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2018 EDUCATION IMPACT REPORT


Really, all kids are brilliant. But cultivating that brilliance? That’s something exceedingly rare. Yet, it’s an everyday occurrence here at Fusion. It’s because we are human beings first, minds and hearts. Our collaborative learning, our co-developed assignments, our mentoring, our awareness of mental health, our mindfulness - they are all extensions of ourselves, of who we are, and of what we can be. When we create assignments, goals, and activities, we’re telling the stories of ourselves. We’re not simply looking for answers, but living the questions! We’re all learners here, from the students to the teachers to the staff. Fusion is a school that celebrates and nurtures humanity first, so that all other learning may flourish. I believe in real, meaningful education: that’s why I love Fusion. Russell Jaffe, Fusion Teacher/Mentor

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A Note From Our CEO Dear Fusion friends, families, and teammates, In the following pages you will see the impact a Fusion education has on students and their families. This report recaps why we do what we do every day. It brings me deep joy to be part of an organization that is truly revolutionizing school and changing lives. It is thanks to the hard work of our teachers, campus administration, regional and Home Base teams, and extended support network that the results and testimonials in this report are possible. I hope that as you flip through these pages, you are energized by where we are and ready to journey with us as we continue to grow and improve. Thank you for your belief and support as we strive every day to make Fusion better. With gratitude,

Peter G. Ruppert President & CEO Fusion Education Group

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A Note from our VP of Education The goal of Fusion Academy is to launch individuals with the capacity to lead an authentic life and leave their own unique mark on the world. Strong test scores and matriculation to college or work can be indicators of success, but these are not the sole, or even primary, benchmarks against which we measure the success of our students and staff. We serve a broad and dynamic student population, and we value and celebrate a broad and holistic definition of success. We want to tell a more complete story. Consequently, we use multiple measures of success to build a robust understanding of each student, from academic outcomes to measures of well-being and life satisfaction, to progress toward school-wide learner outcomes and individual goals. Finally, we empower each student through many opportunities for self-reflection and evaluation of progress.

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Ultimately, how do we define success? Success is when students leave Fusion with the confidence and foundational knowledge and skills to take on new challenges and pursue their dreams; the curiosity to explore; a sense of their own creativity; self-awareness; a commitment to physical, social and emotional health; and a passion to engage with community. When students leave Fusion with more joy and love in their lives than when they came to us – that is success. I hope you enjoy the following journey through the powerful findings of our annual impact report, gathered through multiple data sources, both quantitative and qualitative, including assessments, stories, stakeholder surveys, and testimonials.

Grace Losada, Ed.D. Vice President of Education Fusion Education Group


About Fusion

Fusion Academy is a revolutionary community of learning that meets students “where they are.” Through positive relationships and personalized learning solutions, we unlock academic potential and create opportunities for emotional and social growth. Fusion Education Group supports a national network of Fusion Academy campuses: accredited private schools providing personalized learning through one-to-one education for students from grades 6-12. The school experience is distinguished by Fusion’s unique culture, values, relationships, academic model, and learning environment.

Our Mission

Our students represent a diverse range of academic, emotional, and social needs and priorities. The goal is always to engage and ignite each individual student’s passions and talents so that they discover, within themselves, the strength to flourish.

Guided by a fundamental belief in the immense potential within every person, our mission is to help each Fusion student flourish – emotionally, socially, and academically – through positive mentoring relationships and a personalized education experience.

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Summary Although the majority of our students enter Fusion with academic abilities at or above grade level, many struggled in their previous school settings.

Fusion quickly unlocks their potential through our “Love, Motivate, Teach” process, ensuring they: • feel safe and cared for

85 percent of both parents and students report more learning and academic success at Fusion compared to their previous school.

• are highly engaged in their learning and confident in their abilities • are supported to learn more than ever before

FUSION HAS A QUICK AND LASTING IMPACT ON STUDENT SUCCESS

91%

95%

94%

90%

80% 61%

50% 40%

Felt listened to & treated with respect by their teachers

6

45%

Felt they were receiving the emotional support they needed

94%

39%

Likely to ask questions or offer thoughts in class

What they’re learning relates to their interests

Before Fusion After Three Months at Fusion

47%

Getting the academic support they need to be successful

Confident in their ability to learn the material


STUDENT GRADES INCREASE

This leads to robust increases in grade point average, shown by research to be a more effective predictor of post-secondary success than SAT/ACT scores.

3.79

The longer students stay at Fusion, the greater the impact is on their academic learning, relationships, emotions, engagement, and sense of personal meaning and accomplishment.

