayed in the school profile.
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American Academy of Beirut

Finding: American Academy of Beirut has earned the overall assessment level of "Operational" and has met this
standard for accreditation.

Standard 2: Governance and Leadership

Standard: The school provides governance and leadership that promote student performance and school
effectiveness.

Description - The team noted how the school met the intent of the standard based on the preponderance
of evidence:

AAB is owned by the International Educational Group. It is centrally located in a historical part of Beirut
in a renovated villa. The school was first established in 2001 as an American curriculum school. The
majority of students were either expatriates or Lebanese nationals with dual citizenship. After four years of
continuous growth, the school sought to begin the accreditation process through the Commission on
International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA). The political situation at the time, however,
changed the direction of the school. Many expatriate staff and students left Lebanon when the political
unrest was rising. The drop in the number of students meant that the accreditation process was halted.

As political conflicts escalated in 2006, the situation forced the school to take a new academic direction.
AAB concentrated its efforts on Lebanese students who, according to regulations set by the Ministry of
Education, must study the Lebanese educational curriculum leading to the Secondary Lebanese
Baccalaureate certification.

In keeping with the founders' belief in 'equity of learning' and 'education is a right for all,' the school began
accepting students who required special education. Over the years, the Remedial Intervention Program
(RIP) and the Learning Center (LC) have expanded in the number of students in the programs and the
specialists who teach and run the programs.

After 2008 when the school came under the leadership of new administration, the school and curriculum
were rejuvenated. The American curriculum was reinstated for returning Lebanese students with dual
citizenship (Grades 8-12); and, the LC grew in the number of students to the extent that an additional
physical space was required and acquired. An apartment in an adjacent building was rented and connected
to the school in order to accommodate their needs. This development also rejuvenated the accreditation
process.

The school presently has 187 students, 30 of whom are registered in the Learning Center. The school is led
by a principal who is responsible for the academic and administrative leadership of the school as a whole.
Directors indicate that they have complete confidence in the principal, and the principal indicates that
she receives continuous support and feedback from the board. A representative of the board serves as the
Secondary Consultant and is responsible for the Lebanese Program division. The RIP and LC are now run
by a special education consultant and a full time coordinator. Teachers and parents reported that the school
leadership provides direction and support and demonstrates a commitment to providing a quality education
to suit each child according to his/her needs.

The team saw evidence of a strong familial atmosphere at AAB. Students feel safe and cared for in their
school. The recent introduction of a student council has encouraged the students to be more organized in
the expression of their wishes and requests. Many of those interviewed, while appreciating the coziness

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American Academy of Beirut

and familiarity of their surroundings, wished for larger class rooms and areas for physical education and
play.

The teachers interviewed demonstrated a strong sense of loyalty to the school and expressed pride in how
far they have come, particularly in the past three years. They expressed strong opinions and had no limit to
their ideas about how to move the school forward. Among teachers interviewed there was general
optimism and excitement with regards to the potential of opportunities yet to come and to the
implementation of the new improvement plans. Teachers interviewed voiced positive feelings of trust and
empowerment from the school leadership; however, they also expressed a strong desire to see a more
formal staff observation and feedback policy. While protocols are available, those policies are not strictly
observed or implemented.

During interviews with staff, professional development was noted to be on an "as needed" basis and not
linked to any whole school development plan. Teachers mentioned a desire to be more involved in the
direction and choices of the plan. Teachers are actively involved in the co-curricular activities provided for
students. These activities include the Model United Nations (MUN), the British Council initiatives
Connection Classroom Project, and the annual Big Dance which celebrated the Olympics this year.

Parents report limited involvement in the development of school policies and procedures. The recent
parental surveys indicated that the school is viewed positively by parents and enjoys great support for and
faith in its leadership. The school has an 'Open Door' policy and it is a big source of pride for both the
school and the parents. The willingness and the availability of the school teaching and administrative staff
as well as the school principal to talk to parents to resolve any issues and to listen to opinions and
suggestions was mentioned continuously as an extremely positive asset of the school. Parents expressed a
wish for a larger campus that is wheelchair accessible with bigger yards and larger classrooms; however,
they did not want to see the informal and familial atmosphere of the school jeopardized in any way.

The school recently acquired, installed, and is presently using a database system named the Student
Information System (SIS). The software includes various packages which can be bought and added
depending on the need and readiness of the school. Non-instructional staff reported that the school
provided them the training and support on the use and benefits of the SIS database system. In addition to
basic student record keeping the add-on modules include Special Education IEP data recording, test data
analysis, accounting, and student health records. School leaders indicate that the plan is to eventually fully
utilize the SIS system particularly in analyzing the development of student performance by grade and
subject in addition to curriculum scope and sequence alignment.

