iLEAD Exploration Remains Open Virtually for Learners

iLEAD Exploration continues to operate its independent study model in an entirely virtual format.

Feb 1, 2021 @ 18:00

ilead exploration

Please Take Our Family Survey from Panorama Education

woman at laptop

On March 10, we sent each family a brief parent/guardian survey to gain insight into your perception of our school’s effectiveness. As a charter school, we must gather data through this survey to support our mission to provide high-quality learning experiences that meet the needs of our well-rounded and lifelong learners. Your participation will help to ensure that iLEAD Exploration continues to be a school of choice for years to come.

To conduct our family survey, we have partnered with Panorama Education, who safeguard your privacy, keeping your responses confidential. The survey will be open through March 31 and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete.

We rely on your feedback to continually improve in our mission to provide high-quality, project-based learning experiences that meet the needs of our learners. Thank you in advance for your valuable responses.

2021 Virtual Talent Showcase

talent show

Each year, we celebrate our skillful learners at the iLEAD Exploration talent show. This year, we are excited to bring you our presentation virtually through the 2021 Virtual Talent Showcase. We invite all learners to participate and submit original work based on the theme “Together We Can” in one of six areas: dance choreography, literature, photography, film production, music composition, and visual arts. Please see below for more details and to learn how to register.

together we can - talent show 2021

Butterfly & Host Plant Activity

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The Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere falls on March 20, as the sun crosses the celestial equator going north. In preparation, this lesson can be adapted to multiple grade levels. In fact, this activity could be added to your child’s next ILP. Have fun!

Butterfly & Host Plant Activity

Testing Timeline

CAASPP Testing

Timelines can be such helpful tools when preparing for a coming event. Here is a testing timeline that we encourage you to use as you continue to prepare for the coming MAP and CAASPP testing.

Testing Window Dates: March 22 – June 4

  • March (ongoing): Start talking with your child’s EF to plan their test session days and sign up for test sessions (3rd-8th and 11th & 5th, 8th, and once in high school for science).
  • March 10: CAASPP webinar for parents (recording available).
  • March 17: CAASPP webinar for learners will be held at 12:00 p.m.

Prior to your scheduled testing date, confirm that your tech device is ready for testing or that you have a testing site solution.

The iLEAD team of educators is excited about synergizing with you as we continue to work together preparing, engaging and assessing our community of learners for the good of our charter family.

Learner Spotlight: Elisabeth Sur

ELizabeth Sur Featured 2

Luggage + Library = Elisabeth the Book Lover! 💜

The Sur family started with iLEAD when Elisabeth was beginning her educational journey as a budding kindergartner just last fall. They chose homeschooling because they knew these foundational years were important and wanted her learning lens to see the good, the true and the beautiful! Mom was also excited about the chance to learn alongside her, not wanting to miss any part of this childhood phase of curiosity and wonder.

Elisabeth enjoys being a daughter, sister, cousin and looks up to the older friends who play an important part in her young life. She rotates well between the relational roles of a confident leader to the littles who look up to her and learning from older friends. Elisabeth’s ability to see multiple perspectives helps her synergize in a wide range of relationships.

Elisabeth is a curious first grade scholar. She delights in the exploration of questions, such as “What are Kingdoms like?” “What’s involved with going on a quest?” Even the idea of a time travel and how to create a time machine is on her exploration checklist.

Her endless thirst for more knowledge has led her to a strong love for literature. She has a broad reading range and wonderful stamina for sitting with a stack of books to explore and absorb! Elisabeth loves books so much that her mom has to take rolling luggage to the library to haul all the books home! Elisabeth is also excited by the idea of creating her own library of books and is currently writing and illustrating several little readers for her younger sister to enjoy.

iLEAD’s independent and flexible learning model has empowered Elisabeth to thrive in her quest to become a budding children’s author. We can’t wait to see your illustrated works on shelves someday, Elisabeth!

Irish-American Heritage Month

Irish american heritage

March is Irish-American Heritage Month. This is a great time to reflect, learn and celebrate what is a unique and brilliant strand of history. If you are ever in Chicago, you might want to visit The Irish-American Heritage Center. Below are a few resources that you may want to take a look at to learn more about Irish-American Heritage Month.