2.97

GPA prior to Fusion

GPA at Fusion

POSITIVE IMPACT INCREASES OVER TIME 95%

Connection

90%

Gratitude

85% 80%

Staying Focused on a Goal

75%

Pursuing a Meaningful Goal

70%

Increased Learning

65% Less than three months

Four to six months

Seven to twelve months

One to two years

More than two years

Fusion has a powerful and rapid impact not only on the academic learning of our students, but also on multiple factors of well-being. This fundamentally changes the way our students perceive themselves in the world and what is possible for their future. We believe we are not just providing a school experience, but a holistic, life-changing experience. By the end of 2017, 43 accredited Fusion campuses were providing personalized learning through one-to-one education for students from grades 6-12 across eight states and Washington, D.C. This report explores data from the 2016-2017 school year, showing the impact Fusion has on the lives of our students. 7


Jessica’s Story

Fusion Student

Fusion is the kind of place where hope blooms. It’s the kind of place where growth happens. The kind of place where you feel like your words have meaning to those around you. The kind of place where I have the courage to stand before you and speak these words, because I have faith in the kind of person I am. I haven’t always felt this way. Being in a high pressure, large school is a dream for some people, the sort of place where they would thrive. But for someone whose response to stress is going into ‘armadillo mode,’ I’ve had enough of an environment where ten tests and quizzes a week was considered normal. On top of this, your teenage years, as I am told, are the height of insecurity. How else can you describe a time when thousands of young, naive, hormonal individuals are thrust into a building for seven hours a day? Each and every mistake you make seems astronomical when you have nothing else to compare it to. All of this pressure became increasingly overwhelming, and I could feel myself

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sinking further and further into hopelessness each and every day. Eventually one day last fall, I decided I didn’t want to go to school any more. I like to learn, and I value my education, but I was exhausted. That one day turned into a week, then two, then three. And let me tell you, sitting in your bed for three weeks is not as fun as it sounds. I was ready to give up and just become a recluse. My very concerned parents were at a loss. How do you help a child whose problems cannot be fixed with a Band-Aid? We heard of Fusion, a ‘revolutionary one-toone private school’ but I did not have high hopes. Boy, was I proven wrong. The moment I stepped on the campus I was in awe. It didn’t look much like a school, or any sort of school I’d ever seen. My parents and I toured this dream factory, and it was as if a veil had been lifted. There was an impressive music studio, yoga room, art room, and some adorable classrooms. Still, the biggest shock? Everyone was genuinely happy to be here. They were working on projects


that interested them, had formed great friendships with both teachers and students, and felt safe and at ease here. Had Fusion gotten rid of every single problem they ever had? No. But was it providing them with the abilities needed to overcome those obstacles? The answer is a resounding yes. Choosing to attend was an easy decision. I was not expecting instant perfection, yet I was hoping for progress. And slowly but surely, progress came. I no longer obsessed over every little thing, I genuinely looked forward to walking into school each day, and I felt like I finally belonged somewhere. With all this support and love, how can you not start to come out of your shell? The months since I’ve started have already brought me closer to the person I want to be. There are still good days and bad days, but each and every one is important here, because everyone is invested in my success. That encouragement has helped me become more comfortable

around others, make new friends, and begin to love myself for who I am. I now look forward to the future, to college and beyond, because I want to find more lovely people like the ones I’ve met here. I hope to be here until I graduate from Fusion in a couple of years, and in the meantime I know that I’ll continue to grow, just like all the other Fusionites here who are fighting their own internal battles. Some kids are here because of difficult schedules, some kids are here because they are struggling with anxiety and depression, and some are here because they have ADHD. However, regardless of the reasons we’re together, we’ve all formed a community, where each one of us has a place. And let me tell you, we’re going to be the next generation of people who change the world. We all have little miracles in our lives, whether we acknowledge it or not, and Fusion is one of mine.

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Schoolwide learner outcomes 10

Fusion Academy students will be:

Resourceful individuals who… • • • • •

know how to seek out information are able to advocate on their own behalf participate in their own educations and lives are able to manage their time and prioritize their responsibilities are productive and creative problem-solvers

Compassionate and tolerant individuals who… • show respect for the thoughts and beliefs of others • are aware of their own and others’ unique strengths and weaknesses • create work that has personal meaning

Emotionally secure individuals who… • • • •

exhibit empathy toward others understand the balance between systems and relationships have high self-worth communicate effectively

Independent, critical thinking individuals who… • • • • • •

possess literacy across multiple disciplines use higher-order thinking skills to problem-solve are effective oral and written communicators can work autonomously, collaboratively, and as a leader are life-long learners who demonstrate innovation and creativity engage in global discourse


“

Fusion is a response to everything we need in our youth right now: capable thinkers, able to communicate their needs, who are a part of dynamic social systems, and able to problem solve in limitless ways with limited resources. A Fusion education prepares our youth to go from survive to thrive in the future of their making. Yoli Joseph, Fusion Teacher/Mentor

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Beginning the Fusion Journey TEACH MOTIVATE LOVE

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Fusion is designed to support the needs of diverse learners. We strive to meet the students where they are and help them thrive from that beginning. While the majority of students entering Fusion have academic skills at or above grade level, many report previous struggles in school for various reasons. Through our thoughtfully-designed approach of “Love, Motivate, Teach,� we see all kinds of students change their understanding of themselves and the futures they have the power to create.


