iLEAD Exploration Remains Open Virtually for Learners

iLEAD Exploration continues to operate its independent study model in an entirely virtual format. Click here for resources.

Aug 23, 2020 @ 01:00

High School

Our News & Events

CTCL College Fair


Colleges That Change Lives- CTCL College Fair on July 28 in Los Angeles
The Colleges that Change Lives Fair is coming to Los Angeles on Sunday, July 28. These colleges are located around the country and are perfect for many learners, a-g or not! CTCL colleges are for those learners who are highly academic, non-traditional or have unique interests and passions. Many of these colleges are well known for their generous financial aid (two schools even cover full financial need).
Learners register HERE.

PSAT/NMSQT 10th and 11th Graders


Registration is open for optional PSAT/NMSQT testing on October 16 (Costa Mesa) or October 19 (Santa Clarita) for 10th and 11th graders. This is the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT) for 11th graders and also provides great preparation for the SAT. Please view the PSAT/NMSQT Fall 2019 Registration form for more information and to register at either location. The cost is $20 and a check must be mailed to 3843 S Bristol Street #616, Santa Ana, CA 92704 to complete registration. The registration form must be filled out by August 23 for learners who have been approved for College Board accommodations. The final deadline for registration and payment is September 6.

Meet the High School Team in Person

Meet the Team

High School Connection Meeting

We would like to meet our learners in person! Parents are welcome to come too, but this is a chance for high schoolers to meet Bethany Maddox, Laura Kazan, Lisa Rittenhouse, and other high school team members to 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. Please register here: Exploration’s High School/ College Meeting RSVP. We look forward to meeting you!

Fall ACT & SAT Registration


The September ACT and October SAT registrations are now open. To participate in fall testing, register directly through ACT and College Board right away. On examination day, testers need to use the iLEAD Hybrid College Board code 054846 for both tests to ensure that our school counselors have access to testing information.

Washington D.C. and NYC Trip for Middle and High Schoolers


D.C. flier

Learner Spotlight: Owen Harris

Owen Harris Main

iLEAD Exploration is proud to highlight freshman Owen Harris. Owen started homeschooling in 5th grade and has been pursuing his passion for history and hands-on learning ever since. From a young age, Owen showed a great aptitude for mechanics. While many other toddlers were happily playing with plastic toy phones, Owen had other pursuits such as opening up an actual landline phone, taking it apart, investigating all the parts, and then proceeding to put it all back together.

Over the years, this learner’s interest in mechanisms has continued to grow, and he has been able to thoroughly satisfy that passion through homeschooling. In additional to rigorous core classes, Owen has taken several “outside-the-box” electives including aviation studies, photography, industrial arts, and nautical studies. As a member of the Newport Sea Base offshore sailing team, Owen partook in an amazing “hands-on” adventure! Along with his team, Owen sailed fourteen hours straight aboard the Heartbeat, a 45-foot racing yacht, for a total of 112 nautical miles from San Pedro to Point Loma, San Diego. The crew sailed tirelessly, making great time and braving the rainy weather and wind. So impressive!

In addition to sailing, Owen has been able to pursue his passion for aviation and history. Owen has visited just about every aviation museum in California, and has even visited air museums in Texas, Arizona and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Over the years, Owen has attended over twenty airshows with his dad, who works in the aviation industry. An avid photographer, Owen enjoys taking photos on these trips to capture images of modern and historical aircraft.

Owen is also currently taking industrial arts where he has experimented with 3D printing, welding, and woodworking to build some amazing projects. We are so proud of Owen Harris for his dedication to his studies as well as his willingness to take risks and try new things! We look forward to seeing how Owen’s educational journey continues to unfold over the next three years!

Social and Emotional Well-Being

Emotional Well Being

Edgenuity, one of our online vendors, now offers seven different social and emotional learning classes. They are designed for 6th-12th graders for $49. Their courses include: character and leadership development, college and career readiness, intro to today’s technology, mental health and wellness, personal development, social and emotional success, and unlock your purpose. If you have a learner who would benefit from these topics, keep them in mind for next fall.


Summer School Options for High Schoolers

Summer School

Summer is a great time to either catch up on credits or pursue interests for high schoolers. Here are a few ideas:

iLEAD Online offers academic and elective courses for FREE.

