High School Highlights
If you have struggled this year and need to recover credits or are simply looking to get ahead, earning credits over the summer can be a very good option. Many of our learners participate with iLEAD Online for the summer, but their seats are full, and learners are now being placed on a waitlist. There are some great paid options still available that include:
Concurrent enrollment through your local community college may be tuition-free. If this is of interest, be sure to get your paperwork submitted and signed by the high school team right away.
Acellus Summer Program (customized): $79 per month for 1 to 6 classes
Silicon Valley High School (A-G/customized): $95 per 5 credit course
BYU Independent Study (A-G/customized): $170 per 5 credit course for online (customized) or $280 per course for teacher-led (A-G)
iLEAD Online (A-G/Customized): $295 per 5 credit course
UC Scout (A-G, On-demand) (AG): $399 per 5 credit course. Summer session begins 6/1 and ends 8/18.
If you believe summer credit is a good fit for you, but you need additional guidance on course selection or other questions, please reach out right away to your academic counselor.
Are you still looking for an elective for next school year? Career Technical Education (CTE) is a great opportunity to expand your knowledge in a given career field and explore new career options. Career Technical Education is a program of study that involves a multi-year sequence of courses covering technical and occupational knowledge. The goal is to provide learners with a pathway to postsecondary education and/or career. You can think of this as a way for learners to “major” while in high school and focus on elective courses of specific occupational interest. iLEAD Exploration is offering the following Career Pathways:
- Public Service Pathway
- For those interested in corrections, law enforcement, loss prevention, military service, paralegal, court reporter, or lawyer
- Includes courses in criminal justice, forensic investigations, and mock trial
- Child Development Pathway
- For those interested in careers as a child care worker, child psychologist, or family service advocate
- Includes courses in child development and social sciences
- Entrepreneurship and Business Pathway
- For those interested in careers in business ownership, business, and accounting
- Includes courses in entrepreneurship and business math
- Patient Care Pathway
- For those interested in any area of the medical field
- Includes courses in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and microbiology
- Animation Pathway
- For those interested in careers as a digital animator, artistic director, commercial artist, animator, or graphic/digital artist
- Includes courses in animation, illustration, cartooning, and advanced art
- Photography Pathway
- For those interested in a career as a photographer
- Includes a sequence of courses in digital photography and advanced techniques
To complete a CTE Pathway, learners need to choose a pathway, identify a career within that pathway, and then complete a 3-year sequence of courses. Talk with your EF about adding a CTE pathway to your courses for the coming school year.
Don’t see a career of interest above? That’s okay! There are many CTE opportunities available through your local community college. These programs offer state-of-the-art equipment and accredited certificates that can lead directly to a career. Bonus: You can also earn college units while working towards your career of interest! A simple search for CTE + the college name will bring up a listing of all their CTE Pathways. If you are interested, contact the Strong Workforce Counselor at your local community college.
For more information or assistance reach out to us directly at email@example.com.
Rising Seniors, Class of 2022, it is time to start your college application journey! Summer is the perfect time to work on your essays before the hectic application deadlines during the fall semester.
iLEAD is partnering with College Essay Guy to make these valuable workshops available FREE to iLEAD learners:
The Personal Statement: This workshop is for the main college essay. It can be used for the Common Application (the application used by 1000 colleges), scholarship essays, honors programs, and individual college applications.
The Supplemental Essay: Often individual colleges require supplemental essays. They can get overwhelming as each college asks a different question or even multiple questions. College Essay Guy will be having two weekend crash courses to prepare for these essays.
The University of California Personal Insight Questions (PIQs): Our UC system has its own set of questions. The College Essay Guy has a weekend crash course and a three-week course in October.
By registering for one of these courses, you will receive access to the College Essay Guy’s new Choose Your Own Adventure Essay Tool. This is an online program that walks you through the entire essay process from brainstorming, to choosing your essay format, to completion. This program will be yours to use throughout the entire application season.