National Archives
National Day Calendar
The White House Briefing

Butterfly & Host Plant Activity

67730524_grayson_butterfly

The Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere falls on March 20, as the sun crosses the celestial equator going north. In preparation, this lesson can be adapted to multiple grade levels. In fact, this activity could be added to your child’s next ILP. Have fun!

Butterfly & Host Plant Activity

Meet DreamUp to Space Team Member: Raegan Brown, Team Carrot

Aerospace

DreamUp to Space is a project that challenges young people to understand and explore the impact that microgravity has on matter. Through a partnership with DreamUp, iLEAD learners in grades 5-12 are inspired to develop the skills and knowledge to design, develop, and propose an experiment that could be run on the International Space Station.

In July of 2020, two teams from iLEAD Schools were selected for flight in the 2020 DreamUp to Space Virtual Mission & Experiment Design Challenge. Currently, learners from across the network are collaborating on these two teams — Team Carrot and Team Adzuki — in preparation for a spring launch of their experiments to the International Space Station.

Each learner has unique interests, strengths, and goals to bring to each team. We’d like to introduce you to our team members! Today we’re introducing Raegan Brown!

Meet Raegan Brown, Team Carrot

DreamUp Raegan BrownA 14-year-old freshman at iLEAD Exploration, Raegan has a passion for everything creative and loves to express herself through graphic design, art, and science. Among her many dreams and aspirations, Raegan would like to get into marketing and graphic design. She’s currently taking AP psychology, and in her spare time she loves to act and participate in theatre. Right now she has an LA agent and has been able to do commercials and audition for popular series and movies for major networks like Netflix, Nickelodeon, ABC, Disney, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Fox. When she gets the chance, Raegan loves to bake snickerdoodles, scones, and anything strawberry flavored!

We had the chance to ask Raegan a few questions!

Q&A with Raegan

How does it feel knowing that you have an opportunity that very few people have — to be part of a team sending an experiment to space?

“It feels great to know that I’m participating in such an amazing production, and I’m ever so grateful to have this opportunity to participate with such an incredible team and talented members.”

What’s a fun fact about you?

“I love everything Marvel! I’ve seen all the movies and television shows, I have merch, and I’ve recently gotten into the comic books!”

In what ways has this experience influenced or inspired you?

“After badging up with the DreamUp to Space program, I now can look at science in a way I’ve never looked at it before: Science is now very fun for me. It used to feel like another chore, and it is now one of my favorite subjects in school.”

We look forward to introducing more team members to you soon!

Kindness Rocks!

Kindness Rocks

Throughout the school year, iLEAD families have spread a little kindness, goodwill, and gratitude around our communities. Please take a look at this video to see how we have rocked!

Learner Spotlight: Sebastian Buckhalter

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Energetic. Curious. Athletic.

iLEAD Exploration 6th grader Sebastian Buckhalter encompasses all that is wonderful about homeschooling. This is his second year with iLEAD Exploration, and he has been enjoying the flexibility to learn, explore, and follow his passions.

Sebastian has been a dedicated ice hockey player since the very early age of two. His family decided to look into alternative education options that would allow him the freedom to find a healthy and sustainable balance between hockey and his education.

Although most children are naturally curious about the world they live in, Sebastian takes it a step further. He loves project-based learning and dives into concepts. Sebastian’s curiosity has driven him to a love of science and, in particular, marine biology. He hopes to one day become a marine biologist. It is not uncommon for him to show up to learning period meetings with huge displays, dioramas, field trip pictures, experiments, and projects. Always eager to learn something new, Sebastian explores his creative side through art and music as well.

A bonus to homeschooling is that Sebastian and his family explore and adventure together!

Summative ELPAC

Summative ELPAC

Our testing window for the Summative ELPAC is open and our assessments are underway for all our English Language Learners this year through online and remote platforms. Thank you to those who have already tested, and we appreciate those who are testing soon!

If you missed our webinar outlining the Summative ELPAC and what families can expect, you can watch it here. Below are some tips and reminders for each of the domains tested through the ELPAC. Take practice tests together with your learner to get them familiar with the test and question types.