-Local community colleges also offer classes to high schoolers for FREE. Since summer courses are accelerated, this might be a good time to try dual enrollment through an elective course. At the end of the summer, those credits can be added to a learner’s transcript to count toward graduation credits. Let your EF know if you are interested in finding out how to proceed.

-Institutions such as Global Student Network offer a variety of online courses such as A+ Courseware, Accelerate Education, Odysseyware, Apex Learning, and Edmentum. While parents are responsible to pay for online summer courses through these vendors, if the institution provides a transcript at the end of the class, those credits may be added to a learner’s iLEAD transcript at the conclusion of the course. For questions about credits, please email

-Khan Academy offers FREE test prep courses online as well as training in computer science, math, history, art, science, and economics. To learn more, visit their website at

We hope iLEAD high schoolers enjoy staying busy and even learning with all of these options this summer! See you in the fall!

Finding Trade Schools That Interest You on Naviance


Did you know that you can find a list of trade schools based on your interests in Naviance? There are tons of trade schools listed in Naviance with interesting facts about them, and there are a few ways to find them:

1) If you want Naviance to create a list of trade schools based on different criteria that interest you, then you can do that. Just click on Colleges>Colleges Home>SuperMatch. Then, choose what interests you from the list of criteria. Under “Institution Characteristics”, make sure to click on “2-Year or Less (Community Colleges and Vocational/Technical Schools).” All kinds of great trade schools come up. Some examples that pop up are the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood, High-Tech Institute, Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, North Adrian’s College of Beauty, Inc., Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, and lots more. Click on the options and you will find interesting information and a link to each school’s website.

2) If you know the name of a trade school that you are interested in, you can find it by looking for it directly. For example, if you want to find out information about the Los Angeles Trade Technical College, click on Colleges (at the top of the page)>Research Colleges>I’m thinking about>College Lookup>College Name (A-Z)>click on the letter L>scroll down to the Los Angeles Trade Technical College, and click on it. You will be able to preview the college’s information including studies, student life, admissions, cost, and a link to the school’s website.

Have fun with Naviance!

High School Learner Spotlight: Isobel Cook

Isobel pic 1

My name is Isobel Cook, and I’m 16 years old and a senior in high school with iLEAD Exploration. I’ve been homeschooled all of my life along with my two younger brothers. I’ve always had a passion for horses and animals, as well as for writing and storytelling. I’m always either riding my horses or reading/writing a book. As a member of 4-H, I have participated in many different programs, such as the Poultry Project, the Horse Project, the Leadership Project, and the Drama Project. For nine years, I’ve also trained in Tang Soo Do Karate and have earned my second degree black belt. My busy schedule is possible through iLEAD. The flexibility of the iLEAD program allows me to spend many hours outside of a classroom, getting hands-on education and learning experiences. If it weren’t for a school like iLEAD, I wouldn’t be able to engage in the active lifestyle and learning paths I enjoy.

iLEAD has also given me opportunities to advance in my education beyond what a brick and mortar school might. Though I’m enrolled as a senior in high school, I’m actually only the age of a junior. I’m also dual enrolled and am taking all college-level classes and earning college credit. Because I’ve been able to get this early start on my college education, I’m planning on graduating college two years early with a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing at Southern New Hampshire University! This has only been possible through homeschooling and iLEAD Exploration. I hope to become an author and editor of fiction works, and iLEAD has allowed me to grow my passion for writing more than a typical public school ever could. You can find me out at the barn with my horses, curled up on a couch reading, sitting at my desk working on a story, or training at the karate studio, and all because of the wonderful opportunities iLEAD and homeschooling have given me!

College Corner – April

College Corner

As always, we want you to be informed of important upcoming events. Make sure you put these on your calendar!

Upcoming College Fairs

These are great opportunities for you to learn about your options!

