High School Highlights

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


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

Popular Online Vendors


iLEAD Exploration offers many approved online vendors for our middle and high school homeschooling families. These vendors offer a wide range of high school courses that can be used by our learners on both the customized or A-G graduation paths. Learners on the A-G path should look for vendors with teacher support and ensure that the courses are posted on the UC Doorways website. Not all vendors provide teacher support, but most of them have grading and progress monitoring access. The cost of the courses will differ amongst providers as well. We recommend that families research or discuss their specific needs with their EF when looking for an online course. Here is a list of some popular choices that our families have often used. The complete list is available on the Hub or you can click here.

What’s Next: Is Community College for You?


Attending a community college has a number of benefits and can save your family a great deal of money. Community colleges offer learners the opportunity to discover what they want to major in before transferring to a four-year university, and/or they provide a chance to earn an associate’s degree in order to earn more in the workforce. Community colleges offer flexibility if learners want to work while they also take classes. Some learners who struggle with academics in high school might find that community college gives them the fresh start they need. Check out the 10 Reasons to Attend a Community College by US News. Community college may just be the best option for you!

College Tours: Finding Your Type


College tours help you choose your future home. Do you prefer large or small, a town or city, relaxed or spirited? Do you want an intellectual atmosphere, a campus with a football team, or a faith-based school? What about small seminar classes vs. large lecture halls? With so many choices, how do you even begin? Begin by finding your type. Check out this College Personality Quiz to get started.

Southern California is known for its abundance of colleges. In addition to our UC and Cal State Universities, we have a multitude of private colleges including Pomona, Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Occidental as well as private universities such as Chapman, The University of San Diego, Redlands, and USC. Interested in STEM? Check out CalTech and Harvey Mudd. Southern California is also home to a variety of faith-based universities such as Biola, Azusa Pacific, Point Loma, and Pepperdine. Regardless of where you live, you are close enough to take a tour.

Plan to visit different types of colleges to see what feels right. At this stage, it is not about finding a specific college, it is about finding a good fit. Once you know your type then it’s time to make an appointment with Laura Kazan. She is here to help you build a list to match your academic strengths and extracurricular interests. So start making some visits. You might be surprised at what you find!

You can sign up for an appointment directly with Laura at https://calendly.com/ilead-collegeplanning/

Learner Spotlight: Mary Miller


Mary Miller is a senior in high school, and she has been enrolled with iLEAD since 10th grade. She is very involved in her community, and she just might have a future in politics!

Mary is in her final year of Girl Scouts and just completed her Gold Award, for which she organized a teen resource fair for her community. She also started the Model Legislature and Court team for the Antelope Valley Family YMCA. As a part of this team, she has traveled to Sacramento to participate in a mock election, and she has run for office there.

She is a board member of the Antelope Valley YMCA, and she serves on several committees, including the Teen Committee, which she founded. She was awarded the regional Excellence in Teen Leadership Award from the Metro Los Angeles YMCA, where she gave a beautiful acceptance speech. Mary has also represented her community as Junior Miss Lancaster and Teen Miss Lancaster. Those positions led her to become a junior ambassador to the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce.

Mary has also become involved in school activities offered by iLEAD. She has been invited to join ASB, and she is the president of the iLEAD National Honor Society. On a more personal side, Mary is a talented artist, her favorite television show is The Office, and she loves her cat, Olly. iLEAD is proud of all that Mary has accomplished and is excited to see what her future holds!

Learner Spotlight: Camilo Whitfield

Highschool LS

Camilo Whitfield attended a charter school until fifth grade; however, brick and mortar was not a good fit, so homeschooling was his best option. From an early age, Camilo excelled academically. As a toddler he read prolifically, and his love for reading has continued into his teens. He skipped the first grade and finished sixth and seventh grade in one year. As a fourteen-year-old 11th grader, his goal is to graduate this June and attend college next fall. In the future, Camilo wants to obtain a bachelor of science degree in game development and design. As a learner with high functioning autism, Camilo has faced any challenge life has brought with passion, grit, and drive.

Camilo has always been strong. Born two months early and having lived in the NICU for awhile, he has always had an iron will. He is now six months away from becoming a black belt in martial arts. Not only does he train four days a week and teach younger kids two days a week, he also choreographs with the demo team.

In addition to spending time at the martial arts studio, Camilo also loves to give back to the community. Along with his family, he volunteers with Heal The Bay, cleaning the dunes and beaches. He also volunteers as an art assistant at ARTree, helping kids who need extra assistance. During the winter he spends time at the library helping kids with their homework.

Camilo’s favorite subjects are physics and animation. He has also taken an animation class and a game developing class, merging these two skills to create fun and eventful moments. Camilo created his own original game and is working on his second. We are so excited to share the link to his first original game: Camilo’s Game.

Camilo has grown up with his parents saying to him every day, “You can do it.” He has proved them right. Camilo’s parents are so grateful for the special people and family in his life who have helped him deal with the challenges of having high functioning autism. Support from those who care and understand Camilo, along with therapy, consistency, and routine have helped him achieve his potential. Camilo and his family are also thankful for the opportunities that iLEAD has given him and for their educational facilitator, Erin Wade, for making a difference.