Some applications are due as early as November 1, so don’t delay! Take advantage of these live essay boot camps, crash courses, and the essay builder tool. Once you get started, make an appointment with our College Advisor, Laura Kazan, to go over your essays and put on the final touches.
The FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the form that learners and parents fill out to receive financial aid for postsecondary education. This can include four-year colleges, community colleges, and trade schools. In most cases, the learner AND parent will need to fill out the FAFSA. Each will supply their own information. For divorced, widowed, and non-traditional family situations, this graphic can help you decide which family member should be included in the FAFSA and which parent will need to provide information.
The FAFSA opens on October 1, 2021. It should be filled out as soon as possible. For learners heading to a four-year college, the FAFSA deadline can vary by college so be sure to check the deadline on each college website. For students attending a public college in California (the University of California, the California state system, or a California community college) the final deadline for maximum financial aid is March 2, 2022. Do not wait until the last minute as some colleges award aid on a first-come, first-serve basis. Here are some helpful resources to explain FAFSA:
- How to fill out the FAFSA: This video explains the necessary documents, information, and steps required to fill out the FAFSA. Information and documentation include your social security, your taxes, and W2. You will also need your permanent resident card if applicable.
- How to create an account for the FAFSA: This video explains the steps to create an ID for both students and parents. The student and the parent must each create their own account. A Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID is necessary to log in and complete the FAFSA.
- Information for parents filling out the FAFSA: This video explains the parent portion for filling out the FAFSA for dependent students. This video explains the difference between a dependent and independent student and will help you determine your dependency status.
- FAFSA YouTube channel: This provides numerous videos to help explain financial aid in general including filling out the FAFSA, tips for parents, and understanding loans.
The California Dream Act allows undocumented California learners to apply for financial aid for California state colleges. This video explains more about CADAA.
Eligible learners who file the CADAA may receive grants for University of California schools (examples: UCLA, UC Irvine), the California State University system (examples CSU Long Beach and San Diego State University), and the community college system.
Check here to see if you qualify under the California Dream Act or AB 540.
If you have any questions about the FAFSA, the CADAA, or financial aid in general please contact iLEAD Exploration’s College Advisor, Laura Kazan, at laura.kazan@ileadexploration.
While enrolled with iLEAD for the past six years, Julianna has been able to explore her passions in an academic setting. She has been able to take advantage of concurrent enrollment at West LA College, where she has majored in sociology and will complete an AA shortly after her graduation from iLEAD. The flexible schedule in hybrid homeschooling has at times allowed her to work with children in casual babysitting as well as professional teacher’s aide environments. Julianna has enjoyed participating in the Associated Student Body (most recently serving as regional president), the Creative Writing Club, and the National Honor Society.
Julianna will further develop her interests as she heads off to Beloit College this fall. She has been awarded a music scholarship and plans to sing in at least one campus choir. She has been awarded merit aid and will participate as a Human Rights & Social Justice Fellow (including opportunities for undergraduate research and study abroad) while completing her BA in sociology.
Congratulations, Julianna, for all you have accomplished. We are proud of you and thankful to have been able to be a part of your journey at iLEAD.
On May 12, from 6-8 pm, iLEAD Exploration will be participating in our first-ever virtual college fair with over 50 colleges participating from across the states and around the world! We have partnered with several other charter schools to form an organization called CAL ALT (California Alternative Education) that is hosting the event. This will be the perfect opportunity to speak directly to college representatives, learn about a wide variety of colleges, and discover what makes each college unique. Friends and family are welcome to attend!
The list of colleges attending is growing, but to preview the schools participating so far, take a look at the CAL ALT College Fair website. Since this is a virtual fair, the team has created a CAL ALT College Fair Information Video with tips and information about the event and how to “visit” the representatives from the colleges you want to explore. Start investigating each college now and come to the fair prepared with a list of questions. While you are at the fair, you can also visit the iLEAD Exploration room where the high school team will be on hand to help you navigate the fair and answer questions.
To attend the CAL ALT College Fair and to receive the links that will go live at the start of the event, please complete this RSVP.
