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I would like to share my experience with Innovations Academy. A little background of my family: my husband is a US Marine and he is currently deployed to Afghanistan. I work full-time and go to school part-time. My boys Jaylen (seven) and Everett (eleven) have always been in a traditional school on a marine corp base. I would have never considered a non-traditional school for them until the beginning of Jaylen second grade year.

His teacher at the traditional school was overwhelmed with all twenty-three students without an aide that she would just overlook Jaylen. She would tell me to my face he is doing well. Then one day I received a phone call from the school saying they feel like Jaylen would be better in a special education class. They said the teacher was complaining that Jaylen is behind in his reading and that he still does math with his fingers. They also said they think I should have him tested, but the school district would not pay for it because he is not far enough behind.

My husband and I had to pay over $1500 to have him tested. They found that he is fine. He’s just a 7-year-old boy who learns differently than what the traditional school would like.

I did not agree to send my son to special ed but did start looking for a school who teaches non-traditional ways; actually a school who teaches the way I was taught. A school who embraced different types of learners. Jaylen and I took a tour of Innovations Academy. At the end of that day, he turned to me and said “this is my school”. Erica Thompson (Jaylen’s teacher) was such a great influence on Jaylen that he now loves to read. He asks for books for his birthday or Christmas presents. Erica has a way of teaching that grabs every learner. She has order in her classroom and she cares. Innovations Academy is not a traditional school but it is a school that embraces all learners.

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