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Student Spotlights at Ingenuity Charter School
By Sarah Beauchemin
No two students are the same. Changes in their life circumstances and their educational needs must be taken into consideration when choosing the right school environment.
Ingenuity Charter School was founded with this in mind.
Since opening its doors in 2015, Ingenuity has filled a crucial need in the San Diego community. Their hybrid-learning, independent study program gives nontraditional students a high-quality education on a schedule that fits their specific life circumstances.
This year, two Ingenuity students shared why they chose Ingenuity and how the program has helped them get on track for success.
Analli Salazar came to Ingenuity battling some personal hardships that were getting in the way of her education.
“The main challenge I faced was that I was not able to go to a public school,” said Analli. “I was having trouble with my mental and physical health.”
Analli was drawn to Ingenuity’s flexible, independent study program, where she could feel comfortable and gain the focus she needed to do her schoolwork.
“Ingenuity offered me easy access to a program where I can do school work online and also have a personalized schedule,” she said.
At first, Analli struggled to find a way to make it all work, and success did not happen immediately. However, with the support of her family and teachers, Analli regained her confidence and became very successful at Ingenuity.
“I believe that Ingenuity’s flexibility in scheduling and one-on-one support from teachers has helped Analli the most,” said Nicole Clayton, Ingenuity instructor of four years.
“Relationship-building with our students at Ingenuity is critical to their academic success,” she said. “For example, Mrs. Krakowski spent many hours with Analli to set and achieve both personal and academic goals.”
By working from the comfort of her home, Analli could also catch up on credits she was missing at her own pace. Her hard work has now put her on track with her peers.
“One of the achievements I am most proud of is that I am able to finish classes on time now, and I am getting good grades,” said Analli. “This is a big change from a year ago when I enrolled.”
Clayton is excited by Analli’s success at Ingenuity and sees this extending far into Analli’s future endeavors.
“When I picture Analli’s future, I see her as happy and successful,” said Clayton. “She is really honing her self-advocacy and introspective skills. It is obvious that she will work hard to achieve whichever path she desires for herself.”
Jose Hernandez decided to come to Ingenuity after being previously enrolled at Ingenuity’s “sister” school, The O’Farrell Charter School.
“Ingenuity’s program really interested me,” said Jose. “I have always liked to study and do projects by myself, and that is the whole experience of Ingenuity – being independent.”
Like Analli, Jose experienced certain challenges prior to enrolling at Ingenuity. For one thing, Jose felt he would benefit from a slower academic pace.
“Before Ingenuity, I was always really stressed out because I didn’t understand the subject matter in my classes,” said Jose. “But at Ingenuity, I have the flexibility to take a lot of notes and rewatch the instruction videos. This is a huge help because if I don’t understand the material the first time, I can go back and review it.”
Michelle Gilly, one of Jose’s Ingenuity instructors, has witnessed first-hand how much Ingenuity’s independent study program has helped him.
“Jose really values curiosity and knowledge,” she said. “He always asks questions about his coursework that show me he is putting a lot of thought into what he is learning.”
Gilly agrees that the independent study part of Ingenuity’s program has helped Jose the most. When Jose does come into the classroom for small-group work with his peers, he is able to complete his work there without too many distractions from other students.
Jose said that Gilly has been a big source of inspiration for him at Ingenuity.
“Mrs. Gilly inspires me because she always reminds me to take notes – a big part of developing my college-ready skills – and always has time to help me with all of my classes,” he said.
Gilly can see a bright future ahead for Jose, in part because of his ability to hone his personal and academic strengths at Ingenuity.
“I know Jose will be successful in whatever he chooses to do because of his values and work ethic,” said Gilly. “He has expressed an interest in becoming a teacher, and I can definitely see him in that role, as he has a true love of learning and a curiosity about the world around him.”
Please call (619) 262-2046 or go to www.ingenuitycharter.org for more information about how Ingenuity can assist your family.