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The American Christian Academy (ACA) in Ibadan, Nigeria began with nine elementary students from six countries on May 9, 1991. Its real beginning, however, dates back to the early 60s, when “teacher” wives of expatriate businessmen taught the children of other expatriate families in a teacher’s home. Upon leaving the country, they would sell their meager school supplies and recommend their students to the next teacher.

Early in the spring of 1991, Karen Nwulu was asked by some parents to take over the “William Gascoyne Private School”, named after the road on which the then teacher lived. The school was named Shell Close School, after the road on which the her home was located. Their children’s large bedroom was converted to a one-room school.

Within a year, the school doubled in size and expanded its academic program to include a junior high school. The school had taken over the living and dining rooms of the proprietors’ home.

In 1993, two one-room British Pre-schools in the area closed and were folded into Shell Close School. At this point, the proprietors had to find other housing for their family as the school took over the entire house.

By 1995, the school had grown to over 50 students representing 14 countries. Parents now pleaded to expand the program to include high school.

The 1995-1996 academic year was a very fruitful year for the school. First of all, Mr. Equi Nwulu joined in running the school. (He is now pursuing a PhD in Educational Technology).  That same year, following an inspection by American teachers, IITA approved that their employees’ children attend Shell Close School. Adjacent property was purchased to accommodate the growing student population that now included pre-school through high school.

Also in 1996, the school’s name was formally changed to the “American Christian Academy”.

By 1999, ACA had over 100 students from 25 different countries.

In the year 2000 the Oyo State Ministry of Education accredited the school. More attached property and buildings were purchased. These buildings became the Senior School and residential buildings for American staff. A large library was opened. ACA began building an auditorium that later opened in 2005.

In 2006 ACA celebrated its 15th anniversary. The academic program expanded to include “A Levels”. ACA became a test center for the University of Cambridge. Class sizes again increased and plans were made to build another school building with adequate space for each class.

In 2007, ACA opened up the first two floors of a new school building. The first official ACA board meetings were held, as well the first official staff retreat.  Staff retreats have since become an annual event and key to the pursuit of ACA’s vision.  ACA also became a test center for the US College Board.

In 2008, ACA became members of both AISA and ACSI, and staff began attending professional conferences outside of Nigeria.  ACA’s finances were now able to support professional internationally recruited teachers. With extremely high retention rates, ACA’s experienced national teachers continue to form the backbone for the academic excellence at ACA.

In 2009 the top floor of the new school building was completed with a Music & Art Room, Library, 10th grade. A tennis/basketball court was also built in addition to the volleyball, soccer and badminton courts available on campus.

ACA became partners with Seven Star Academy in the US, an accredited online school provider, in order to offer online courses previously unavailable to students at ACA.  Through this unique online program high school students are also able to take AP classes and dual credit courses from accredited universities in the U.S.  

In 2010, ACA added an additional floor to the Pre School block and equipped four standard Science labs:  Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and an online Computer lab.  ACA celebrated its 20th anniversary in grand style in May, 2011.

In 2012 ACA produced its first hard cover yearbook, with pictures of all 276 students and 48 staff.

The 2013-2014 academic year brought a major change to the way school was run.  During the staff retreat and board meetings, two positions were created:  Vice Principal Academics, Vice Principal Administration.  The school was then reorganized moving all the classes to the Main School Block, leaving the original school as the “Admin Block.”  The Junior and Middle Schools now became one Elementary School.  Two additional spaces were developed to provide a long-desired Science Museum, featuring unique student projects, as well as pictures of famous scientists who have visited the school, and a necessary Conference Room.  ACA welcomed “grandchildren” into the school (students’ children). ACA was also approved to be a center for the TOEFL examinations.  A kitchen and gym were added to the facilities in 2014-2015.

Karen Nwulu was awarded a Masters in Education from Dordt College, U.S.A., in the spring of 2015.  In the fall, our longest serving teacher, “Mr. Joe” retired at the age of 65.

In June 2016, ACA celebrated 25 years of existence.  Throughout its history, ACA has provided quality international education to students from 55 different countries.  

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