Exploration News

Our News & Events

Save The Date

save the date

High School Graduation will be held on June 3 at 4:00 p.m. at The Grand in Long Beach. We look forward to seeing all our graduates participate in this special event.

ASB News

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Associated Student Body

iLEAD Exploration is thrilled to present our inaugural high school ASB team! These student-leaders have already had their first meeting, and the wheels are enthusiastically spinning as we are beginning to plan some community service events for our high school learners! Throughout the year, we hope to provide our high schoolers with the opportunity to serve our school and the local community.

Congratulations to our 2019-2020 ASB Team!

12th Grade:
Alyssa Sanchez
Mary Miller

11th Grade:
Camilo Whitfield
Julianna Longhenry
Sydney Shepherd

10th Grade:
Abigail Myers
Ariella Clarino
Charis Dubose
Kniya Rogers

Talent Show and Artisan Bazaar

Talent Show

TalentShow_2019-2020

Meet Your EL Team

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Name/Role: Jennifer Ramirez, EL Coordinator
Location: Irvine
Family: Married to Alex, and we have three kids, who are nine, seven, and four years old.
Best Vacation: Backpacking through Spain for a month.
Fun Fact: After backpacking through Spain for a month, I returned home, sold my car, resigned from LA Unified, and decided to return to live and teach in Madrid, Spain.

 

 

 

 

Name/Role: Melissa Clarke, EL Support
Location: Foothill Ranch (south Orange County)
Family/Pets: Married to my husband, Chris, for 10 years. We have a daughter, who is eight, and a son, who is 6. We have a cat named Jimmy, a hamster named Marshmallow, and a beta fish named Blue Fin.
Best Vacation: Trip to Washington, D.C., with my family when I was in high school.
Fun Fact: I earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the highest award in Girl Scouting.

 

 

 

 

Name/Role: Amri Gallardo, EL Support
Location: Chatsworth
Family/Pets: Husband, two daughters, and one turtle (did you know that red-eared slider turtles live 30 years?).
Best Vacation: When my husband goes south to Mexico to visit his family, I run farther away from them and rent a hotel room with my girls by the Ventura beaches.
Fun Fact: I used to be an aircraft mechanic before becoming a teacher.

 

 

 

 

Name/Role: Lorraine Kajikawa, EL Support
Location: Torrance
Family/Pets: Married to Gavin and have two daughters and two goldfish.
Best Vacation: When I went to Paris, France, for a milestone birthday!
Fun Fact: I love planting and caring for succulents!

 

 

 

 

 

Name/Role: Adrienne Lynch, EL Support
Location: Los Angeles
Family/Pets: Gladys the rescue cat.
Best Vacation: Hiking dead volcanoes in Iceland.
Fun Fact: Not a lot of people know I’m a true cowgirl at heart! Because I was homeschooled, I had the space and encouragement to explore extracurricular passions. I fell in love with equestrian care, and in high school, I finally got my own horse named Foxy! It was such a thrill to show her in local gymkhanas and rodeos. I had to sell Foxy when I moved to Los Angeles for college, but it is my dream to own and ride a horse again!

Backpacks Full of Hope 2020

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If you have been thinking about joining the spring 2020 Backpacks Full of Hope relief trip to Puerto Rico, now is the time to sign up. Only 10 spots remain open on our team, and registration must be completed by Friday, Nov. 15th. Click here to register today!

Important Details

  • 10 team spots remain
  • Total trip cost: $1,550
  • New registration: $1,150 due by Nov. 15
  • The trip is non-refundable after Nov. 30
  • Remaining payments are due on Jan. 31

This is the third Backpacks Full of Hope trip, and we believe it is an important one. During the first and second trips, some of the most impactful feedback we had from those we were helping was hearing how much it meant to have people travel there to provide assistance. The work we are doing to aid our fellow Americans matters, and we’d love to have you be a part of it!

If you haven’t had a chance yet, please watch our latest video about the Backpacks Full of Hope project, and please consider sharing it with your circle (ex., post to Facebook, etc.). Additionally, if you are interested in donating to the trip or providing a sponsorship, contact family.engagement@ileadschools.org today!

Webinar: Parent Roundtable

Parent Roundtable

Roundtable_2019

Pumpkin Bot Challenge

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PumpkinBot_2019

Science Accelerator Mission 2019-20

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iLEAD Schools is excited to offer the Science Accelerator Project! For more information, please visit their website and see the flier below. You may also email Farnaz Kaufman, Director of Global Educational Initiatives, at farnaz.kaufman@ileadschools.org.

Pumpkin Bot Challenge

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PumpkinBot_2019

iLEAD Schools Amazing Race

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iLEAD Schools would like to invite you to join your iLEAD family and friends for this ALL iLEAD Schools event. Lace up your running shoes and join us Sunday, Nov 3, at 1 p.m. at the Universal City Metro Plaza for the annual iLEAD Amazing Race. There, you will begin your Los Angeles adventure via the Metro red line on a photo scavenger hunt together with your team. Registration closes October 28. You will find more information and the downloadable permission slip here.