Student records are kept in a localized area and are the responsibility of the administrative assistants who
work closely with the principal. These people are responsible for maintaining and updating the records as
needed. The principal is additionally responsible along with the board representative in preserving a
positive and strong relationship with the Ministry of Education which closely supervises the school's
progress. This is especially true for the Lebanese educational program that entails regular inspections and
visits. Documents provided the QAR team with evidence that the school is legally licensed to operate as
an educational institution and adheres to all rules and regulations as set by the relevant government
institutions.

School policies and procedures were written by the school principal and aided by other school leaders.
Review of these policies show that they reflect the school's vision and mission. Consultation, feedback,
and updates have not traditionally been used to move these guidelines forward although expectations are
shared with all staff members. For example, based upon the evidence presented to the team, although
student attendance policies and protocols are available, implementation of these procedures do not appear

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American Academy of Beirut

to be uniformly applied at all times. Secondary daily student attendance follow-up falls under the
responsibility of the Secondary Coordinator. Input of that data onto the SIS database occurs
approximately once a month to meet progress report printing deadlines. At the elementary level, daily
student attendance is not the strict responsibility of any one person and is left to the year/class teachers
without any formal follow-up. It is additionally not entered into any database system and no official
policy is followed.

Strengths - The team noted the following successful practices deserving of recognition:

AAB enjoys a strong familial atmosphere where students feel safe and cared for by strong leaders
and a team of concerned professionals.
The school leadership is open to change and new ideas that will move the school forward
Opportunities - The team offers the following opportunities for improvement for consideration by the

school:

Compile school policy and operation protocols into a formal policy manual to ensure all policies are
applied with fidelity.
Create and implement formal, documented classroom observation and teacher evaluation policies
and procedures with clearly focused feedback sessions and follow-up measures.
Develop and implement a consistent and organized staff professional development plan aligning
with the interpretation and use of student progress and improvement data.
Utilize a data feedback system that can store, analyze, and report on student development and
progress.
Revisit implementation of the attendance policy to ensure that it is operating as planned.
Increase parent involvement in formation of school policy and operational guidelines.
Finding: American Academy of Beirut has earned the overall assessment level of "Operational" and has met this
standard for accreditation.

Standard 3: Teaching and Learning

Standard: The school provides research-based curriculum and instructional methods that facilitate achievement
for all students.

Description - The team noted how the school met the intent of the standard based on the preponderance
of evidence:

Document review and interviews revealed that over the past three years coordinators, administrators, and
teachers have collaboratively developed and revised a well aligned, standards-based curriculum at all
grade levels and in all subject areas. This work was done largely after school hours and on weekends, and
has resulted in a blending of standards from Lebanon and the U.S., to include Virginia, Ottawa, the
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
The correlative curriculum mapping initiative has resulted in the creation of detailed and still evolving
documents that provide for vertical articulation. The use of common assessments across grade levels,
combined with the small class sizes, provides for strong horizontal articulation and ongoing, virtually
daily, collaboration among teachers.

Virginia, Ottawa, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and Common Core State

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Standards (CCSS) standards are used in the various curricular areas. One stated goal is to have all the
standards and assessments available for teachers on the SIS system so they can be accessed and progress
monitored on an ongoing basis. Interviews reveal that many teachers are actively engaged in the ongoing
process of aligning curriculum standards and assessments.

In the area of curriculum development, school personnel have consistently strengthened the depth and
continuity of both the American and Lebanese course of study. Most of the standards are quite similar and
have been merged. There are some differences. For example, "if" conditional sentences are stressed much
more in the Lebanese approach. Extra sessions for Lebanese program students are held during vacation
time to meet those requirements. As a result of this approach, American and Lebanese track students learn
together in English classes, focusing primarily on common standards and making special accommodations
for those that are not shared by both systems. Decisions about teaching and learning are made primarily at
the school level with the awareness and support of the governing board. The initiation of a Lebanese
section was jointly planned at the school and board levels. The decision was the result of the dwindling
expatriate population in Lebanon after the upheavals of 2006. As stated by the leadership, "The decision
was consistent with our vision and mission in providing for the needs of a diverse population (including
the Lebanese)."

Expectations for student learning are both clearly articulated and highly individualized, as evidenced by
the large number of Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Individual Student Plans (ISPs). These
documents include individual goals, interventions, and benchmarked assessment strategies, and serve both
special needs students and those in need of modified programs for purposes on ongoing remediation.
Students on IEPs are served in the Learning Center, while those on ISPs are mainstreamed with
appropriate modifications and/or pullout sessions. Regular classroom teachers work with the assistance of
an aide who supports ISP students and anyone else in need of additional help at any time. Students report
that practically all of their teachers voluntarily remain after school to help them whenever they are
struggling. The counselor holds face-to-face meetings with parents to ensure full understanding of
academic expectations, and follows up periodically with progress information or whenever a concern
arises. Finally, the Remedial Intervention Program (RIP) provides services for students after school hours
and on the weekends.