Colleges That Change Lives College Fair
Location: Hilton Universal City, 555 Universal Hollywood Dr., Los Angeles, CA 91608
Date: Sunday, July 28, 2019
Fair Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Pre-register: Colleges That Change Lives Fair (Los Angeles)

Colleges That Change Lives College Fair
Location: San Diego Marriott Mission Valley
Location: 8757 Rio San Diego Dr, San Diego, CA 92108
Date: Saturday, July 27, 2019
Fair Hours: 10 a.m.
Pre-register: Colleges That Change Lives Fair (San Diego)

Virtual College Tours

ACT/SAT Deadlines and Dates

APRIL Newsletter ACT_SAT

Canyon Theatre Guild Scholarship

Canyon Theatre Guild offers scholarships for local high school seniors. You do not need to have experience at their theatre to apply.

CTG Highschool Scholarship Application

Obtaining a Work Permit


Is your learner planning on working this summer? Depending on the age of your student, a work permit may be required by the employer. A work permit is a legal document that allows a student to hold a job. Work permits are issued based on good academic standing and attendance. Learners are not allowed a work permit if they are on academic probation. If the employer asks for one, here are the steps to obtain an official work permit:

1) Download the B1-1 Form from the CDE website. Have the employer complete and sign the workplace information section.
2) Return the signed copy to your educational facilitator who will forward the form to the iLEAD registrar. The documented information will be verified.
3) Please include the home address where the final form should be mailed. The permit will be mailed within 2-3 business days.
4) Sign the permit and provide it to the employer.

Please note that the directors maintain the right to withdraw a work permit based on academic standing or violation of school policy. If you have any questions, email

Dual Enrollment Procedures


May is the month for learners to submit community college paperwork to be signed by iLEAD in order to register for the summer term. Fall paperwork can be submitted May-September and will be sent out on Fridays. Remember, a 3-5 unit class may allow a learner to earn a full year of high school credit for that subject in one semester! Here are the steps to get started:
1) Learners may pursue registering for community college courses if they are academically, socially and emotionally prepared for the rigor and environment of a college course.
2) Families are responsible for registering for courses on their own and paying for all course material fees and transcript requests.
3) Learners need to obtain the special admission request form from their community college’s admissions office or website and fill out the classes and learner information only. They should wait to sign the form until after it has been returned from the iLEAD office so all signatures are wet.
4) The parent or learner will forward the form to their EF. The request will be signed by a school official and stamped within two days and returned by mail to the family for final signatures.
5) The learner will take the form to register at the community college.
6) Once the learner is admitted, the family will notify the EF of the exact title and code for the courses.
7) The grade earned in the course by the professor will be the same grade issued on the high school transcript. Please note that grades given by the EF at the end of the semester are tentative until confirmed by official transcripts.
8) Upon course completion each semester, the learner will request an e-transcript from the community college. iLEAD Hybrid is the school to select. Transcripts should be sent to If the college does not offer e-transcripts, the learner will forward college transcripts to the iLEAD Exploration address below:
ATTN: Registrar
3842 S. Bristol Street #616
Santa Ana, CA 92704

National Honor Society

National Honor Society Img

The National Honor Society (NHS) is the nation’s premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. More than just an honor roll, NHS serves to recognize those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, service, leadership, and character. These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since its beginning in 1921.

Today, it is estimated that more than one million students participate in NHS activities. NHS chapters are found in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, many U.S. territories, and Canada. Chapter membership not only recognizes students for their accomplishments, but challenges them to develop further through active involvement in school activities and community service.

Applications for membership in next year’s NHS are being accepted from now until April 30. Members will be inducted at our final meeting of the year and will begin the 2019-2020 school year as participating members of our chapter. Learners may apply if they are:
1) Currently in 9th-11th grade
2) Have been enrolled with iLEAD for at least 1 FULL semester
3) Have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

If eligible, please apply here.

Free Online Resources for High School Students

Computer Image

At iLEAD Exploration, we are happy to provide you with high school curriculum suggestions and online vendor suggestions that can be purchased using instructional funds. We also have a variety of free resource suggestions for our high school families. Our curriculum department has worked hard to collect the best resources available for free on the web. While it is obviously non-exhaustive, we hope you find the list helpful. These resources are available through the Hub on our website when you log into your account. The results can be narrowed down by subject and grade level. You can use this link to access it. A few of our favorites are MITOpenCourseware, Khanacademy, and PBS Learning. We hope you enjoy exploring some new sites!

