Welcome to AIS Online!

We’re no stranger to location changes. Miss Agnes Irwin first put her vision for educating girls into action in a rowhome on Philadelphia’s Merrick Street 150 years ago, and we have been empowering girls to learn, to lead, and to live a legacy ever since. Throughout our school’s history, we haven't wavered in our commitment to our mission — regardless of whether our students are learning from our original Center City campus, our current home in Rosemont, or from the kitchen table.

Our remote learning platform, AIS Online, allows our students to continue experiencing our innovative and rigorous curriculum, powered by girl-centered research, from their own homes.

Our program is tailored to the various developmental ages and stages of our students, and designed to provide flexibility to families who are managing multiple schedules, without compromising the rigor and inquiry-based learning that is a hallmark of Agnes Irwin’s academic program. AIS Online uses a blended instructional model that incorporates both asynchronous instruction — video lessons, independent assignments, and more — with synchronous learning, such as live class discussions and lessons conducted over Google Meet.

Also core to our program is a concern for students' social and emotional wellbeing, so our weekly schedule includes screen-free time, fitness and mindfulness exercises, and regular live check-ins with teachers and classmates.

A Platform Built on What's Best for Girls

An essential part of our philosophy at The Agnes Irwin School is to inform every decision we make with what we know is best for girls. This, more than anything, was our anchor as we envisioned what AIS Online would be. We spent time exploring a series of essential questions that helped us think about the holistic needs of our community.
  • What does it mean for girls to learn online?
  • What are their needs when they are away from campus?
  • What is different about our youngest and oldest learners, and how do we design a program that responds to the developmental needs and differences of our students?
  • What does student support look like in an online platform, and how do we design a program that meets the needs of diverse learners?
  • How do we create a program that is rigorous, flexible, and joy-filled?
  • How do we maintain our rich school culture and vibrant community in the digital space?

I love to hear the laughter and happy voices as my 6th grader has set her workspace up in our kitchen. I am impressed with hearing the girls cooperate on tasks and learn from each other. I hear them in small groups - explaining things, asking questions, challenging and stretching each other. 6th grade parent

A Virtual Field Trip

Third and fourth graders met virtually with three women whose industries are key to sustaining our economy during the COVID-19 pandemic — a clinical laboratory scientist, a pharmacy owner, and a trucking & logistics manager — and asked them questions about their work. As part of their curriculum, students learn about the economy, interdependence of countries, and supply and demand, making this virtual visit an authentic way to expand on their classroom learning.

Real World Application

Students in our Emerging Infectious Diseases class are getting some authentic, "real world" opportunities to apply their knowledge this semester. Students will be researching various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the structure of the virus, transfusion therapies that are being experimented with today, herd immunity, community spread, contact tracing, and clinical trials of vaccines, among other topics.

Guided Reading

Second grade teacher Ms. Hobson routinely conducts small group guided reading lessons with her students, and AIS Online hasn't changed that. Here, she asks two students about ostriches: "What text feature gave you the information that ostriches are bigger than humans?"

Online Assemblies

Each week while on campus, our entire Middle School gathers in the West-Wike Theatre for assembly: announcements, presentations, performances, and more. Going virtual hasn't stopped this camaraderie! Nearly 140 members of our Middle School — 120+ students, along with teachers, gathered the first week of April to discuss middle school business during their first "online assembly."

Recreating a Smartboard

Mr. Mathisen used creative thinking with an iPad and laptop camera to re-create the effect of his smartboard, which he usually employs while teaching Accelerated Physics, to solve problems live on Google Meet with students. 

Creatives Approaches to Studying Infectious Diseases

In Mr. Miller's science classes, sixth graders are finishing up a project on various infectious diseases. The girls created digital brochures and made 2-3 minute video presentations about the disease. Some students got particularly creative — including Grace, who created her own "Bill Nye the Science Guy" intro!

A Musical Guest

We love seeing how our teachers are using technology to enhance their instruction for students - and some subject areas require particularly creative solutions! Luckily, Lower School music teacher Mr. Savar had some help from a "student" during this lesson.

9th Graders Answer: "What Was Your Life Like in 2020?"

Students in Mr. Slack's English I class are honing their writing skills while chronicling this unusual point in history through Journal-Scrapbook projects. Topics have addressed boredom and how it encourages creativity and self-sufficiency, activities to help mitigate isolation, and more. They share their personal experiences with classmates via Loom video, Google docs, and photos.

Author and Broadway Star Visits with Lower School

Broadway may be temporarily shut down — but the story of Lulu the Broadway mouse lives on! Lower schoolers met virtually with Jenna Gavigan, Broadway star and author of Lulu the Broadway Mouse and its sequel, The Show Must Go On. Ms. Gavigan shared her experiences and answered questions about what inspires her work — and gave students a special "sneak peek" of her third book!

Examining COVID-19's Economic Impact

Students in Mrs. Hahn's Economics class are studying the effects of COVID-19 in real time. Each week, they blog about a sector, industry, or company affected by the coronavirus — such as small businesses, unemployment, and more. Weekly blog posts explore the subject in real time, accounting for new research while providing an in-depth look at economic issues that affect students’ daily lives.

Writing to Win in Fourth Grade

Collaboration is key in our 4th grade classes! Students recently improved their writing in a voluntary workshop with Ms. Sweeney and Ms. Hicke. where they discussed their realistic fiction stories, the strategies they use to support their work, and encouraged one another with ideation and constructive feedback. We love that our students embrace a growth mindset — and are committed to helping one another succeed!

Exploring Media Arts Through Photo Collages

Springtime is the perfect time to incorporate nature into the Media Arts class! Students in Ms. Miller's course have been learning how to create photo illustrations and digital collages, focusing on combining line, shape, color, and other images to express an idea or emotion in a self-portrait. Some celebrated the themes of spring and personal growth, while others explored more abstract self-portraits.

6th Graders Create Family Crests

Sixth graders created their own crests/coats of arms, as part of their learning about the feudal hierarchy — a blend of their knowledge of history and their own interpretations of how they would want to be represented!

5th Grade Reader's Theater

Fifth graders in Ms. Fry's class performed a reader's theater this week during their study of Homer's The Iliad —  complete with ancient Greek-style masks!

Watch: AIS Online in Action

A Day in the Life with Astrid '30

A Day in the Life with Waring ’20

A Day in the Life with Ayanna ’21


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