We are so proud of our 2020 graduates. During a time of uncertainty, these learners persevered and were able to complete their high school journey. They embody all that is iLEAD, and we would like to recognize each and every one of them. As C.S. Lewis said, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” From all of us here at iLEAD, we wish them luck in their future endeavors. Congratulations!2020GraduationProgram
iLEAD Exploration 8th grader Layla Solano is new to homeschooling this year, but you would not know it with how creative and connected she has been with so much of what she has studied this year. Her enthusiasm for what she has learned is palpable when you hear her speak about the historical figures, literature, and cultures she has studied. Layla has been taking classes with a co-op and has been homeschooling with her mom, and she often has beautiful poems, stories, or artwork to accompany her assignments. She has the ability to build a connection and feel a relationship not only with her studies but with people too.
Layla is part of a close church community, a small group of people who are like family and have helped to shape so much of who she is. She has been fortunate to have many people of all ages, races, and cultures invest in her and love her, and these relationships have helped her understand how to interact with so many people. It has become natural for her to be able to socialize and have conversations many people, young and old. Her family has tried to instill in her an outward focus on life. Who can she encourage? Whose day can she brighten by being kind and giving? She has a way of thinking of others while being aware and grateful for all she is lucky to have. Through the years, Layla’s parents have been open with her and willing to engage in whatever discussions she’s interested in. It is this that has made her confident in who she is and secure in knowing that she will always be supported and loved.
Layla has many interests: music, singing, acting, animals, and some pretty cool hobbies, like skateboarding! She comes from a huge music-loving family, so she has been exposed to music since she was little. Her singing talent and passion have blossomed and helped her learn how to persevere through those challenging times when things don’t come easy. In recent years, she has begun acting in movies and commercials, which has helped her develop the confidence to try new and scary things. Her involvement in auditions has taught her that she can focus only on doing her best and not on the outcome or opinions of others. She has learned that if something is meant for her, then it will happen. When things don’t work out as planned, she acknowledges the validity of her feelings and works to surrender the disappointment, so she can move forward with a peaceful, grateful heart. These are the experiences that also define Layla on her homeschooling path. She is grateful that being a learner with iLEAD has allowed her to do all the things she loves, while still being able to dig deep and get creative with all her subjects. She is excited to see where her journey with iLEAD takes her next year when she begins high school.
We hope you’ve enjoyed seeing our Together Tuesdays. We are so proud of all our learners and the work they have completed this year!
Summer is almost here! Looking for some innovative ways to keep your learners engaged during the months ahead? One fabulous way to launch into summer is to create a summer activity chain. Kids love to make countdown chains as much as they love tearing off the next loop. Here are some ideas for summer learning activities that would keep your primary crew excited about learning throughout the warm days ahead!
Upper grade learners might enjoy creating a summer scrapbook or a video/slideshow with pictures, quotes, and journal entries about their favorite moments during summer break. Some families also enjoy listing family activities on slips of paper and placing them in a jar, pulling out a couple each day for activities to complete. Whatever your style, enjoy the journey!
Look out, world! The Dadsi sisters are on the move! In their second year with iLEAD Exploration, Nyla and Ayah Dadsi are enjoying the opportunity that independent study provides to delve deep into subjects they are passionate about and to incorporate their love for art, music, politics, and languages into their daily studies. Because of their diverse interests, the girls have had ample opportunities to develop their social intelligence skills. Both are empathetic and good listeners. They respect others’ views and are open to having conversations with everyone regardless of whether they agree with them or not.
Ayah is a 3rd grader who loves playing soccer, roller skating, skateboarding, and riding her scooter. The quarantine hasn’t stopped her, as she can still be found pushing her little sisters (and big sister) up and down hallways on anything that has wheels! She loves math and science and has strong interests in politics and world events. She can be found helping her classmates, making sure everyone feels included and accepted, often going out of her way to speak up against any injustice she sees. Don’t be surprised if you see her on the front page of a newspaper one day, fighting for human rights or breaking some world record in athletics!
Nyla is a 6th grader and talented musician and artist. She can always be found singing or editing videos about her newest favorite musician and memorizing every song she sings. She played violin for three years, recently switched to ukulele and voice lessons, and is looking forward to performing in a virtual recital this month. Nyla loves science and social studies and has an affinity for languages, creative writing, and digital art. She enjoys rollerblading and helping take care of her two baby sisters, as well as cooking and baking new recipes while listening to her favorite music. She, too, is passionate about helping others and fighting for human rights and wants to change this world for the better!
Both Ayah and Nyla speak Arabic, Darija (the Moroccan dialect), and study French at home. They love to play with their baby sisters, play online games, go to the beach with their family, and travel. During the quarantine, they have been busy inventing a new board game, playing online with friends, and writing inspiring chalk messages on the sidewalk for others. They are anxious to see their grandparents, travel again with family, and see their friends at the OC Learning Studio. In the meantime, they are busy spreading positivity and empathy from home as much as possible.
As we get closer to the end of the school year, you may be looking for some fun enrichment activities to engage your learners. We would like to introduce this website that offers you free virtual field trips by grade level. You can find everything from an M&M factory tour to live cams at the San Diego Zoo. Have fun exploring!
