Fusion promotes its one-on-one learning approach as an alternative for a growing number of students and parents who say conventional classroom education, even at top-performing public and private schools, isn’t meeting kids’ unique needs.
Cartlidge, on a tour of the facility, pointed to history teacher Zach Boyce’s guitar and said he’s usually fiddling with the instrument when students show up for their session.
“Kids that are not thriving in regular school environments are creative types,” insisted Cartlidge, noting that every month there’s an “open mic” lunch session where kids and teachers might perform a song or give a speech on a hot topic like immigration.
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Cy-Springs world history teacher Michelle Schiffer, 23, was charged in November for improper relationship with a student.
She said the undivided attention of teachers and absence of peers in the classroom “help to remove some of the triggers.” Michelle Rose Gilman, founder of Fusion, said she developed the concept after working in the 1980s with students facing significant emotional issues and finding a large class size was completely inadequate for their needs.
“I realized very clearly the best way to get in is to establish relationships with these kids,” said Gilman, who started the first Fusion in her garage near San Diego in 1991.There are no classes on Fridays when students might go on a field trip or do community service.If a student can’t make class for whatever reason, it is changed to accommodate their schedule.I was getting two to four hours of sleep a night.” This fall, the teen decided to try a radically different approach for her senior year. After one month, Andreassi said she especially loves working with her economics teacher, who designed a year-long project for her in which she will create a business plan for a gym.Already accepted to South Carolina’s Furman University with plans to study neuroscience, Andreassi said the unconventional academy “is giving me a chance to focus inward rather than on those outward distractions” of a traditional school.Todd Rose, director of the Mind, Brain, & Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, recently argued in his book, that teaching in a large classroom is “based on everyone and relevant to no one.” Advocates like Rose envision more schools where kids will personalize their curriculum, to learn an offbeat foreign language or how to start a business. But the cost of such a bespoke education is comparable to a private university, and only a handful of students are placed through their public school districts.