Speaking Domain

  • Remember to speak clearly and in English to receive credit for your answer.
  • Add details to your answer! The more information you can convey, the higher your will score.
  • Ask for the questions to be repeated if you are unsure of how to answer.

Listening Domain

  • You can listen to each part only once, so pause and take notes as needed.
  • Preview the questions ahead of time so that you can listen for specific information.

Reading Domain

  • Read the passage first. Read the questions. Then reread the passage looking for the specific answers.
  • Read all the answer choices and eliminate ones that are incorrect.

Writing Domain

  • For 3rd grade and higher, practice typing sentences and paragraphs in a Word document.
  • Review what a basic paragraph contains: opening sentence, detail sentences, and a closing sentence.
  • Carefully read the directions and make sure you are answering questions correctly.
  • Edit your writing before submitting (check for correct capitalization, punctuation, grammar, and spelling).

Overall Tips

  • Take your time and ask questions. The test administrator is there to support you.
  • If you get overwhelmed, you can take a break. Let the examiner know.
  • Do your best!

Some Awesome EL Resources

books

BrainPOP EL

BrainPOP is a free subscription Exploration offers its English language learners. It is a comprehensive English language learning program for all grade levels. Please reach out to your EF if you have not set up your BrainPOP account yet. This program starts with a placement test based on each learner’s skills. As your child works through the content, they will develop their English skills. This will help with success in all academic areas.

iLEAD’s Hub

Our password-protected Hub introduces our EL team and provides many resources to help our learners find success.

ESL Galaxy

This is a free, one-step site that contains many resources including flashcards, worksheets, board games, and lesson plans.

ESL Video

This website provides free quizzes, lessons, and online conversation classes for English learners.

Preparing Learners for the Future

science

The article “Using Motivation Sources to Guide Students to Their Ideal Careers” reminds educators (homeschooling families!) that we are preparing learners for their future, a future we can’t really imagine, with jobs that do not even exist today.

Here are some important takeaways from this great online article:

Technology is the way of the future, and we need to give our children skills to embrace technology. Some of these skills include the following:

  • Mental Elasticity: Thinking outside the box
  • Complex Problem-Solving: Thinking about complicated problems and coming up with innovative solutions
  • Critical Thinking: Synthesizing information from several sources and drawing meaningful conclusions
  • Creativity: Thinking abstractly, coming up with new ideas, diagnosing and solving problems
  • People Skills: Connecting with people everywhere, all over the world
  • Interdisciplinary Knowledge: Being able to pull information and skill sets from multiple sources

Inspirational Quotes to Share with Your Learners

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” — Abraham Lincoln

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” — A.A. Milne

“Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow.” – Albert Einstein

Learner Spotlight: Juan Munoz “Jr.”

LS EL

What is your favorite saying in your native language?

My favorite saying is “Que si” because it’s very funny when I say it to my dad when I play around.

What is a family tradition that you enjoy?

Every year in December, we go to this place called Candy Cane Lane. We go with the family to see the lights and walk while we’re drinking hot chocolate.

What career would you like to have?

I would like to have a job making video games or toys.

What is your favorite subject?

I like science because you can see cool reactions and experiments.

Has being multilingual allowed you any special opportunities?

No, I don’t think so. I get treated the same as others.

What is your favorite hobby?

My favorite hobby is to build Legos, look at science experiments on YouTube, and puzzles.

What advice would you give to someone trying to learn a new language?

There’s help everywhere. It will get hard, but it will get better. Don’t worry—you’ll get it.

How long have you been homeschooling?

Almost a year.

What do you like about homeschooling?

I get to stay at home and be comfortable. And I like the classes given to me because I like the kids in my class.

2021 Virtual Talent Showcase

talent show

Each year, we celebrate our skillful learners at the iLEAD Exploration talent show. This year, we are excited to bring you our presentation virtually through the 2021 Virtual Talent Showcase. We invite all learners to participate and submit original work based on the theme “Together We Can” in one of six areas: dance choreography, literature, photography, film production, music composition, and visual arts. Please see below for more details and to learn how to register.

together we can - talent show 2021

March Field Studies

Pioneer

Join us on March 11 at 11 a.m. as we travel back in time with Flat Stanley to the days of the pioneers. Learners will have the opportunity to experience what it was like before modern comforts. Please take a look below for more details on how to register for this fun event.