See you at the fair!
We are looking forward to a special in-person ceremony to honor our 2021 graduates! iLEAD Exploration’s graduation ceremony will be held on June 3 at 4:00 pm. The current location is The Grand in Long Beach but if restrictions impact our location, we will notify families right away about any changes. To present diplomas and plan our ceremony, we are asking ALL graduates to complete the Diploma Name and Graduation Participation Form by April 30. In addition, please complete the graduation tasks below that apply to you no later than the deadlines listed.
Immediate Action Needed: If you have not ordered your cap and gown, please email highschool@ileadexploration.
April 30: Speech or Performance Audition Video Due – All graduates are invited to submit a speech or performance audition video to highschool@ileadexploration.
May 14: Graduates participating in the ceremony must complete the Graduate Achievements and Goals which will be shared as each graduate receives their diploma.
Joining the military after high school can bring many benefits. In addition to serving your country and learning important life skills, you can receive housing, subsidized food, health care, and an education. Opportunities are available to pursue undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees through the military. Many colleges and universities have ROTC programs. In exchange for a paid college education and a guaranteed post-college career, cadets commit to serve in the military after graduation. There are many different programs and ways to serve depending on your short-term and long-term career goals. To learn more about the different branches of the military, follow the links below.
Hi, this is Kelly Henley, a student officer for NHS. While NHS is the nation’s premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students, it’s more than just an honor roll. We meet virtually monthly and grow as a community together while we work to complete five volunteer hours for our community and five volunteer hours for our school each semester. NHS has become like a second school family to me and we would love for you to be able to join us. Learners need to be in grades 10-12th next year (which means that current 9th, 10th, and 11th graders can apply). Also, learners need to have been enrolled with iLEAD a minimum of one full semester and have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA to apply. The application period is open until Friday, 5/14/21. Meetings will begin at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year! We can’t wait for you to join us and make memories with your fellow members! 2021-22 NHS Application Form
Born a natural engineer, toddler Titus looked for household objects he could subject to his carefully planned dissembling tests. Titus’s success ratio was unusually high, which caught the attention of his parents. Being in a homeschooling family, Titus was determined in kindergarten to free up his time for engineering. He did this by waking up early and consistently finishing all his schoolwork as quickly, completely, and accurately as possible so that he could learn to build complex Rube Goldberg ball contraption machines using wood and Legos. At age 9, Titus’s life changed when his parents found a FIRST Lego League (FLL) robotics competition. Titus led the team with his programming and building skills and won the 1st Place Championship and 1st Place Robot Performance as a rookie team! This experience skyrocketed Titus’s passion to become an engineer – just like his dad.
Without a doubt, homeschooling has opened the floodgates of opportunity for Titus to customize his learning in pursuit of engineering. Although Titus loves to learn Krav Maga, ride his bike, swim, play music, basketball, pickleball, and Ga-Ga ball, being surrounded by his six siblings under the guidance of his parents each day is where he truly thrives. Robotics is a family affair and so is working on the tech team at his local church. Titus’s flexible schedule allows him to partake in unprecedented tours, give formal presentations to STEM companies, be highlighted in multiple magazines and newspapers, gain sponsorships, and give back to the community by teaching robotics and chess at local schools and in the community.
Over the course of eight years, Titus has won 36 robotics awards and has advanced to the World Robotics Competition level three times. Titus is now in 11th grade and has been competing in a FIRST Technical Challenge robotics competition throughout his high school years. He works to design, CAD, 3D print, build, and program a robot to accomplish tasks along with thousands of other teams across the globe. His team recently won the 1st Place Championship at their qualifier competition and will be competing in the Southern California Championship at the end of April.
Titus, you are a shining example of someone who uses your gifts to make an impact on the community around you. Keep it up!
Are you looking to get credits over the summer this year? While iLEAD Exploration is not in session during the summer, parents may pay out-of-pocket for summer courses. Below are some credit-granting summer options to consider.