During classroom observations, students were generally engaged in classroom activities at all levels and in
all subject areas. A high degree of focus on practical application and active learning is evident. The
school-wide recycling program provides an example of quality thematic approaches to teaching and
learning, crossing over curricular lines and grounded in real-world application. It began two years ago
with presentations by personnel from the city's recycling center. Students have written about the
importance of recycling and re-purposed artwork is displayed in the halls of the school. Social studies
classes have integrated the projects into their curriculum; and, collection boxes are strategically located
throughout the school to encourage maximum participation. Students explained with pride that they had
gathered enough plastic bottle tops to purchase a wheel chair for one non-ambulatory student.

As reviewed, individual and aggregate student achievement data are routinely compiled and used to guide
the instructional process. Progress toward benchmarked goals is documented and provided to students and
parents, in addition to the regular grade reporting procedures. Teachers state that they routinely adjust
their instructional strategies, sometimes having other students clarify concepts or teach lesson segments in
order to foster full understanding by all. Students explained that teachers often re-teach a concept in as
many ways as are necessary to ensure full comprehension. An item analysis is performed after term
exams, so that each student's progress is monitored relative to key indicators.

Practical application and hands-on teaching and learning are evident in many classrooms and subject

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areas. DNA models are displayed in the science lab, which were created by students using toothpicks,
straws, and marshmallows. The school has developed monthly service projects and partnerships that
connect students with the nursing department at the American University of Beirut (AUB). The British
Council-sponsored "Important Events in Lebanon" project resulted in high quality student products, while
fostering understanding of the history of the country through direct observation and research.

During the entire QAR, no instructional time was lost due to unnecessary disruptions or unscheduled
interruptions. Unruly behaviors were minor and rare, as students and teachers interact in a caring and
mutually respectful learning environment. Classes were focused, purposeful, and for the most part
engaging at all grade levels. Students report that they feel the school is like a big family, and they express
great pride in the diverse population. With over 15 nationalities and numerous religions represented,
students clearly understand the power of "unity in diversity" as one student phrased it.

The school has recently acquired Wi-Fi capabilities, and students and teachers make use of available
technology primarily in the library and computer laboratory. Two interactive white boards are shared
among the teachers, with professional development and increased resources planned and budgeted for the
coming school year. Over the past year, the library print collection has been significantly expanded, and
now includes approximately 10 volumes per student. As technological resources are expanded, plans are
to further enhance the collection through the use of digital collections.

Strengths - The team noted the following successful practices deserving of recognition:

School personnel have made excellent progress in developing, updating, and mapping a standards-
based curriculum.
A high degree of active student engagement and practical application of skills and concepts is
evident.
A strong, familial culture and the richness of the diverse population at AAB are appreciated and
celebrated by teachers and students.
Attention to the unique learning needs of the individual students is a hallmark of the school.
Opportunities - The team offers the following opportunities for improvement for consideration by the

school:

Explore available resources in terms of digital library collections in order to bolster the media center
collection.
Engage and support all teachers in the ongoing process of aligning the curriculum and assessments.
Design and implement instructional strategies, innovations, and activities that are research-based
and reflective of best practice.
Finding: American Academy of Beirut has earned the overall assessment level of "Operational" and has met this
standard for accreditation.

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Standard 4: Documenting and Using Results

Standard: The school enacts a comprehensive assessment system that monitors and documents performance and
uses these results to improve student performance and school effectiveness.

Description - The team noted how the school met the intent of the standard based on the preponderance
of evidence:

AAB follows a tri-term system in which students are tested in the middle and at the end of each term
followed by a final written test at the end of the year. Apart from the scheduled written tests, students are
continuously assessed in their classes; on-going assessments contribute 50% in elementary, 40% in middle
school, and 60% in high school to the students' final grades.

The school's curriculum is based on a diverse set of learning standards including the Lebanese Ministry of
Education, State of Virginia, Ottawa, CCSS, and NCTM learning standards. The assessments in place are
designed to measure progress toward the mentioned learning standards. The performance measures used
to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the school's governance, support, and administrative
function are based on the existing assessment systems. Student performance and achievement are reported
to the parents in the forms of progress reports issued after the midterm assessment, and a more detailed
report card issued at the end of each term and the end of the year. The school arranges parent teacher
conferences at the end of each term to discuss with parents their children's progress. The school recognizes
achievement and improvement in student performance by awarding students award certificates and
certificates of recognition. The school Honor Roll is displayed in the school to celebrate student
achievement.

Observations and artifacts reviewed by the team demonstrated that the school has implemented a formative
and summative assessment system in which assessments are designed by teachers and regulated by subject
coordinators and the principal to ensure that the tests are aligned with the set curricula. All assessment
related data is input by teachers on the School Information System (SIS) and then verified by
administration. Any later amendments in scores are only authorized by the principal after being supported
by the teacher's hard copy of grades previously submitted to the principal. SIS, which was introduced in
the school at the beginning of the current academic year, is used by teachers for input of assessment
related data only at this stage. The school sets different levels of access to the SIS for the school
hierarchy; teachers' access is limited to their respective classes only.