Learner Spotlight: Joseph Haag

Learner Spotlight 2

Joseph Haag, a senior with iLEAD Exploration, was born in 2001 in Simi Valley, California. He has three brothers, one being his fraternal twin. He is a comedian/actor/model/writer, or whatever he puts his mind to. He has been pursuing his acting/comedy career since he was 10 years old. Through the years, he has worked and studied with some amazing coaches, casting directors, actors, and writers.

With graduation quickly approaching, Joseph is looking into continuing his career as a stand-up comic, performing in as many shows as possible. His dream is to one day perform on Saturday Night Live with some of the most talented comedians around. He has a love for making people laugh, and feels he is fortunate to be able to pursue his passion of comedy through the freedom provided in homeschooling.

We are excited to see what his future holds!

Financial Aid & Scholarships


We are excited to hear about the future plans and goals of our iLEAD learners. For those planning on attending college, the financial aspect can be quite overwhelming.

There are two types of scholarships: academic and need-based. While merit (academic) scholarships look at your academic achievements, need-based scholarships look at your financial ability to pay for college. There are many colleges that do not award merit scholarships (such as Ivy League colleges) and only award need-based scholarships.

When applying to colleges, consider those that give academic or merit-based scholarships. Information is found on the college website or by contacting their Office of Financial Aid. The websites mentioned below can guide you to colleges offering academic/merit aid. In addition, U.S. News publishes an annual list of colleges that award the highest percentage of merit aid. You can access it here. Make sure you are aware of deadlines in order to be eligible for merit scholarship consideration.

Here are some other helpful links for financial aid planning:

Important Forms

CSS/Financial Aid Profile – Many colleges, universities, and scholarship programs use the information collected on PROFILE to help them award non-federal student aid funds.

Scholarship Websites

The following websites offer free information on thousands of available scholarships.


These websites use your profile to match you to available scholarships, college choices, and assess your chances for admittance:


Chegg Scholarships


College Fairs

Graduation Picture

College fairs provide exposure to colleges all around the country in one place! They are a great opportunity to confirm your college choices and discover some new ones. There is no such thing as too much information when it comes to such an important decision. While online websites can be very helpful, being able to talk to people in person can make a big difference. Here are some college fairs that will be coming to southern California in the coming weeks and months. We have included some online college fairs as well. Choose one to put on your calendar.

College Fairs

Driver’s Education

Driver's Ed Pic

Driver’s education can be taken as a 2.5 unit semester course with iLEAD. There are five straightforward steps to teens getting their driver’s license:

STEP 1: Take a Driver’s Education Course
These courses can be taken online or in a class setting. They provide a foundation for your driver’s training and prepare the driver to be behind the wheel. In the state of California, you need to be at least 15 years old to enroll in one of these courses. When the course is complete, you will receive a pink certificate of completion in the mail. It is important to hold onto this document as the DMV will require it to prove successful completion of the course.

We have two vendors that offer driver’s education courses: AA Teen Driving Academy (Orange County) and 1 Driving School Website (Los Angeles).

STEP 2: Get Your Learner’s Permit
Once you complete your driver’s education course and you receive the certificate of completion, you are ready to make an appointment at the Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain a learner’s permit at the age of 15 1/2. You must pass the written driver’s test and a vision test to get your permit. It is important to study your driver’s handbook or get an app to study for the written driver’s test. On the day of the written test, don’t forget to bring your birth certificate, social security number, and certificate of completion from your driving school to the DMV.

STEP 3: Complete Behind-the-Wheel Training
After you receive your learner’s permit, you are ready for behind-the-wheel training. This is the practical portion of your driver training. You must complete six hours of behind-the-wheel training with an instructor.

STEP 4: 50 Hours of Practice

Two hours with an instructor must be completed before you are legally allowed to drive with an adult over the age 25. You must complete 50 hours of behind-the-wheel practice with an adult 25 years or older before taking your behind-the-wheel driving test at the age of 16 (ten of the hours must be driven at night).

STEP 5: Apply for Your Driver’s License

The final step to obtaining a driver’s license is passing a driving test. You will need to make an appointment at the DMV for a behind-the-wheel driving test. Be sure to make the appointment far in advance as they can be booked a few months out.

