Indianapolis charter school uses online and classroom curriculum

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Helping students who struggle in the regular school environment is the aim of an Indianapolis charter school that began its second year Monday.

The school has some unusual twists that appear to be turning around the academic achievement of students who might otherwise get lost in the system.

“I’m a lot more excited than I was for Freshman or Sophomore year, says Rochelle Hudson a Senior.

“I just feel like I’m able to do more things myself than I was at a regular school, says Alesha Willis a Junior.

“Instead of being in a cramped classroom, doing your work and getting out as fast as you can, you have time and space to do everything,” says Jacob Gilcrease a sophomore.

All three are students at the Nexus Academy, and all veterans of big high schools with hundreds of students. However, Nexus Academy is different.

“So the environment here is set up to prepare kids for college,” says Jamie Brady,  a 17 year veteran of education including stints as an IPS teacher and principal.  She is the principal of Nexus Academy.

“We don’t raise our hand to go to the restroom.  We’re not sitting in desks and rows.  Teachers have office hours.  They’re easily accessible.  Students are able to be tutored online and in person,” she says.

The entire curriculum is online.  Every student is issued their own laptop computer.  Students sign up to go to either the morning classes or afternoon.  But not both.

“They do meet the state mandated laws with curriculum and school hours.  They have to do two hours in the evening at home off site,” she says.

Parents say they see a difference.

“She has more goals than she would have ever had in a normal high school,” says Pam Willis whose daughter attends Nexus.

Debra Morgan, whose son attends Nexus agrees.

“He was always the quiet one in the back.  Didn’t want to make waves.  Didn’t want to draw attention and now it’s, well, what about this,” she says.

The students, who were drowning in the large high school environment say this way of learning is working.

“For me, I was one of those students like I’m not going to raise my hand. and say something that sounds ridiculous or dumb.  Because I didn’t want to sound that way,” says Alesha Willis.

Nexus academy is located at Glendale Town Center. It’s free and open to any Indiana high school student. Because it is only starting its second year there is no test result data yet available. However, the students at Nexus will be tested every year just as they are in any of Indiana’s high schools.

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