iCademy Global is the Virtual Answer to Today’s Student Needs

Jan 5, 2017Blog, Impact

by April Hunt of Grand Rapids Kids

Why Families Choose iCademy Global

“I think when people hear the word cyber school or online school they have a vision of students working in isolation at a computer and it’s so not true with iCademy,” says Leisa Lobbezoo, teacher at the free online school located in Zeeland.

At iCademy Global, students may be able to attend class from their living room, but they also maintain a strong social connection with their peers around West Michigan, and even the world. It’s what sets iCademy apart from other virtual schools.

iCademy knows that pairing interpersonal learning with the boundless opportunities of the virtual world is a powerful combination.

Individual Academics

Online learning means that you don’t have to stay within the academic bounds of your peers. One of the benefits of iCademy Global is Just Right Learning, which allows students to move ahead in subjects in which they excel.

“If they’ve proven they can pass those benchmarks we are not going to hold them back just because of chronological age level,” says Leisa.

A Schedule That Fits Your Needs

Allowing students to tend to their studies while pursuing their dreams is important to families. This is why parents and students love iCademy’s flexible schedule. This learning format frees up students to ardently pursue other interests that they could not with a typical school-day schedule.

“Some of our students are actively involved in a passion outside of school,” explains Leisa. “We have a student who is an ice skater and her ice time is every day from 1:00-4:00. We have a student who’s and actor and another student who’s got a passion for horses and is working on a horse farm in Oklahoma right now.”

A Social Connection

“We work hard to build relationships with our students,” says Leisa. The fact is that we’re really concerned with the whole student — virtual community, personal connection.”

Students can interact with other students in many ways. iCademy’s on campus coffee shop is a great place to work alongside peers and also collaborate.

In addition to weekly contact with their teachers, students have a mentor that meets with them every week or two. Synergy sessions allow students to work together on projects, which often have a stewardship focus. And of course, they do the fun stuff that other kids do: prom, apple picking, ice skating, ArtPrize and more!

While there are lots of opportunities to visit campus or participate in events, a great thing about iCademy Global is it’s not necessary for students to physically come to a building to create connections with their classmates and teachers. Virtual Offices are open daily for students to pop on in, chat with classmates and receive individual help or advice from content teachers.

Live Lessons are another way students stay connected and also happen each week for core classes. All students “attend” class by opening their computer and logging in. During the live lesson they interact with their teacher and classmates; participating in class discussions, activities and collaboration with students near and far.

iCademy’s World View

“Education goes beyond academics,” says Leisa.

“We focus a lot on global learning and stewardship and for students to understand that the world is bigger than Holland and Grand Rapids.”

Their synergy sessions often have a stewardship focus. In the past they’ve worked with Kid’s Food Basket, Habitat for Humanity and local food pantries.

“We encourage global travel at iCademy; offering our students opportunities to expand their learning about other regions and cultures by visiting other places around the world,” says Leisa. “This year’s high school students are currently in the midst of planning their trip to London, Dublin and Paris.“

Kids at iCademy also have classmates from around the world. While about 80% of students hail from the Holland/Zeeland area, the school also has students with a Michigan residency that are living or traveling internationally.

If you want more information about this innovative school, please email Leisa at leisa.lobbezoo@icademyglobal.org or call 616-748-5637.