General Questions

What is the I-School?

The I-School is a school of the future that focuses on individualized education through blended learning approaches to provides access to the best online curriculum providers and one-on-one support.

We offer a diversity of scholastic options for students of all ages, personalized, flexible schedules, and an alternative educational system to support a variety learning styles.

I-School is a non-profit, 501c3 educational organization founded in Nevada in 2011. Formally known as “eLearning Café,” Dr. Kathryn Kelly adopted the new name “I-School” in 2013 to reflect the schools focus on our individualized approach to education.

What is blended learning?

“Blended learning is any time a student learns at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home and at least in part through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace.” Innosight Institute, May 2011.  We combine the face-to-face instruction, leveraged by evidence-based technology, to individualize learning and achieve exceptional academic results.

What makes the I-School unique and effective?

When we customize academic material to meet a student’s learning style, abilities, and needs, students have more control over time, pace, and place. The result is true mastery of academic content – we call it “proficiency-based learning” — and gains in student confidence which are sometimes lost in a traditional brick-and-mortar setting.

How does the I•School create a personalized curriculum?

When an individual joins the I-School, we create a student profile that indicates interests, strengths, weaknesses, learning styles and strategies, and past educational experiences. This profile reflects where the student stands currently and is continually updated over time. Based on this profile, our educators, family, and students design a schedule, which aligns with the information indicated in the student’s profile. The profile and schedule are re-evaluated to assure student goals and academic progresses are being met.

What differentiates I•School teachers?

The word "teacher", and the connotations that often accompany this title, does not embody the range of roles our educators take on here at the I•School. Our teachers are leaders who drive projects with entrepreneurial instincts, mentors who are fascinated by and attuned to the details of a student's preferred learning environment, local experts who eagerly share their passions, and advocates who always orientate themselves around the well-being of the student. Our teachers do not come to the I•School to lecture in front of a classroom of 30 students or deliver last year's curriculum with a new twist - Rather, they arrive here to redefine the ways a student can interact with course material and wholeheartedly encourage out-of-the-box thinking. I•School teachers understand that education naturally challenges children to be vulnerable, as they step into a space where there are inevitably concepts they do not understand and goals they are unsure how to reach. We are with them in these moments of growth, every step of the way, pointing out new routes to explore and reminding them that confusion leads to knowledge. 

What do courses cost?

Costs are determined individually by the students need and desired outcome. Fees are typically calculated by semester on a per credit-course basis and the number of educator sessions needs to achieve the student’s desired outcome.

How is the I-School funded?

The I-School is funded by tuition, tax-deductible donations, and grants. See our website for the growing list of generous donors of time, funds, and in-kind contributions.

What is the time frame for enrollment in ISchool?

Students may enroll anytime, all year around. 

 

Specific Questions

Are your programs designed specifically or solely for “gifted” learners?

Far from it.

By making curriculum student-centered and flexible, we create an atmosphere where students of all types can learn what they want to learn at a rate and in a way that works best for them. We serve the educational needs of a broad spectrum of diverse students who have achieved success through the Alger Learning Center experience.

These individuals include (but are not limited to): homeschoolers who need regular contact with a local certified teacher, students who require credit retrieval, students who have been suspended from or had to drop out of a public school for attendance or health reasons, students who wish to combine independent learning with global travel or employment/career opportunities, students who desire to graduate ahead of the public schools’ schedule, and students who need more individualized instruction and custom curriculum.

How do students graduate ahead of schedule?

Students can graduate ahead of schedule because they can work at their own chosen rate and our programs are offered year-around. We have had many students graduate and enter colleges, trade schools, or careers at younger ages than their public school peers.

Don’t Online, Homeschool, or Independent students have trouble getting accepted by the best schools?

Recent articles in The Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, and other publications have shown homeschooled students receiving consistently higher scores on college entrance exams than their traditionally schooled peers. Officials at many top colleges and universities quoted in these articles have expressed a very high level of interest in admitting homeschoolers and independent learners.

Among the many prestigious and respected schools that enthusiastically recruit and accept homeschoolers are such institutions as Stanford, Princeton, Harvard, Purdue, the University of Texas, and the Air Force Academy, to name a few.

Independent learning should not be viewed as making it more difficult for students to reach their future goals, but as enabling them to specifically develop their skills and qualifications to achieve the results they desire.

If my child is not particularly motivated and other programs have failed, how could the ISchool possibly help him/her achieve success?

The traditional public educational system does not serve to provide motivation for students. The environment is extremely structured, based in attendance, founded in mandatory curricula, and expects students to adhere to a linear growth pattern.

Our approach is fundamentally different from this limiting system. We believe that learning is a lifelong process, and one that requires lots of freedom and self-direction if it is to be truly rewarding and satisfying. We strive for students to experience real and meaningful learning.

We deliberately seek out educators who enjoy helping students become self-motivated, independent learners. Our teachers are dedicated to helping students achieve success and self-esteem through an open-minded approach to education that allows for maximum freedom and creativity.

Students and their families work with our staff to design classes that reflect the student’s interests, goals, and learning styles. They are allowed, to the greatest degree possible, to determine what they want to learn, how they will learn it, and at what pace. The freedom to learn about what really interests you is one of the best motivators of all.

We have found time and time again that students, who have previously been stifled in the public system, can become happy, successful, and highly motivated. This growth occurs when students are allowed to pursue their educational goals in a student-centered program, with a freedom of restrictions and restraints on how and what they are allowed to learn.