LINKED Flat_Stanley_Discovers_Pioneer_Living_at_Ide_Adobe

CAASSP Testing & Technology

CAASPP Testing

This year, learners will have the flexibility to take the CAASSP from the comfort of their own homes! This new convenience is exciting and makes testing more accessible. We also recognize there may be some new technical challenges that iLEAD is prepared to help families troubleshoot. As you help your learners prepare for the spring assessments, please be proactive when checking your testing devices and capabilities.

Device Information:

Learners will be able to test on a home PC, MAC, iPad running iPadOS14, or a borrowed school Chromebook. Please note that home Chromebooks purchased by families on their own or with school funds do not have the capability at this time to download a secure browser and cannot be used for testing.

Please coordinate with your EF and strategize ways you can solve your specific technology challenges in order to be ready for the CAASSP assessments.

For other technological supports within the test, please watch this video for accessing Embedded Testing Tools.

Schoolwide Learner Outcome: Curiosity

curiosity

This month’s Student Learning Outcome is curiosity. How can we encourage and foster curiosity in ourselves and our families? Why is being curious an important skill?

According to researchers, curiosity is linked with psychological, emotional, social and even health benefits including the following:

1. Curiosity helps us survive.
2. Curious people are happier.
3. Curiosity boosts achievement.
4. Curiosity can expand our empathy.
5. Curiosity helps strengthen relationships.
6. Curiosity improves health care.

Read more about curiosity here.

Learner Spotlight: Olivia Edwards

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iLEAD Exploration kindergartener Olivia Edwards lights up a room with her smile and enthusiasm about her studies. She really does embody optimism, and her family loves to make learning fun, engaging, and memorable.

Two years ago, Olivia’s family became interested in homeschooling because it would allow them to spend more time as a family. They appreciate the flexibility it gives their days, the outside time it allows, and the ability to focus on their kids’ strengths.

Olivia is always so eager to learn! She is constantly asking questions and is proactive about learning the new things presented to her in creative ways, such as memorizing songs to help her learn states and capitals, repeating chants to memorize parts of the body, and adding hand movements to help her remember key information about her studies. Olivia is a great collaborative learner! She loves to synergize within her homeschool group and really enjoys working with others. Her extroverted nature goes perfectly with this month’s focus.

Olivia is not only eager to learn; she is genuinely excited about it! She is optimistic about everything and excited to share all that she has learned with such passion and joy. She always has a good attitude about her coursework and is having so much fun learning! Olivia is such a curious learner! She is always wanting to learn more. She engages in everything with a sense of excitement and wonder. She loves to ask questions and search for answers.

Olivia has many hobbies and interests. She loves drawing, making up stories, playing with her American Girl doll, reading, and painting. She also enjoys riding her bike and swimming and is looking forward to playing basketball and swimming more this summer.

Family Survey Coming Soon from Panorama Education

woman at laptop

This week, we will be sending each family a brief parent/guardian survey to gain insight into your perception of our school’s effectiveness. As a charter school, we must gather data through this survey to support our mission to provide high-quality learning experiences that meet the needs of our well-rounded and lifelong learners. Your participation will help to ensure that iLEAD Exploration continues to be a school choice for years to come.

To conduct our Family Survey, we have partnered with Panorama Education, who safeguard your privacy, keeping your responses confidential. The survey will be open March 3-27 and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete.

We rely on your feedback to continually improve in our mission to provide high-quality, project-based learning experiences that meet the needs of our learners. Thank you in advance for your valuable responses.

Scoir and YouScience

Virtual Meet and Greet iLEAD Exploration

Scoir is an important communication hub for our high school learners provided at no cost. This amazing resource gives access to a college search tool, interactive tours of college campuses, student videos, and individual college social media walls. Scoir provides an overview of important college information, such as admission stats, costs, and application deadlines. Scoir’s mobile app is interactive and user-friendly, providing learners and their parents with their own individual account access.

 

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 Game Day!

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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.

Searching for College in a Virtual World

College Fair

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.

Virtual Fairs
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.

Virtual Visits

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.org to get started.

Upcoming College Fairs and Events

College Feb

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:

February

March

April

May

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