Camilo, iLEAD and the high school team are extremely proud of your incredible determination and hard work. Way to go, Camilo! We are cheering you on!

Upcoming Events

Growth Mindset

Welcome to the October edition of High School Highlights! This newsletter contains a lot of important and time sensitive information, so please read it carefully. Pay particular attention to the upcoming deadlines: CSU and UC applications must be submitted by 11/30. Early decision applications are due 11/15. Here are a few other important announcements:

iLEAD school photo IDs are now available and easy to order! Simply fill in the Photo ID Request and follow the directions to upload an appropriately sized headshot photo of your 6th-12th grade learner. The official school ID will be mailed directly to your home.

SAVE THE DATE – Add June 3 to your calendar for two special graduation ceremonies. We will celebrate 8th grade promotions and high school graduation at different times, but the same location. Details to follow soon!

Please join us for the upcoming high school webinars.
Exploring Naviance – College & Career: October 22 at 9 am
Dual Enrollment: November 13 at 9 am
Career Technical Education (CTE) Options: December 5 at 9 am
To register, click on each webinar you’re interested in attending on this flier.


Attention 12th Graders

iLEADing the Way with STEM x3

College Applications
California Public Colleges: The University of California and the California State University system applications are open. Applications can be submitted between November 1 and November 30. You must have your applications in by November 30, so don’t wait until the last minute!

Private and Out of State Colleges: Each college will have its own application and financial aid deadline. Deadlines are listed on college websites. Please note each deadline and make sure your application is ready.

Financial Aid
The FAFSA and the CSS Profile are open. Please be aware that each college has its own financial aid form deadline. Deadlines for grants and scholarships may be found directly on each college’s website.

  • The FAFSA is accepted by most colleges. This is for federal and state financial aid such as the Pell Grant, CalGrant, federal loans, and work study. Click on the link for more information: Student Aid.
  • The CSS Profile is required by some colleges for need-based financial aid.
  • A list of colleges that request the profile can be found here: List of participating colleges.
  • Scholarships: Deadlines vary. Check each college’s website for college-specific scholarships. There is also a great website for external scholarships: Scholarships and Contests.

Essay Help
iLEAD has teamed up with Ethan Sawyer known by most as “The College Essay Guy.” Ethan provides online classes to help learners with just about every type of college application essay! Funding may be used for discounted classes for Exploration learners, but scholarships are also available directly from College Essay Guy if a learner is out of funds and would benefit from access to his classes. Learners can contact the high school team for more information.

Overwhelmed or just need some support? Make an appointment with Laura Kazan for guidance. Don’t go it alone! Laura Kazan’s Calendly Site

Work Permits

Monday Message

A work permit is a legal document required by the state of California that allows a person under 18 years of age to hold a job. The issuance of work permits are conditional upon satisfactory school attendance and academic performance. Please follow these steps to obtain an official work permit:

  1. For employment as a minor, you will need to complete the personal information on this CDE Form B1-1 and print a copy to be signed by your employer.

  2. Return the signed copy to your educational facilitator who will forward the form (along with a statement regarding satisfactory attendance and academic performance) to enrollment who then issues permits. Please include the home address where the final form should be mailed and indicate whether or not your child requires medical approval to obtain a permit.

  3. Once verified, an official work permit will be issued for the learner to sign and provide to the employer. This permit will be mailed within 2-3 business days.

Dual Enrollment

dual enrollement

Dual enrollment provides an opportunity for learners to earn credit toward high school graduation AND college credit at the same time! This unique learning option is open to ALL learners on all graduation paths who would like to pursue interests at the college level and who are ready to grow in independent learning in a more rigorous environment. For most courses, a full year of high school credit may be earned in just one semester at the college level. Electives are a great way to start this exciting academic journey. We currently have learners attending over twenty community college campuses in southern California. Let us know if we can answer questions to help you get a jump start on college now!

College Fairs and Events

college fair

There are many ways to explore colleges! Check out some of these events online and in person.

California Out of State and International College Fairs (COSI)
October 21: Yorba Linda/Tommy Lasorda Field House
October 25: Del Mar Racetrack/Mission Building
Hosted by COSI Fairs
COSI Event Details
COSI Registration

STEM Colleges Panel
November 7th at 10 am (online)
Hosted by College Seekers, this online event enables you to meet with the admission staff from five STEM colleges and learn about admission requirements and financial aid. Registration is coming soon!

Global Colleges & University Fair
November 13 from 4 am – 4 pm ET (online)
Hosted by College Week Live, this free virtual college fair is your chance to connect directly with top universities across the U.S. and all around the world.
Global Colleges & University Fair Event Schedule

Visit College Week Live anytime!

Fall Webinars 2019

Presenting Online Curriculum Options for High Schoolers another idea

The High School Team is excited to offer webinars to our iLEAD families in order to help them navigate the high school years. We hope you can join us for our fall webinars! CollegeAdmissions_2019 (1) (2)

Exploring Naviance: College & Career – October 22nd at 9:00 AM – RSVP
Naviance helps high schoolers connect to thousands of college and career possibilities! Learners and their parents are welcome to learn more about this free program for Exploration.

