The whiteboards are still being screwed into the walls at Ingenuity Charter School, but students are already in the room, focused on their studies and eager to learn.

Ingenuity Charter opened in 2015 with a dedicated group of 160 students and counting, drawn to its independent study blended program.

At Ingenuity Charter the students are involved in their education every step of the way. They learn through online course curriculum … but it’s not an online school.

Students come in between one and four times a week to meet and learn with teachers who track their progress and help in a one-on-one setting.

“They appreciate the opportunity to take charge of their own education,” Ingenuity Charter School’s Principal Tiffany DeGraffenreid, said.

DeGraffenreid says this sixth through 12th grade public charter school is helping to fill the cracks in the community.

The program has open enrollment, meaning students can enroll at any time throughout the year. Many students have already enrolled this summer to take advantage of free time or catch up on course credits.

DeGraffenreid says the program is also ideal for students with anxiety and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders who may learn better in a smaller setting.

Students who enroll are taught these five areas as a focus:

  • Competence- Mastery of California Common Core standards based curriculum
  • Critical Thinking- Nurtured and developed by our blended online and textbook curriculum
  • Collaboration- Building relationships, working in groups, with partners, and the community
  • Creativity- Personalized education that promotes individuality and innovation
  • Communication- Daily application through verbal, written, and digital means

Here’s how it works:

Personalized academic plans are created for students who enroll long-term to see where the students are, and where they want to go.

  • These are created through a review of the students’ transcripts and an online evaluation through Naviance, a college and career readiness site.
  • Ingenuity also looks at what the student is interested in as a career and adjusts their learning plans to point them toward their field of interest.

Based on the personalized academic plan, students are assigned a number of days they need to meet with the teacher, but they work online, through Edgenuity, a program that meets all state standards.

No laptop or wifi? No problem. The school provides both.

Ingenuity Charter’s Student Resource Center, located a few minutes away from the main campus room the school shares with O’Farrell Charter School, also has fun and collaborative technology for students, including a TruTouch smart TV, which can do everything a tablet can do and more, Mac desktops, Chromebooks and Mediascape plugins that students can use to project their work onto a larger TV for collaboration.

Comfortable “buoy” chairs also help students move around while staying grounded, promoting focus.

With two well-qualified teachers and one foreign language teacher who teaches Spanish and French, students have a dedicated team of professionals available to them as they work toward higher education and rewarding careers.

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