- Concurrent Enrollment through your local community college may be tuition-free. Concurrent enrollment paperwork needs to be signed prior to the last day of school, June 4th.
- Acellus Summer Program (customized): $79 per month for 1 to 6 classes
- Silicon Valley High School (A-G/customized): $95 per 5 credit course
- BYU Independent Study (A-G/customized): $170 per 5 credit course for online (customized) or $280 per course for teacher-led (A-G)
- iLEAD Online (A-G/Customized): $295 per 5 credit course (must have applied by March 19 to be entered into their lottery)
- Apex learning with teacher support (A-G/customized): $350 per 5 credit course
- UC Scout (A-G, On-demand) (AG): $399 per 5 credit course. Summer session begins 6/1 and ends 8/18.
YouScience is the science of you! Utilizing a series of brain games, YouScience analyzes your unique aptitudes and interests and matches you to potential careers. If you are unsure what fields are a good fit for you or are simply seeking confirmation that what you’ve chosen is a match, YouScience can help! Once you’ve completed the “brain game” skills assessments, YouScience provides the following:
- A comprehensive written report all about you, your skills, how you interact with others, how you learn, and what work/school environments are the best fit;
- A list of in-demand careers matched specifically to your unique aptitudes (skills) and interests. You can view careers based only on skills, only on interests, or where these two overlap. You can even sort careers by the required years of education (0-3 yrs, 4 yrs, or 5+ yrs);
- Detailed career information covering “A Day in the Life,” core tasks, which of your aptitudes match, and where your interests align. You’ll also see related careers, years of education required, suggested majors or programs, and salary and job openings.
- Last Names A-K: Bethany Maddox https://calendly.com/
- Last Names L-Z: Heather Fecarotta https://calendly.com/heather-
To access YouScience, log in through your Scoir account. If you have not yet registered your Scoir account, you should have a registration email waiting for you in your ileadexploration.org email. If you are not able to access your school email, be sure to submit a tech ticket to reset your password so you don’t miss out on all that Scoir and YouScience have to offer.
The National Honor Society (NHS) is the nation’s premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school learners. More than just an honor roll, NHS serves to recognize those learners who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. iLEAD Exploration is excited to invite all iLEAD Exploration learners who will be in 10th-12th grade during the 2021-22 school year, have been enrolled with iLEAD a minimum of one full semester, and have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA to apply. The application period is open from now until Friday, May 14th. If you applied last fall and received an acceptance letter then there is no need to apply again. Meetings will begin in October. Click HERE to apply.
GAME DAY RECAP
Hello, High Schoolers! On February 26th, iLEAD ASB hosted a virtual game day where we met fellow iLEAD learners and played fun virtual games. We played Among Us, Scattergories, and Gartic.io (Pictionary). There were about 15 learners and we all had an amazing time getting to know each other. We hope to see you all at our next ASB event!
ASB Regional President
NOW ACCEPTING ASB APPLICATIONS FOR 2021-22
It’s that time of the year again!! ASB is accepting applications for the 2021-22 school year. If you are interested in meeting other learners, planning events, and developing your leadership skills, we encourage you to apply! The deadline for applying is Friday, May 14, 2021.
ASB Application for New Members
It’s not too late to join the Gaming Club or Creative Writing Club! To join one or both clubs, RSVP here.
I, Heather, am a writer. I find fulfillment in expressing myself through the written word, and this results in short stories, novellas, and drafts of books and TV scripts. I am passionate about writing content for future generations that is inspiring, encouraging, and challenges them to discover who they are and establish their beliefs. I have won a Sweepstakes Ribbon for my creative short story at the L.A. County Fair, have edited and published a children’s book, and have written and published two historical fiction novellas. Editing and composition are also passions of mine, which I practice while creating newsletters. In addition, I enjoy helping others with their struggles. In the future, I hope to become a motivational speaker and/or a mentor.