Be sure the bring the correct paperwork with you to the appointment:

  • Proof of Driver’s Ed and Behind-the-Wheel Training Completion
  • Your Learner’s Permit (signed by a parent/guardian)
  • Valid Vehicle Registration
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Number
  • Application from DMV (both parents must sign)

Free Online Resources for High School Students

Computer Image

At iLEAD Exploration, we are happy to provide you with high school curriculum suggestions and online vendor suggestions that can be purchased using instructional funds. We also have a variety of free resource suggestions for our high school families. Our curriculum department has worked hard to collect the best resources available for free on the web. While it is obviously non-exhaustive, we hope you find the list helpful. These resources are available through the Hub on our website when you log into your account. The results can be narrowed down by subject and grade level. You can use this link to access it. A few of our favorites are MITOpenCourseware, Khanacademy, and PBS Learning. We hope you enjoy exploring some new sites!

College Corner

College Corner

Summer Programs

Take a look at some exciting summer programs being offered by top colleges across the country. Students may apply now until spaces fill at various campuses.


If you haven’t registered for Naviance yet, please contact This site has many tools to help you navigate career and college decisions. The program allows you to access many important websites directly from their site. It provides a valuable one-stop option for career and college information. The bottom of the homepage gives you links to sites such as College Board and Khan Academy (for test preparation). It also allows you to access SAT and ACT Registration, UC and CSU applications, and online campus tours.

SAT/ACT Information and Dates

February ACT_SAT

Naviance: Learning About Careers


Have you taken advantage of the complimentary Naviance offering for our iLEAD high schoolers?

In addition to college planning assistance, Naviance helps students assess their long-term goals and interests. A “Career Interest Profiler” tool in Naviance helps students find careers that align with their passions. Once students narrow down interests and potential career paths, they can start exploring internships and volunteer recommendations. For more information, be sure to read the article “How to Help Students Find Their Passions“.

To learn more about Naviance, please plan to attend our next parent webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 6 p.m. Please RSVP here for this webinar and/or any other upcoming spring webinars for families.

Learner Spotlight: Jake Peluso

Jake Main Image

Jake is a dual-enrolled high school senior with a 4.0 cumulative GPA. He truly enjoys the flexible scheduling and the educational opportunities that iLEAD Exploration offers him. Last semester, Jake studied American Sign Language at Golden West College to fulfill his foreign language requirement and excelled in the class. This coming semester, he will be taking a course at Fullerton College where he plans on attending when he graduates from high school this June.

In addition to diligently focusing on his academic courses, he also pursues his favorite extracurricular activities with a strong intensity. Jake has been an avid skateboarder since he was about four years old. He has been able to skateboard as part of his physical education courses throughout high school. Jake has had two skateboard sponsors and has enjoyed traveling the country on road trips to various skate parks in Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota. Through skating, Jake has learned the true meaning of perseverance. The dedication and discipline that are required in order to master skate tricks and maneuvers have also positively influenced Jake’s academic focus as well as his love and drive for another favorite activity: drumming.

Jake has been playing the drum set for seven years and has focused this last year on the snare drum. Jake has been involved with various concert bands, indoor drumlines, an event percussion ensemble, and marching band. He has been honored with many drumming awards through his involvement with these groups and plans on pursuing music in college. His current love in drumming is marching as a snare player in a marching band and indoor drumline.

Summer Residential Research Program – UC DAVIS

UC Davis Summer Program

UC Davis is offering an exciting opportunity called the Young Scholars Program for about 40 high-achieving high school students. It is a summer residential research program designed to expose students to the world of original research in the natural sciences with an emphasis on the biological, environmental and agricultural sciences.

Participants in the 2019 UC Davis Young Scholars Program will work one-on-one with research faculty and groups in state-of-the-art laboratories for six weeks. Each student will work on an individual project and prepare a journal-quality paper and symposium presentation about their work. In addition to scientific research, the UC Davis Young Scholars Program strives to introduce participants to the climate and culture of living and working on a university campus.

To be eligible for the summer of 2019, students must be currently enrolled as sophomores or juniors in high school and be rising juniors or seniors during the summer program. Applications are due March 16, 2019. For further details, please visit their website.

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