What a unique time we are all living through! These past few months have changed the narrative in all of our stories. This is a historic time to record the moments of our lives and save these memories for later reflection in a time capsule! We challenge all our iLEAD families to make a collection that will be a treasure to discover in your future! Here is a 2020 Time Capsule template that you can use to get you started.
We love seeing the positive images submitted throughout LEAD Schools every week, joyful reminders that we are all in this together. Thank you to everyone who submitted this week! Click the image or link to view the video.
Career Technical Education is an exciting and ever-evolving frontier in California. Our community colleges started receiving grant funding to build out incredible labs for their CTE pathways, and they have created some wonderful hands-on opportunities, of which many of our learners can take advantage. Below are just some of the many offerings available. Reach out to your EF or email@example.com for more information.
- Aeronautical and Aviation Technology at Antelope Valley College has labs taught by industry professionals where learners can work on actual engines from aircraft. This program also boasts a 95% employment placement rate.
- Athletic Training at Cerritos College gives learners the opportunity to practice movement as well as injury prevention and management with industry experts. Many of these courses also transfer to degrees in kinesiology.
- Welding CTE at Orange Coast College has over nine available certifications. These hands-on courses enable learners to prepare for careers in the fields of welding inspectors, welding engineers, welding supervisors, and advanced welders.
- Technical Theater at Pierce College offers a certificate that enables learners to work as lighting and stagecraft designers and builders. This program is hands-on, working with the performing arts pathways to design and build shows at the school’s theater.
- Visual Display and Presentation at Saddleback College offers a certificate in which learners have the opportunity to design, prep, and shoot merchandise for advertisements as well as hands-on experience with creating window displays.
Please note that completing pathways does not guarantee certification. Most certifications require successful pathway completion and successfully passing the professional exam for that field.
Summer is a good time to catch up or get ahead on credits toward graduation. Community college classes may be a good fit, but be aware that for this summer, courses are being offered only in an online format. Until June 12, you may submit paperwork to your EF. Requests for dual enrollment signatures after that must be sent to highschool@ileadexploration.
Remember to request a transcript to be sent to iLEAD Exploration/Hybrid when your community college course is complete. E-script (Electronic Transcript) is the quickest and best way to send transcripts. Click HERE for a list of participating schools. If your college is not participating in e-script, the hard-copy original transcripts will need to be either hand-delivered (keep envelope sealed) or mailed to:
3843 S. Bristol St. #616
Due to changes with Covid-19, enrolling in a dual enrollment course may look different than it has in the past. Please refer to the individual college for specific directions on how to submit the signed dual enrollment form, and keep in contact with your EF. Please note that due to summer break, if a form is submitted for signature after June 12, there may be a delay in getting a signature, but paperwork will continue to be signed over summer.
Jobs, Internships, Community Service, and Caring
For colleges using a holistic approach to admissions (not just grades and test scores), work and community service can be important ways to bolster your application.
Paid Work Experience
Summers, weekends, or anytime, employment is considered a solid extracurricular activity. Employment shows you are dependable, hardworking, and independent. With many opportunities to work on campus, admission officers will know you’ll be a solid member of the community and fill needed roles. Work can take many forms: McDonald’s, babysitting, and lifeguarding are all great choices. It’s also a perfect way to save up money for college!
Unpaid Work Experience
From internships to caring for younger siblings, it is all important. While some may be able to access exciting internships, learners who take care of younger siblings, grandparents, or help family friends and neighbors are just as important, and their unpaid work will be seen with value. Learners who wish to step into more of a traditional internship experience will have to do a bit of work. Reach out to individuals who work in fields in which you may be interested, or speak with facilitators or professors to explore opportunities. Internships and networking are part of the process. In fact, you may be able to get a great recommendation letter for college if you do well in your internship.
Authentic community service that matters to you is what’s important. Look into your community and see what is needed, what is missing, and where you can help. Look to your place of worship, your local food banks, and your local political campaigns. What organizations or activities matter to you? You shouldn’t be thinking about what college admission officers want to see. You should be thinking about what is important to you.
In 2016, Harvard, along with a coalition of 50 colleges, created a guide to cultivating concern for others through the college admission process. Check out the summary for a better understanding of meaningful service:
In a second report, Harvard created a guide to services and caring for parents and schools. Parents, this guide can assist you in helping your college-bound learner reduce stress and encourage meaningful engagement during high school:
Sydney is the definition of a hardworking person. Not only did she begin her first iLEAD semester six weeks late, but she also completed the semester early with straight As, including a college-level English course! Sydney seems to effortlessly balance her academics and her professional career as a series regular on the Emmy-winning series General Hospital and the new Netflix animation series Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts. She has entered multiple dance competitions, often placing first in her category. In addition to being a full-time learner and a working actress, Sydney gives back to her community by volunteering over seven hours a week at a local elementary school. She says, “I’m so glad to give back to the community. It feels good to help others!” Sydney’s determined spirit, passion, and humility will lead her on a road to success.