I, Hope, am an artist. My two biggest passions in life are helping others and expressing myself through artwork, both of which I hope to do in my future as an art therapist. I love art of any kind and have worked with almost every medium, including watercolor, acrylic, oil, pastel, charcoal, etc. One of my new favorite mediums, however, is digital media, in which I use a drawing tablet to paint on my computer. I draw inspiration from the world around me, whether it is nature, music, or movies, using it to paint scenery and characters. Like my sister, I have entered some of my drawings into the L.A. County Fair, and have received multiple 1st place awards and sweepstakes. I continue to sharpen my gifts by practicing new styles and entering into art challenges, as well as creating character concept art for an L.A. director (who happens to be my cousin!). I hope to not only spread light and joy through my art in my future career but in my everyday life.
We continue to develop our gifts and passions through the flexibility of being learners through iLEAD Exploration. Our schedule allows us hours of time for rehearsals, shows, recitals, tournaments, writing, and art. We are excited about our futures and hope to make a difference in our world through our gifts. We understand that getting the most out of life isn’t about how much we keep for ourselves, but how much we pour into others.
Thank you, Heather and Hope, for sharing your stories with us! We are so proud of you and grateful to have you as part of our iLEAD family!
Through Scoir, all iLEAD high school learners have access to YouScience. YouScience is a comprehensive career assessment program that combines aptitudes, interests, and 21st century careers to make career and educational recommendations. Through the use of 5-8 minute performance-based exercises, YouScience captures a learner’s true areas of highest potential. Once logged into Scoir, you will click on “My Profile”, then “Career Profile” on the left side bar. Then select “YouScience” to get started. It will redirect you to their outside website, but saved careers will sync back to your Scoir account.
If you need access to your Scoir/YouScience account, reach out to your EF for the necessary steps to activate.
ASB is hosting an Online Game Event for all iLEAD High school learners on Friday, February 26 at 1:00 pm. We will be playing Pictionary, Among Us, and Scattergories. Hope you can join us! To RSVP click HERE.
Traditionally the college search centers around tours and visits. Visits help students understand the different college types: large vs small, universities vs. colleges, commuter vs. on campus. They also help students build application lists and make final choices! Due to pandemic restrictions, many traditional campus visitations are unavailable.
Students may be apprehensive about choosing colleges without the ability to cruise the dorms, talk to guides, and attend information sessions. Understanding that students can’t travel, admissions teams have brought the college admission experience to students through virtual tours, information sessions, student panels, and fairs. Here are some ideas for virtual college explorations.
Take advantage of virtual college fairs! Spring is typically college fair season, but with travel restrictions and social distancing fairs have gone virtual. This has turned out to be advantageous putting the college admission officers right in your living room. Some great options are fairs by the National Association of College Admission Counselors (NACAC).
These include general, performing and visual arts, and STEM fairs. Look at individual fairs to see which colleges will be available at each event and perhaps even visit a few admission staff from colleges that may be unfamiliar to you.
YouVisit offers free, online, guided tours of a large selection of colleges and universities. You and your family can walk through the college, visit the dorms, and see classrooms. You can find colleges at the YouVisit website or log into your iLEAD account on Scoir which has YouVisit built in.
Virtual Information Sessions
StriveScan is a college fair organizer that regularly holds live information sessions and Q&As. These sessions are varied with information about specific colleges or individual topics. You can hear from your favorite colleges or learn about college types, sports recruiting, STEM, colleges for LGBT+ students, applying to art or music schools and the list goes on. Be on the lookout for StriveScan’s virtual college fairs this spring.
There are lots of virtual opportunities available to explore college today. Sign up for your iLEAD Scoir account to receive notifications of future events. If you don’t have access to Scoir yet, let your EF know or contact Laura Kazan, iLEAD’s College Advisor, at laura.kazan@ileadexploration.
On May 12, iLEAD and fellow California independent study charter schools will be hosting our own virtual event, so be sure to save the date!
WACAC and NACAC fairs feature a full array of international and national colleges. These events include both college presentations as well as subject information sessions on specialty topics. National Portfolio Day offers you the opportunity to upload your art portfolio and receive advice from a variety of art schools and art departments.