SIS has not yet been used as a tool to access and systemically analyze assessment and performance data.
The school is planning to start the process of student performance data analysis at the beginning of next
year. Administrators reported that the student performance data accumulated over the previous academic
year will then be sufficient to commence the process of data analysis. As part of the school improvement
plan, the school is planning for all staff to attend required professional development activities to
better utilize the data on the SIS.

The school engages in the process of using data collected from their continuous assessment system to set
individual Improvement Student Plans (ISP) and Remedial Intervention Plans (RIP). The team found
limited evidence to indicate that data collected are fully analyzed or used for making decisions for
continuous improvement of broad teaching and learning processes, or to demonstrate school improvement
in the past three years. Data generated by student performance results are discussed at both informal and
formal levels between teachers and administration, but no evidence was found to demonstrate systematic

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American Academy of Beirut

analysis of instructional and organizational effectiveness of the school.

High school students take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) in order to enhance their prospects for better

post high school education. The school does not collect or analyze any student data related to this test.

School leaders report that the Preliminary scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) is not currently being used by
AAB students. The school does not currently have a standardized assessment program, and no evidence
was found by the QAR team members to show any form of comparison and trend data of student
performance from comparable schools which can then be utilized in evaluating the school's effectiveness.

The students' personal records, performance data, behavioral reports and progress are kept on the SIS
which is accessed by the school administration. Tests papers are archived at a secure facility by the
principal at the end of each academic year.

Strengths - The team noted the following successful practices deserving of recognition:

The school clearly and effectively communicates student performance to the parent utilizing a
detailed report card, and taking a proactive role in addressing student problems.
The school engages in effective individual student intervention programs (ISP & RIP).
Opportunities - The team offers the following opportunities for improvement for consideration by the
school:

Research and implement a standardized assessment program to measure student performance
development.
Analyze data generated from assessment programs to create trend data of student performance.
Gather and compare trend data of student performance to evaluate the school effectiveness.
Develop and implement an appropriate professional development plan which will support the staff's
training needs in data analysis.
Finding: American Academy of Beirut has earned the overall assessment level of "Emerging" and has not met
this standard for accreditation.

Standard 5: Resource and Support Systems

Standard: The school has the resources and services necessary to support its vision and purpose and to ensure
achievement for all students.

Description - The team noted how the school met the intent of the standard based on the preponderance
of evidence:

The school has policy that clearly defines procedures and protocols to guide hiring practices. The school
advertises positions in the local newspaper and future plans include posting positions on the school's
website. Interviews revealed the board of directors is seriously considering expanding its hiring efforts to
recruit quality candidates by participating in the Dubai Job Fair. Policy includes a protocol for
the interview process making it multi-dimensional and rigorous. The candidate participates in an
interview with the principal and appropriate consultants and coordinators, observes in the school, conducts
a demonstration lesson in collaboration with the class teacher observed by the principal, and participates in
a post interview with the principal. As evidenced by interviews and artifact review, the school provides
teacher orientation which focuses on a review of the Staff Handbook. Standard textbooks and teaching
materials are issued. Artifact review indicates the existence of mentoring support to new teachers.

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American Academy of Beirut

Review of minutes of meetings between one experienced and one beginning teacher reflect a yearlong
process of feedback and support related to lesson preparation, instructional strategies, and suggestions for
professional workshops.

Board policy defines the expectation to "deploy staff in such a way as to use them as effectively as
possible to achieve the schools' stated goals and objectives." A review of the Professional Staff
Qualification Chart reveals a balance of experience levels where close to 100% of the staff have university
degrees, and approximately 25% of the teachers hold teaching diplomas. Teaching assignments reflect the
appropriate qualifications to support instruction in Arabic, the American Program of Studies, special
education, and a low teacher to student ratio provides for small class sizes. Based on the team's analysis of
the staffing rationale teaching assignments are made based on student learning needs and numbers.

Teacher interviews and a review of meeting minutes, disclose the Coordinators of English and Social
Studies, Arabic Language, and the Learning Center meet weekly with teachers in their assigned areas. The
meetings focus on areas such as test item analysis, curriculum mapping, identifying appropriate
instructional strategies, report cards, and IEPs.

Based on document review, the school utilizes a Fiscal Improvement Plan to guide decision making related
to facility updates and material resources in support of existing education programs and continuous
improvement goals. These decision-making areas include library development, updating the computer lab,
science lab, classroom and teacher furniture needs, new construction, building renovation and playground,
security equipment, water reservoir with pumping system, and staff development. The plan reflects
attention to present and future needs of the school.

The school operates from a budget that meets local accounting requirements. School leaders report that
there are plans to utilize the accounting component of the recently implemented School Information
System to provide additional accounting support and monitoring.