Sydney has been able to balance her busy schedule and maintain a 4.1 GPA by using the flexibility of the iLEAD program to her advantage. She states, “After attending public school for two years, I can confidently say that iLEAD has tremendously helped me maintain my work life, education, and mental health.” Even her mother agrees that when the pandemic hit, Sydney realized how grateful she was to already be part of such a flexible program. With the help of iLEAD’s course pacing, Sydney is also able to find time to study for SATs and prepare for college. She says she might want to go to a Historically Black College or University, such as Howard or Spelman, or she might stay in California so that she can continue working and attend one of California’s prestigious universities. Either way, we know that with all of her hard work and dedication, her future will be bright!
Eighth grade iLEAD Exploration learner Lindsey Yang showed a great interest and love for music from an early age when watching her older sister play piano. By the time she was 5, Lindsey demonstrated an internal discipline that allowed her to sit and play on her own for hours at a time. Her mom decided to have Lindsey begin piano lessons at age 8. Lindsey has always enjoyed both school and music. However, after entering middle school, she found it more difficult to find the time to practice and prepare for competitions due to the heavy workload of homework outside of her regular school day.
Enrolling in 2018 with iLEAD Exploration has allowed Lindsey to have the freedom and flexibility to make her own schedule in balancing her music and also her academics. She has been able to greatly improve her technical skills and to also grow and mature musically through a variety of activities to widen her perspective. Through iLEAD Exploration, Lindsey has been able to take music theory classes and swimming lessons. Lindsey displays social intelligence in her diligence in pursuing music. She participates in music festivals, competitions, master classes and recitals. Lindsey has had many opportunities to travel to various places, experience different cultures and meet new people.
Lindsey’s musical bio is long and extensive and includes many competitions and accomplishments in both the states and abroad. Last summer, Lindsey participated in a two-week long music festival in Italy where she had the privilege to learn from pianists and professors from various countries around the world. Students came together with different backgrounds and languages to communicate in their common passion, music. They were able to learn from one another and share new ideas and musical interpretations. Lindsey is also a member of a local Chamber Music group that practices and prepares together for performances.
Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all of Lindsey’s competitions and concerts have been canceled. She continues to take her lessons via Zoom and is using this time to learn and practice new songs that she has always wanted to play. Her chamber music members are planning to record their music individually and put together a “quarantine chamber music video” online.
When Lindsey is not playing piano, she also enjoys reading, baking with her sister, spending time with her friends and dog Lucky, traveling, and playing guitar with her dad. She is also looking forward to her newest pursuit of harvesting her home-grown vegetables to share with her neighbors.
It is time for another Together Tuesday update. This week we are including an extra video made by two of our very own creative learners, Bowie Bundlie, 2nd grade, and Bradley Bundlie, 5th grade. We hope that you enjoy it just as much as we did.
Share YOUR Together Tuesday images and stories with us by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight every Monday.
Learning how to play chess is a wonderful way to engage in multiple problem solving strategies. Chess requires patience and logical application while using critical thinking skills. Many iLEAD learners are growing these skills by playing chess at home with family or online with friends. ChessKid is one site that offers a free and safe program for learning and playing chess at any skill level.
To Our Wonderful Families,
On March 16, you received an email from the founder and executive director of iLEAD that the school is temporarily closing its physical sites. Until further notice, this means that the iLEAD OC Studio will be servicing its learners virtually. iLEAD Exploration will continue to operate its independent study model in an entirely virtual format.
We remain dedicated to sharing the most up-to-date information with you. Please continue to take everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. For your convenience, some COVID-19 resources are listed below. Our leadership team will continue working closely with federal and local officials in an effort to keep everyone informed, safe, and healthy.
iLEAD Exploration Directors
- California Department of Public Health
- Explaining Coronavirus and prevention to kids
- Coronavirus support for youth, teachers and families
- What you should know about the Coronavirus
- What to do if you are sick with the Coronavirus
- Stop the spread of germs
- Learning From Home: iLEAD Exploration Virtual Resources
- Meal Resources By County
Mason Harris is an extraordinary 1st grade iLEAD Exploration learner who shows social intelligence by being very empathetic. In fact, Mason often says “I like to help people because it’s kind. Everyone should help!” It isn’t surprising to learn that Mason loves to volunteer and help others. He assists his elderly neighbors by bringing in their trash cans, reads to younger kids and helps with crafts and snacks at the Moms of Preschool (MOPS) group, helps with his baby brother, passes out bulletins at church, brings food and blankets to the animals at the Humane Society, and donates his Halloween candy to the troops.
Mason’s hobbies include building with Legos, performing magic tricks, learning about science and building things with his dad. He loves being outdoors, hiking, camping and exploring. He loves to travel and see new things. His family recently took a trip to the Central Coast where they visited Hearst Castle, Pismo Beach and Big Sur. Mason made a really cool travel brochure highlighting what he learned. Mason also enjoys helping his mom cook.
We love seeing the positive images submitted throughout iLEAD every week, joyful reminders that we are all in this together. Thank you to everyone who submitted this week! Click the image or link to view the video.
Share YOUR Together Tuesday images and stories with us by sending them to email@example.com by midnight every Monday.