Dual Enrollment – November 13th at 9:00 AM – RSVP
Community college courses are available to all Exploration high schoolers. Come learn how to get a jump on college!

Career Technical Education – December 5th at 9:00 AM – RSVP
Learn about exciting new pathway options to prepare high schoolers for careers in nursing, marketing, acting, teaching, and more!

iLEAD Exploration ASB


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.

Science Labs

science labs

iLEAD Online will offer in-person science labs for customized credit in biology, chemistry, anatomy, earth science, physical science, and physics. For $75 per semester, a learner can attend an extended lab once per month to gain valuable lab practice to enhance curriculum being used at home. Labs are being offered in Lancaster, Santa Clarita, and Costa Mesa. Please view the iLEAD Lab Schedule for dates and details!

Introducing 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.

College Fairs and Panels

college fair

If you are interested in pursuing a career in music, theater, art, dance, or other related fields, then this important college fair is for you! The NACAC Performing and Visual Arts College Fair is coming to Los Angeles on September 22. Learn more about how you can attend for FREE.

Register NOW for a college fair coming up in your area. Learners may speak directly with admission representatives from out of state and international colleges and universities. These college choices are perfect for both A-G and customized learners. Best of all, the fairs are free!

SAVE THE DATE – October 18 at 10:00 a.m.
CA Homeschool College Seekers on Facebook is inviting iLEAD learners and their parents to attend a live online panel of college representatives who will present creative learning options available at their schools. If you have a self-directed or non-traditional learner, this is the panel for you. The featured colleges will include Evergreen State College, Prescott College, Bennington College, College of the Atlantic, and Quest University. From test-optional admissions to non-letter grade evaluations, each school offers unique learning opportunities beyond high school. For more information, join College Seekers on FB.

Learner Spotlight: David Budge

Learner Spot

Last year, David relocated to California to get a fresh start on his life and education and moved in with a family who was already educating through iLEAD Exploration. David was nearing the end of a traditional public school education that had failed him. He was plagued by self-limiting beliefs and thought he was on a dead-end path with limited hope of ever finding fulfillment or success.

Since enrolling in iLEAD, David has been thriving. As a child growing up in Arizona, David was fascinated with reptiles at an early age. He was thrilled to learn that through iLEAD, he could pursue studies in herpetology. As a result, he chose reptile husbandry for his junior year project. Through this project, David procured a pair of bearded dragons, studied and learned about their habitat, and then fostered an environment where they were comfortable to breed. We are happy to report that his endeavor was successful, as David incubated and hatched a clutch of twenty-eight adorable baby bearded dragons. This provided a much-needed win and the accompanying self-esteem in his accomplishments, as David realized this would be a viable career path for him.

But life had other ideas in store for David. Not long after relocating to southern California, the Thomas and Woolsey fires began, with flames in sight of his new home. When he saw the massive response by the firefighters and the community as they came together to battle the blazes, he was inspired to shift his education from herpetology to a career where he could be of service to the world.

Again, through his studies at iLEAD, David was able to choose the prerequisite coursework that would provide the necessary foundation to become a firefighter. Furthermore, the flexibility of an iLEAD education has allowed him ample time to also volunteer through the Ventura County Fire Explorers program, while still excelling in his core education needed to complete his high school diploma. The combination of iLEAD and the Explorer program has now laid the groundwork for him to not only attend college, but also to enter the United States Air Force as a firefighter once a position becomes open.

David is excited about taking chemistry, physics, and economics in his final year of high school. He is really looking forward to the lab classes that accompany those courses. His favorite part about learning with iLEAD is that he is able to take the time that he needs to work toward mastery. iLEAD has allowed him to blossom into an honor’s student for the first time in his educational history. He works very hard, is extremely dedicated, and is excited about learning for the first time in his life. Taking an active role in making decisions for his education has given him ownership and pride in his success.

For someone who never thought he’d go to college, David is ready to tackle his first college classes having just recently registered at Moorpark Community College. We’re so proud of David’s hard work and are glad that iLEAD was able to provide him with the educational environment and support for him to pursue his goals.

Optional Subscriptions: Due September 20


We are excited to share some amazing subscription options at discounted rates for our iLEAD Exploration learners. We have contracted with many vendors to create a list of popular, well-received subscriptions. In order to get these optional subscriptions at the discounted price, you will need to submit your order no later than September 20. You should have received an email with all the information from your educational facilitator. If you have any questions, please contact your educational facilitator.

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.

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.

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)

Family High School Guidebook

Family High School Guidebook 2

Our Family High School Guidebook has been newly updated with all the relevant high school information you need to know.

  • Graduation Requirements
  • A-G vs. Customized Graduation Path
  • Curriculum and Learning Center Resources
  • Learner Expectations
  • High School Advisement

High School Connection Meeting

Meet the Team

We would like to meet our high schoolers in person! Our high school connection meetings are a wonderful opportunity for our high school learners 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!

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