The school is located in a renovated, historic French Villa in downtown Beirut. The school employs a full
time custodian who is responsible for the maintenance of the building. An outside contractor maintains
the outside and the school contracts to provide busing. Student interviews indicate students feel safe at
school. The school has recently worked with Civil Defense authorities to develop and implement a fire
safety policy which identifies evacuation procedures if a fire should occur. In addition, the authorities
provided guidance on correct placement of fire extinguishers. Teachers and administrators report that
periodic fire safety drills are conducted. The teachers have been trained by the Red Cross to deal with
emergency situations. Although the school has demonstrated the capacity in the past to deal with
emergency and crisis situations, the QAR team did not find evidence of a formalized Crisis Management
Plan.

Although the school does not employ a guidance counselor, it has developed and implemented a
Classroom Advisor system to provide students access to guidance services. Teachers serve in the role of
classroom advisor. In that capacity, teachers are expected to be personally familiar with each student
assigned to them and provide guidance in a variety of areas that include personal guidance in interpersonal
relationships with fellow students and adults, academic guidance, and college and career counseling. The
QAR team did not find evidence of corresponding professional development for teachers related to
successful guidance practices. Some teachers expressed the desire for more intentional and systematic
support to increase their capacity to provide students this type of support and promote the continued
success of the advisor system.

The school vision and the number of special needs students accepted for enrollment give evidence of the

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American Academy of Beirut

school's strong commitment to meeting the needs of students with special needs. The Learning Center
provides the physical setting and program focus for meeting the specialized learning needs of these
students. The school employs a consultant to assist in developing the systems necessary to meeting their
learning needs. A cohesive and well-articulated screening and placement process is in place. Interviews,
classroom observations, and artifact review provide evidence that a range of instructional strategies and
interventions are in place to ensure students are functioning in the least restrictive environment. A
consultant works directly with the Special Education Coordinator and teachers to facilitate the
development of Individual Education Plans (IEPs) to identify the proper learning setting and implement
appropriate instructional strategies. Additionally, the consultant provides workshops for teachers and
parents. Interviews with teachers reveal the desire and need for continued professional learning related to
meeting the range of diverse learning needs of the students in the Learning Center. The school has
developed a partnership with the American Universal College which offers the Learning Enhancement &
Assistance Program (LEAP) to provide viable options for students to continue their education in a college
setting. An alumnus of the Learning Center currently works as a teacher assistant in the program.

Strengths - The team noted the following successful practices deserving of recognition:

The class advisor program provides a caring adult advocate for each student.
The coherent and well-articulated special education program provides the structures necessary to
ensure students are learning in the least restrictive learning environment and provided the
appropriate interventions.
The weekly meetings of the coordinators and teachers provide a viable support system.
Opportunities - The team offers the following opportunities for improvement for consideration by the
school:

Develop and implement a formal, written Crisis Management Plan that identifies procedures to
follow in emergencies that specifies items such as internal communication, designated
spokesperson, and reunification with parents.
Provide professional learning related to guidance and counseling skills for teachers serving in the
classroom advisor role to increase their capacity to provide students support in these areas.
Develop a school-wide program of professional development for teachers that is tied directly to
school improvement goals.
Increase the access to professional learning for teachers in the regular classroom and special
education setting to ensure they are equipped with the strategies needed to meet the diverse learning
needs of students.
Finding: American Academy of Beirut has earned the overall assessment level of "Emerging" and has not met
this standard for accreditation.

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Standard 6: Stakeholder Communications and Relationships

Standard: The school fosters effective communications and relationships with and among its stakeholders.

Description - The team noted how the school met the intent of the standard based on the preponderance
of evidence:

Based on observations and documents reviewed, the QAR team saw evidence that the school hss
established partnerships with both local and international organizations. The school is involved in two
British Council initiatives. One partnership is "Connecting Classroom" which is an initiative that allows
students from same grade levels in Lebanon and the UK to communicate through written correspondence.
At the time of the QAR team visit to the school, students were being trained to take part in another British
Council initiative, named "The Big Dance." This initiative is a global event where children from around
the world to perform a unified dance. The school has also partnered with the Lebanese Scouts Association,
allowing them to use the school premises. The school cooperated with the Red Cross to arrange First Aid
training for members of staff.

Parents reported that they are represented in the Parent Assembly which consists of nine members who
meet on a monthly basis to discuss school related issues. Parents are sent progress reports and report cards
to inform them of their children's progress. Parent and teacher conferences are held at the end of each term
to discuss student achievement and performance levels. Teachers contact parents to discuss any pressing
issues related to their children via the school supervisor. Parents can meet school staff members at weekly
fixed meeting schedules. Based on the parents' interview, parents indicated that they can visit the school
without requiring a prior appointment and are still welcomed and received warmly by members of staff in
the school. Based on the observations and artifacts reviewed the QAR team saw evidence that the school
communicates with parents via letters, newsletters, telephone, and face-to-face. The school has recently
introduced a school website which provides minimal information about the school; the website does not
currently include essential school information such as the school's vision, learning expectations, school
improvement, academic programs, and admission information.