FUSION ACADEMY FALL 2016 MAP SCORES 1 43%

16%

15%

20%

6%

41%

37% Significantly Below

24%

21% 14%

16%

8%

11%

14% 15%

Below Within One Year Above Significantly Above

Language Usage

Reading

Mathematics

Despite their strong academic abilities, many of our students reported that before coming to Fusion: • They were not getting the academic support they needed to be successful (53%) • They did not feel confident in their ability to learn the material (39%) • They were not confident they would graduate from high school (37%) • They felt disconnected from their teachers (48%) • They felt unsafe because of bullying (29%) • They had tried multiple schools, looking for the right fit (31%) While every student is unique, all students learn best when they feel safe, cared for, engaged, and confident in themselves as learners. As this report will show, students quickly start to flourish in the Fusion school environment. We believe that positive, authentic relationships – fostered by our oneto-one learning model – are the key to unlocking academic and personal potential.

MAP scores are categorized as follows: Significantly Below = MAP score of more than three years below current grade level; Below = 2-3 years below; Within One Year = one year above, below, or right at grade level; Above = two-three years above; Significantly Above = more than 3 years above current grade level.

1

13


One recent graduate came to Fusion during his sophomore year after being told by his teachers [at his former school] that he was ‘unhelpable.’ He suffered from dyslexia but had a true passion for learning. Yet his previous teachers had given up on him in public school. He told me he felt like he was unable to learn and was doomed for failure because that was told to him over and over again in his previous school. I worked with him all three years that he attended Fusion, and by his senior year he had begun his own photography business and was being paid to travel to destinations for photo shoots. When he graduated, he confided in me that the support he received from Fusion was what made him have confidence and the opportunity to learn at his pace. He finished Fusion and received a scholarship to UC Irvine to pursue a business major with a minor in photography. Mark Piper, Fusion Teacher/Mentor

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teach Motivate

Love

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A student’s capacity to flourish academically is deeply connected to his or her overall well-being. At Fusion, we are intentional about building a strong social and emotional foundation. We believe that success with our students emanates from positive relationships grounded in love, compassion, and a genuine desire to understand and respond to each student as a unique human being.

Our students have far more positive relationships at Fusion than at previous schools. In the spring of 2017, not only did 91 percent of our students agree that their teachers listened to them and treated them with respect, 96 percent of our parents said that their child has positive relationships with his/her teachers.

POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS 91%

87% Before Fusion

40%

Felt listened to & treated with respect by their teachers 16

After 3 months at Fusion

35%

Felt listened to & treated with respect by their administrators


When a child is struggling, it impacts the whole family. The affirmative relationships that students have at school create positive ripples that parents feel as well. Exchange between a Fusion teacher and parent: Teacher: “Hi Jen - I just wanted to take a minute to tell you how loved Fletcher is here at Fusion. Holly just came in and said, ‘He is such an awesome kid! Brian is thrilled with his progress in Math.’ I love, love, love teaching him English because he is so bright and eager and cooperative and FUNNY! I feel like I have gotten a front row seat in watching a flower bloom, and it is one of the loveliest ‘miracles’ I have ever witnessed as a teacher. You mentioned that things have been hard for him in the past, and I wanted you to know how well he is doing. He is really knocking it out of the ball park here at Fusion--- in his effort and in our hearts! Being the mama of a struggling kid myself, I just thought your mama and papa hearts would want to know.” - Nancy Parent: “Nancy - Thank you so much for your amazing note. It literally brought me to tears. I am so grateful every day for Fusion Academy and the AMAZING teachers who make it such a special place. I can’t believe how lucky we have been to find the perfect place for Fletcher to grow and bloom. Having a place like Fusion is absolutely priceless and I hope we will continue to see Fletcher make great strides and become the person he is meant to be. Thank you for making my day and for being such a great presence in Fletcher’s life. We are truly blessed.” - Jen

Fusion creates a safe, supportive environment that fosters positive relationships among students.