MAP Testing

MAP Testing

The MAP is a beginning and end-of-year assessment that our learners take to discover strengths and areas for continued growth. Your learners can test from their own homes at a time convenient for the family, and the results are available the very next day! Only families and EFs view individual results, and your EF will review the reports with you to celebrate strengths and growth as well as identify areas of focus for the school year.

Several reports are available, including a one-page family report that shows your child’s reading level and how their score compared to other learners across the country. A longer report listing all the skills that your child is ready to develop is also available. The scores can also be plugged into Khan Academy, Newsela, the optional subscription Exact Path, and many other websites to acquire a set of learning activities perfectly customized to your child’s level.

There is a reading and math test, each about 40-60 questions long. You can pause the test at any time, as often as needed. You can also opt for a shorter 20-question test that includes a basic grade level comparison but does not give you a full skills report. Both tests support our standing as a school, and we sincerely appreciate your participation. Please contact your EF to set up a time to begin testing!

MAPTesting_2019

iLEAD Exploration ASB

leadership

We are excited to announce that iLEAD will be forming an Associated Student Body (ASB) team this year! ASB is a leadership team comprised of learners who will represent the entire student body of high schoolers. The main objective of ASB is to help learners feel more connected to school and each other through involvement in ASB-organized activities.

We are looking for applicants who desire to connect with other high school learners and to help facilitate connection among their fellow learners. Team players and those who possess strong leadership skills are encouraged to apply!

Learners who are selected for ASB will be expected to attend monthly virtual meetings as well as help plan/attend a few social events throughout the year. If you are interested in joining the team, please fill out this ASB Application by Friday, October 4.

iLEAD Exploration ASB

leadership

We are excited to announce that iLEAD will be forming an ASB (Associated Student Body) team this year! ASB is a leadership team comprised of learners who will represent the entire student body of high schoolers. The main objective of ASB is to help students feel more connected to school and each other through involvement in ASB-organized activities.

We are looking for applicants who desire to connect with other high school learners and to help facilitate connection among their follow learners. Team players and those who possess strong leadership skills are encouraged to apply!

Learners who are selected for ASB will be expected to attend monthly virtual meetings as well as help plan/attend a few social events throughout the year. If you are interested in joining the team, please fill out this ASB Application by October 4, 2019.

Introducing Naviance

Naviance

Naviance is a comprehensive college and career readiness tool available to all iLEAD learners. Soon you will receive a code for your learner to log in and create their account. Remember when it comes to college and career, the learner takes the lead. Please let your child use THEIR email address when signing on. Once a learner has created an account, a parent account can be added.

Take a look at this video to learn more about Naviance. Naviance also has a great phone app. Keep an eye on your email for your learner’s code to download the app.

Washington DC Trip

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DCTrip_Sept2019Webinar (2)

MAP Assessments

Thinking Maps

MAPTesting_2019

Meet The High School Team

Meet the Team

High School Connection Meeting

iLEAD Exploration’s high school team would like to meet their high schoolers in person! Our high school connection meetings are a wonderful opportunity for our high school learners and their families to meet Bethany Maddox, Laura Kazan, Lisa Rittenhouse, and other high school team members so they can learn more about this school year. Choose from two sessions: Friday, September 6, at 10:30 a.m. in Los Angeles, or Friday, September 13, at 10:30 a.m. in Costa Mesa. If you would like to attend, please register here: Exploration’s High School/ College Meeting RSVP.

A Note From our Directors

Headshots by Renee Bowen copyright 2017 https://www.reneebowen.com

Welcome Back, Exploration Families!

We are thrilled to begin iLEAD Exploration’s fifth academic school year stronger than ever. Last year, iLEAD Hybrid (in which iLEAD Exploration is a program) received a five-year charter renewal, the longest allowable time frame. Additionally, our school received a six-year WASC renewal, the highest term possible. Our team continues to improve, grow and invest in this program so that all of our learners and families can benefit. Here are a few exciting updates:

  • We have hired a full-time high school counselor and a part-time college advisor. Our high school team is easy to access and you may schedule appointments with our counselors at any time! If you would like to meet our high school team in person, please join us at a High School Meet and Greet in various locations. RSVP for the date that is best for you.
  • Regular town hall meetings with the Directors will be implemented in various regions. We are excited to get to know your family better while providing you with updates about our school, and we want to hear from you on ways to continue to enrich our program. Stay tuned for dates and locations near you!
  • We are rolling out CTE Pathways. Career technical courses are a great way for our high school learners to gain valuable skills and work experience.
  • We are launching our very first iLEAD Exploration Washington D.C. trip in the spring of 2020 that is available to all learners in grades 7-10!
  • Our student support team is hard at work organizing our learners who need specialized support and preparing a fall student support symposium open to all iLEAD families and staff.
  • Our OC Studio is booming and some grade levels have a waitlist! Come experience a day at the center and see if it’s a good fit for your child.
  • Building a strong, inclusive community is important to us. We would love to see you at one of our Back-to-School events over the next few weeks. Come join us!