A student council was established for the first time in the school in March 2012. The council meets on a
monthly basis and has been communicating with administration. AAB has a small number of students
making it possible for members of the staff to know all the parents on a personal basis and to involve them
in school activities and events. The school invited all parents at the beginning of this academic year to
share the school's vision and parent related expectations to them.

The school has surveyed its stakeholders but the results have not been systematically analyzed nor shared

with stakeholders.

Strengths - The team noted the following successful practices deserving of recognition:

The school stakeholders are a close knit community which enjoys a personalized communication
experience with the school.
The school follows a welcoming and hospitable appointment policy which makes parents feel
welcome and well received at any time they visit the school.
Opportunities - The team offers the following opportunities for improvement for consideration by the
school:

Develop and expand the school website to be more informative for stakeholders.
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American Academy of Beirut

Analyze and share results of stakeholders' surveys
Finding: American Academy of Beirut has earned the overall assessment level of "Operational" and has met this
standard for accreditation.

Standard 7: Commitment to Continuous Improvement

Standard: The school establishes, implements, and monitors a continuous process of improvement that focuses
on student performance.

Description - The team noted how the school met the intent of the standard based on the preponderance
of evidence:

AAB has faced many changes and challenges since it began in 2001.The schoolt has absorbed every trial
and survived through very difficult times while still trying to accommodate the needs of its students, even
if this meant adjusting the educational direction of the school. The school has continuously demonstrated a
strong desire to accommodate students with special need requirements and has taken every effort
throughout the years to provide for their academic needs as much as possible. The school's present
leadership expressed to the QAR team a strong desire to move forward and establish clear and structured
plans for the future.

The vision and mission is palpable throughout the school particularly in the spirit and attitude of the school
leaders and teachers. A recent school improvement plan was created as a direct result of the QAR report
self assessment writing and the up-coming QAR visit. Up until that point, the school had no systematic
cycle of continuous improvement policy that identified gaps, chose strategies, and established measurable
goals. Since then, an additional list of goals has been compiled by the school leadership which goes
beyond the improvement plan and works on their alignment with student progress and success. A third set
of improvement goals were presented to the QAR team during the standards overview
and included growth indicators being identified for each of the seven standards.

Communication with stakeholders has traditionally been through the letters and official reports; however it
remains a concern and is mentioned in the new improvement plan. AAB has a proud 'Open Door' policy
and utilizes that opportunity to address parental concerns and to solicit feedback; although no formal
policy was established to document or follow-up with parent concerns. Recently, parent, student, and
teacher surveys have been introduced to assess the opinions, attitudes, and aspirations of its stakeholders.

Analysis of these surveys has been recent and cursory. Implementation including feedback is still in the

beginning stages.

The teaching staff have been quite vocal, both in the self-assessment and during interviews, about the need
for a more formal, structured, and instructive process of staff evaluation. The evaluation process remains
ad hoc and performed on a need basis or based on compliance with MOE requirements with no formal
follow-up. AAB has included in its staffing plan an endeavor to "oversee an employee evaluation program
that contributes to the improvement of staff performance and individual professional development" and
has mentioned a resolve for staff to "receive professional development which is necessary to improve"
based on the strategies of the new school improvement plan.

The school has installed a new Student Information System to house student records. School leaders

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American Academy of Beirut

expressed plans to also utilize it to organize student academic data in such a way that it can be analyzed
quantitatively and efficiently. Presently, achievement data is reviewed by school leaders on a periodic
basis and plays a small role in the strategies set for curriculum planning, student improvement, and
professional development. The new improvement plan includes basic elements needed to address ongoing
logistical, operational, and educational objectives.

Strengths - The team noted the following successful practices deserving of recognition:

The strength, resilience, and resolve of the school to remain true to its vision and mission through
challenging times while accommodating and adapting to external and internal changes is admirable.
The school leadership demonstrates a strong commitment to take all necessary steps to take the
school to the next level by implementing changes when needed and/or required.
The recently introduced improvement plan and the more detailed improvement goals directly
address many of the concerns expressed by the school's stakeholders.
Opportunities - The team offers the following opportunities for improvement for consideration by the

school:

Create and implement a single school improvement plan.
Evaluate and use the achievement of student performance goals in the student improvement plan as
a means to quality assurance.
Link the formal staff evaluation process to goals identified in the school improvement plan and
supported by planned staff development and training.
Finding: American Academy of Beirut has earned the overall assessment level of "Operational" and has met this
standard for accreditation.

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Conclusion

The commendations and required actions in this report are designed to focus the school on those areas that will
have the greatest impact on student performance and school effectiveness. While powerful in potential, the
commendations and required actions only have meaning when acted upon by the school. The strength of this
report lies in the school's commitment to using the findings to continuously improve. The key is action. The
school is encouraged to use the report as a call to action, a tool to sustain momentum in the ongoing process of
continuous improvement.

The team identified required actions for improvement that the school will need to address. Following this review,
the school will be required to submit a progress report summarizing its progress toward addressing the team's
required actions.

