An independent K-12 school on a beautiful wooded campus, 3 miles from Washington, DC

Global Online Academy

The Potomac School is a member of Global Online Academy (GOA), a not-for-profit consortium of leading independent schools from around the world whose mission is to reimagine learning to empower students and educators to thrive in a globally networked society.

GOA offers diverse, intellectually rigorous, relationship-based courses to students in over 120 member schools representing more than 25 countries and more than 30 states. These interdisciplinary courses are designed, developed, and taught by teachers from member schools and match the strength of curricula and excellence of teaching for which these schools are well known. Class size is limited to 20, and a single course typically has representation from at least 15 schools, 8 states, and 5 countries, thus providing students with a truly global experience. Understanding that the core demand of modern learning is that students learn how to navigate an increasingly complex, networked society, GOA students practice and hone modern skills in practical, hands-on ways.

At Potomac, seniors may elect to take a GOA class for one semester as one of their academic classes, and juniors may elect to take a GOA class for the spring semester as one of their academic classes. Students who take a GOA course will earn Potomac graduation credit (.5 credits per course), but GOA courses do not satisfy Potomac’s departmental graduation requirements. GOA courses appear on students’ transcripts along with the final course grade.

Academic Program

GOA’s program brings together experienced teachers and highly capable students in an interactive, rigorous learning environment. The courses encourage the awakening of new interests and a passion for learning while the classrooms bring together a variety of voices representing the geographic, cultural, and ethnic diversity possible in a global online environment.


GOA seeks to deepen learning through courses that equip students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be successful in high school, college, career, and life.

All GOA courses are developed and taught by teachers who work at one of our member schools. Teachers are coached to think differently about how they design student learning experiences. GOA works with educational leaders to ensure that GOA teachers have the strategies and tools to lead innovation and change.

Teachers create their own materials for classes and connect students to curated material gathered from a variety of sources. Just like in brick and mortar classrooms at the member schools, in GOA classrooms emphasis is on engagement, interaction, and collaboration among students and with the teacher. GOA classes are teacher-paced, meaning students are assigned work throughout the week rather than given assignments to complete over a large block of time. All classes contain both synchronous and asynchronous components, giving students the opportunity to connect in real time but also providing them with the flexibility to work when and how they would like.

Through their curricula, teachers aim to meet three main goals: to create and maintain meaningful relationships with, and among, students; to create opportunities for students to share their local and personal perspective on global issues; and for the work to be meaningful and intellectually engaging.

Global Online Academy Courses at Potomac

The mission of Global Online Academy is to reimagine learning to empower students and educators to thrive in a globally networked society. To view the GOA School Profile, please click here.

GOA Courses

Explore the GOA courses available to Potomac juniors and seniors in 2021-22. (GOA course descriptions begin on page 62 of the Course Catalog.)

Interested in Learning More?

Visit GOA’s website and FAQs page.

Contact Tory Virchow, Director of Curriculum and Academics and GOA Site Director at Potomac.