You might be aware that charter schools are facing some big challenges and are under heavy scrutiny in the current climate. Rest assured we have worked diligently to ensure that our program is as flexible as it can be in providing a unique educational experience for our learners while also remaining in compliance with the state and our authorizer. Integrity is of the utmost importance to iLEAD. Here are a few ways you can continue to help our program remain a viable educational option for years to come:

  • We want to hear your stories and celebrate your successes! Please email ways our charter school has positively impacted your family. You can send emails to info@ileadexploration.org. You can also share your feedback through a review on our iLEAD Exploration Facebook page.
  • We encourage all families to participate in our beginning and end of the year benchmark assessment called MAP. MAP testing can be done from anywhere, anytime. These assessments are only shared with you as a parent and your EF. We are able to measure growth over the year for our learners and provide this positive data to show that our program is successful!
  • CAASPP assessments are state mandated tests given in the spring for various grade levels and subjects. We would be ever so grateful to your family if you would consider joining us at one of our many, many testing sites to participate. We have our goal set high to aim for 95% participation this year. Please help us achieve it!

As always, we are so grateful to partner with your family to provide support throughout your homeschooling journey. Whether you are a new family or have been with us for years, our goal is to exhaust every talent on our team to provide a variety of educational resources, social events and academic experiences to enable your learner(s) to thrive. Your EF is your main point of contact and will always help with information and/or connect you with the appropriate department.

We wish you a wonderful year of growing and learning together!

Sincerely,

“Leather” Lara Durrell + Heather Ferenc

Directors of iLEAD Exploration

Meet The High School Team!

Meet the Team

High School Connection Meeting

iLEAD Exploration’s high school team would like to meet their high schoolers in person! Our high school connection meetings are a wonderful opportunity for our high school learners and their families to meet Bethany Maddox, Laura Kazan, Lisa Rittenhouse, and other high school team members so they can learn more about this school year. Choose from two sessions: 1) September 6 at 10:30 am in Los Angeles; or 2) September 13 at 10:30 am in Costa Mesa. If you would like to attend, please register here: Exploration’s High School/ College Meeting RSVP.

The OC Learning Studio

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OCStudio_19-20 (6) (1)

Introducing CTE

Career and Technical Education

This year, we are excited to introduce a new program for our high school learners. Career and Technical Education (CTE) allows learners to essentially “major” in high school. It is a program of study that involves a multi-year sequence of courses that integrates core academic knowledge with technical and occupational knowledge to provide learners with a pathway to postsecondary education and career. It provides learners with an opportunity to pursue purposeful electives and participate in productive career exploration. Contact your EF or our CTE coordinator, Ally Adair-Chung, at ally.adairchung@ileadexploration.org for more information.

CTE_2019-2020_v2 (1)

Introducing CTE

Career and Technical Education

This year, we are excited to introduce a new program for our high school learners. Career and Technical Education (CTE) allows learners to essentially “major” in high school. It is a program of study that involves a multi-year sequence of courses that integrates core academic knowledge with technical and occupational knowledge to provide learners with a pathway to postsecondary education and career. It provides learners with an opportunity to pursue purposeful electives and participate in productive career exploration. Contact your EF or our CTE coordinator, Ally Adair-Chung, at ally.adairchung@ileadexploration.org for more information.

CTE_2019-2020_v2 (1)

Meet Laura Kazan

Laura

LAURA KAZAN
COLLEGE ADVISOR

Laura Kazan joined the homeschool world by accident. After pulling her younger son out of traditional middle school, she realized that nontraditional education would provide him with far more opportunities for college. She received her master’s degree in education with an emphasis in higher education from Claremont Graduate University and has a certificate in college admission counseling from the University of California, Riverside. Before homeschooling, she was a university researcher regularly analyzing college admission trends. After becoming a homeschool mom, she began providing college advisement to nontraditional learners.

Laura has lived and taught in a variety of cities, states, and countries. She spent a season of her life working on a cruise ship and teaching English in a foreign country, and has since realized that her favorite vacation is staying home with her family, cat, and dog.

Contact Laura NOW for senior college advisement!
Email: laura.kazan@ileadexploration.org

Meet Bethany Maddox

Bethany

BETHANY MADDOX
ACADEMIC COUNSELOR

Bethany Maddox graduated with her master’s in education from Azusa Pacific University and has been serving as a high school counselor for the past 13 years. She loves working with and guiding high school-aged learners as they make their transition from childhood to adulthood. She has been working in the independent study learning environment for 10 years and exclusively with homeschooling families for the past two years. She truly appreciates the flexibility available to learners in our unique learning environment and looks forward to expanding her services available to all high school learners in the areas of academic, college, and career advisement. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any high school-related questions.

Bethany was born and raised in Southern California and is blessed to be raising her own family here. She resides in Fontana with her husband and two young children.

Email: bethany.maddox@ileadexploration.org

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