The Quality Assurance Review Team expresses appreciation to the School Administration, members of the
professional staff, students, parents and other community representatives for their hospitality throughout the visit.
The team wishes the school and its students much success in the quest for excellence through NCA-CASI-INTL
accreditation with AdvancED.

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Appendix

Quality Assurance Review Team Members

Mr. Dick Spohr, Chair/Lead Evaluator (AdvancED Illinois - Field Consultant)
Mr. Robert C. Brinton, Vice Chair
Ms. Ghada N. Dajani, Team Member (Modern English School Cairo)
Mr. Nicholas L. Florence, Team Member (Port Said International School)
Dr. Donna James, Team Member (AdvancED North Carolina)
AdvancED Standards for Quality Schools

The AdvancED Standards for Quality Schools are comprehensive statements of quality practices and conditions
that research and best practice indicate are necessary for schools to achieve quality student performance and
organizational effectiveness. As schools reach higher levels of implementation of the standards, they will have a
greater capacity to support ever-increasing student performance and organizational effectiveness. Each of the
seven standards listed below has corresponding indicators and impact statements which can be accessed at
www.advanc-ed.org.

Vision and Purpose

The school establishes and communicates a shared purpose and direction for improving the performance of
students and the effectiveness of the school.

Governance and Leadership

The school provides governance and leadership that promote student performance and school effectiveness.

Teaching and Learning

The school provides research-based curriculum and instructional methods that facilitate achievement for all
students.

Documenting and Using Results

The school enacts a comprehensive assessment system that monitors and documents performance and uses these
results to improve student performance and school effectiveness.

Resource and Support Systems

The school has the resources and services necessary to support its vision and purpose and to ensure achievement
for all students.

Stakeholder Communications and Relationships

The school fosters effective communications and relationships with and among its stakeholders.

Commitment to Continuous Improvement

The school establishes, implements, and monitors a continuous process of improvement that focuses on student
performance.

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Accreditation Progress Report

American Academy of Beirut
Mrs. Reem Mohamed Kamal Al Hout, Principal

Batrakieh area.
Karakol Al Drouz Avenue.
16 Mohamed Lababidi street.
Beirut., Lebanon P.O.Box 14-5900 Beirut, Lebanon.

Prepared for the AdvancED Quality Assurance Review

Report Status : Open

Report Open Date : June 5, 2012
Report Due Date : May 1, 2014
Report Submitted Date : Unknown
Report Accepted Date : Unknown

 


American Academy of Beirut

Accreditation Progress Report

Contents

1.0 About AdvancED and NCA CASI/SACS CASI
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
4
3.0. Summary
5
4.0. Required Action 1
6
4.1. School Response
6
4.2. Reviewer Response
6
5.0. Required Action 2
7
5.1. School Response
7
5.2. Reviewer Response
7
6.0. Required Action 3
7
6.1. School Response
8
6.2. Reviewer Response
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2.0 Introduction to the Accreditation Progress Report .............................................
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1.0 About AdvancED and NCA CASI/SACS CASI
Background. Dedicated to advancing excellence in education worldwide, AdvancED provides accreditation,
research, and professional services to 27,000 schools in 65 countries. AdvancED provides accreditation under the
seals of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and
the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS
CASI).

The Accreditation Process.

To earn and maintain accreditation, schools must:

1. Meet the AdvancED Standards for Quality School Systems.
Schools demonstrate adherence to the seven AdvancED standards which describe the quality practices and
conditions that research and best practice indicate are necessary for school systems to achieve quality
student performance and organizational effectiveness.

2. Engage in continuous improvement.
Schools implement continuous improvement focused on improving student performance and school
effectiveness.

3. Demonstrate quality assurance through internal and external review.
Schools engage in a planned process of ongoing internal review and self-assessment. In addition, schools
host an external Quality Assurance Review team once every five years. The team evaluates the school's
adherence to the AdvancED quality standards, assesses the efficacy of the school's improvement process
and methods for quality assurance, and provides commendations and required actions to help the school
improve. The school acts on the team's required actions and submits an Accreditation Progress Report at
prescribed intervals following the Quality Assurance Review.

The AdvancED accreditation process engages the entire school community in a continuous process of self-
evaluation and improvement. The overall aim is to help schools be the best they can be on behalf of the
students they serve.

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2.0 Introduction to the Accreditation Progress Report
Purpose

The Accreditation Progress Report (APR) is a critical component of the AdvancED accreditation process. It
engages the school in a detailed review and analysis of the steps it has taken to address the required actions made
by the AdvancED Quality Assurance Review (QAR) team. Completing the report helps the school focus and

reflect on its continuous improvement efforts.

It is the responsibility of the school to address each of the QAR report's required actions within the 5-year term
accreditation. Deadlines for completion of the report are based on the school's accreditation status and must be
met to maintain accreditation. Some schools may complete multiple reports during the 5-year term to demonstrate
that they have fully addressed the required actions.