More fairs will be added as we move into the spring and summer. Scoir, iLEAD’s college planning tool, gives up-to-date information on college fairs.
Below you will find a list of virtual college fairs:
- March 3rd WACAC College Fair and Information Sessions
- Mar 7th NACAC College Fair: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) focus
- March 14th WACAC College Fair and Information Sessions
- Mar 16th NACAC Visual and Performing Arts Focus
- March 19th National Portfolio Day
- April 10th NACAC College Fair: Western US Focus
- April 10th National Portfolio Day
- April 15th-16th College and Career Fairs–Save the Date – Registration opens March 22nd
- April 19th WACAC College Fair and Information Sessions
- April 20th NACAC College Fair: Southeastern US Focus
Hey, I’m an Aussie who moved to Los Angeles almost 5 years ago as my brother is an actor and musician.
I have always loved sports. At one time, I was even pursuing professional soccer but, I didn’t really have the passion for it. However, about a year and a half ago, I decided on a career in stunts. My brother and most of my friends are actors, and while I’ve never had any interest in acting, stunts are something that fill me with so much excitement. I knew right away that stunts and I were a perfect match.
So for the past eighteen months, I have been studying taekwondo, wushu, trapeze, silks, sword-fighting, bo staff spinning, parkour, and tricking. I have made some great relationships with stunt coordinators and met people that are featured in the Avengers, Wonder Woman, Birds of Prey movies, and many more. The one thing they all tell me is, “You are so lucky to start so young.”
Being a student of iLEAD Exploration has allowed me to work all these lessons into my existing academic curriculum to be able to train with industry professionals on their timetables. I’ve found it’s been a great balance to do a couple of hours of physical work and then a couple of hours at my desk. I am so very grateful to iLEAD that it has allowed me to dedicate many hours to my career, giving me a head start in a competitive and physical industry.
The high school team at iLEAD is so proud of you, Amy, and we look forward to seeing you and your awesome moves on the big screen someday!
Your ASB is excited to announce the launch of two high school clubs that are open to all iLEAD high school learners: The Gaming Club and a Creative Writing Club. By joining one of these clubs, you will have the opportunity to meet other iLEAD learners, have a great time, and build long-lasting friendships. To join one or both clubs, RSVP here.
If you have any questions, please email our ASB Coordinator at: karen.askenaze@
Summer programs offer learners the opportunity to experience campus life while engaged in academic or extracurricular activities. Many applications are available now, so don’t wait to check deadlines and begin the application process. These programs may look different this summer, but whether in-person or online, they offer great opportunities. There are a wide variety of programs and financial aid may be available.
Programs can be divided into several categories including academic, college preparatory, artistic, and athletic. Below is a small sampling of available summer programs. Learners are encouraged to do their own searching, focusing on specific areas of interest or colleges and universities.
The California State Summer School for Mathematics & Science (COSMOS): For STEM-oriented learners, this competitive admission program will be online this summer.
The California State University Summer Arts Programs: This selective program offers a wide variety of courses in fine arts including visual arts, dance, theater, and writing.
The Landmark College Summer Program: For learners with learning differences, Landmark offers college preparatory programs that provide learners with skills and insights to prepare for both academic and social aspects of college.
Blue Jays Soccer Camps for Girls: This athletic program offers an opportunity for girls interested in playing college soccer an opportunity to work with coaches in a college environment.
Summer Programs and Admissions
Some competitive summer programs that offer in-depth experience in a specific academic or artistic field will help with college admissions. These programs are often free or low cost and they stand out on a college application because they are competitive and the learner gains valuable advanced experience. Non-competitive summer programs show a dedication to an area of interest, something that helps admission officers know more about who you are and what you value. Programs at specific college campuses do not necessarily help a learner gain admission to that college.
If you need help or wish to discuss summer options, feel free to set up an appointment to meet with our College Advisor, Laura Kazan.