Structure of the Report

The APR is organized around the required actions in the school's QAR team report. The APR lists the required
action from the report along with the rationale and evidence supporting the required action. The school then
indicates the progress that it has made toward meeting the required action and provides a more detailed response
describing the actions it has taken and the results obtained. The school provides a response for each of the QAR
team required actions.

Following the school's response is the reviewer's response. Each APR is read by an AdvancED reader in the state
or regional office who reviews the school's response to determine if the required action has been met. The reader
provides his/her assessment of the progress the school has made and then offers comments to the school. If
required actions remain in progress or not addressed, a new APR will be created with a new deadline for
completion. As noted earlier, the school must address the required actions within the 5-year accreditation term.

Conclusion

The Accreditation Progress Report is a useful report for members of the school and broader community. It helps
community members see and monitor the ongoing improvement efforts of their school. It demonstrates how the
school uses its accreditation for the ongoing benefit of the students it serves.

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3.0. Summary
1.1. Based on the actions taken by your institution to address the required actions provided by the QAR
team, what has been the impact on your institution's overall effectiveness?:
1.2. What would you consider to be challenges that still lie ahead and how do you plan to address those
challenges?:

1.3. How will you use the insights gained from your accreditation activities to inform and enhance your
quality assurance and school improvement efforts?:
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American Academy of Beirut hosted a Quality Assurance Review team on 05/13/2012 - 05/16/2012. Through
interviews with school stakeholders, classroom observations, and a review of school documents and student
performance results, the team developed a Quality Assurance Review (QAR) report detailing its findings from the
visit. The full report can be viewed at www.advanc-ed.org.

The QAR report contained commendations and required actions for the school. The school is responsible for
addressing each of the required actions in the report. At prescribed intervals based on the school's accreditation
status, the school must complete an Accreditation Progress Report. Below, please find the required actions from
the QAR report and the school's response to each required action. Following the school's response is the
reviewer's progress response and comments.

4.0. Required Action 1
Source: QAR
Date: 2012-06-05

Required Action:

Develop and implement a comprehensive assessment system to collect, manage, analyze, communicate, and
utilize multiple sources of school and student data to create a complete profile, assess organizational
effectiveness, and drive school improvement initiatives.

Evidence:

The school collects valuable school profile data from a number of sources. The current assessment for improving
student performance, as detailed by teachers who were interviewed, is regular, extensive, and used to drive
instruction. Teachers routinely assess individual student learning as a means to individualization of instruction.
These measures, however, do not provide sufficient data to document year-to-year growth throughout the school,
to see trends over time, or to make valid comparisons to schools and students throughout the region or world. No
established protocol currently exists either to provide direction for on-going collection and analysis of school and
student data or to enable the communication and use of the results. There is need to expand assessment of student
performance beyond assessing 'for' learning to assessment 'of' learning.

Rationale:

Decision making and quality assurance are improved when based upon shared information gleaned from the full
analysis of valid and reliable data.

4.1. School Response
Progress Status:
Response:

4.2. Reviewer Response
Progress Response:

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Comments for

Institution:

5.0. Required Action 2
Source: QAR
Date: 2012-06-05

Required Action:

Consolidate multiple school improvement goals, efforts, and plans into a single, written, formal school
improvement plan to ensure essential items are addressed first with others sequenced in order of priority.

Evidence:

The team found directions for future school improvement efforts in a number of places including goals identified
in the newly created school improvement plan, areas of desired growth (3 years from now) presented for each
AdvancED standard in the standards report, and additional administrative goals presented in the school overview.
These multiple sources and plans tend to confuse the process of school improvement planning and
implementation. In addition, collectively these plans may present too many goals to be addressed with due
diligence at one time. Increase focus and unity of effort throughout the school through the development of 'one'
plan with clear goals, identified measures of success, research based intervention strategies, required professional
development, and logistical details.

Rationale:

A single, comprehensive school improvement plan embraced by the school community is a key to success in the
on-going quest for total excellence at AAB.

5.1. School Response
Progress Status:

Response:

5.2. Reviewer Response
Progress Response:

Comments for

Institution:

6.0. Required Action 3
Source: QAR
Date: 2012-06-05

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Required Action:

Design and implement a systematic program of professional development for teachers that is directly
aligned to school initiatives and school improvement goals.

Evidence:

The current professional development program is described by teachers and administrators as being on an "as
needed" basis. There is no evidence of a unified program of professional development that is aligned to student
performance goals, designed to address school-wide initiatives such as meeting the diverse learning needs of the
students in the Learning Center or enhancing teacher skills in their classroom advisor role, and based on input
from a formal teacher needs-assessment.

Rationale:

School effectiveness and student performance are improved when all teachers have the knowledge and skills
needed to fully implement school improvement initiatives.

6.1. School Response
Progress Status:

Response:

6.2. Reviewer Response
Progress Response:

Comments for

Institution:

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