59 PERCENT

increase, within three months of enrolling, in the number of students who feel they’re treated with quite a bit or a great deal of respect by their school peers at Fusion as compared to their previous school within three months of enrolling

84 PERCENT

of all students feel quite or completely safe from bullying at Fusion

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One major impact is students feel emotionally safe, which neuroscience tells us is a prerequisite to learning.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT All Fusion Students 90% Before Fusion After 3 months at Fusion

45%

Although not all students come to Fusion seeking emotional support, the heart of our work is to customize our approach according to student needs. The graph to the left shows the results for the subset of students who recognized that for them, emotional support was a high priority or essential. Of those students, only 18 percent felt they were receiving the emotional support they needed at their previous school. At Fusion, the number quickly soared to 95 percent.

Felt they were receiving the emotional support they needed

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT Students Who Highly Prioritize Emotional Support 95%

Before Fusion

18%

Felt they were receiving the emotional support they needed 18

Before coming to Fusion, less than half of our students felt emotionally supported by their previous school; after just three months at Fusion, that number doubled. Similarly, 90 percent of parents agree that their child feels emotionally safe at Fusion.

After 3 months at Fusion


While these positive relationships develop quickly, the social and emotional benefits for students continue to deepen the longer they are enrolled at Fusion. Research in psychology has identified positive relationships and positive emotions as key elements of overall well-being.2 In addition, there is a wealth of evidence demonstrating the power of positive emotions such as optimism3 and gratitude4 on mental and physical health, relationships, and life outcomes. As students continue to attend Fusion Academy, they typically experience an increased sense of: • • • •

Connection: feeling connected to their teachers Optimism: expecting more good things to happen to them than bad Gratitude: more consciously focusing on gratitude and naturally feeling more gratitude Emotional regulation: being able to pull themselves out of a bad mood with increasing frequency

The graph below shows the percentage of students who frequently experience these positive emotions increasing with the length of time they have been enrolled at Fusion.

POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS & EMOTIONS 85% Connection

80% 75%

Optimism

70%

Gratitude

65%

Emotional Regulation

60%

Less than three months

Four to six months

Seven to twelve months

One to two years

More than two years

Seligman, Martin E. P. (2011). Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. New York, NY: Free Press. Conversano, C., Rotondo, A., Lensi, E., Della Vista, O., Arpone, F., & Reda, M. A. (2010). Optimism and its impact on mental and physical well-being. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health : CP & EMH, 6, 25–29. http://doi.org/10.2174/1745017901006010025 4 Amin, A. (2014). The 31 benefits of gratitude you didn’t know about: How gratitude can change your life. Happier Human. Retrieved from http://happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/ 2 3


My son came into the school an awkward, shy, insecure kid, who had no confidence, no friends and the feeling of not belonging anywhere. Fusion gave him a HOME, where he felt accepted, included, supported, and loved. For the first time in his life, he is ‘hanging out’ with friends at school, he has joined an after-school club, and he feels connected to a community of his own. Caren Larkey, Fusion Parent

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I see students come here who are [emotionally] bruised and reeling from the last learning institution that they have been in, visibly shaken and not feeling good about themselves. After a few classes at Fusion, I immediately see a change happen in each of these students: their facial expressions are happier and more relaxed, their body language is less withdrawn, and you can see hope start to gather in their eyes. After a few weeks of classes with our warm and compassionate teachers and making new friends in our welcoming and homey Homework Café®, they are carrying themselves with much more confidence – smiling, talking, and laughing again, enjoying the newfound confidence from feeling successful in their learning and themselves. I have seen many students’ lives change so completely that they are almost unrecognizable compared to when they first came to us. Robert Russell, Fusion Teacher/Mentor

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I came to Fusion to accelerate my learning by taking an additional math class while still in traditional public school. At first, I thought I was going into torture but after coming here, I realized I was walking into a mathematical playground where all you do is have fun. I also learned important stuff like how cool quadratic functions can be. Even topics that I hated, such as ‘completing the square,’ are always taught in such a way where I learn the concepts and still have fun. Abinav, Fusion Student

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teach

Motivate Love 23


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ENGAGEMENT IN LEARNING 94%

As students develop trusting, supportive relationships with their teachers, they begin to feel safe and curious enough to reengage in their own learning.

Student engagement in the classroom and interest in learning increases dramatically. After just three months at Fusion, 94 percent of students describe themselves as likely to ask questions or offer their thoughts in class. Similarly, 90 percent of parents think Fusion teachers are engaging in the classroom.

50%

Before Fusion

After 3 months at Fusion

Likely to ask questions or offer thoughts in class

Fusion helped me go from a person who couldn’t raise their hand in a classroom to someone who would openly speak in a 200 person lecture. Nina Stanton, Fusion Graduate

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The connections teachers form with students not only creates an environment of safety and support, it also allows our teachers to really get to know each student so they can customize what and how they teach to the individual. As Fusion teachers personalize the learning for each student, they leverage the creative and personal interests of students, which sparks curiosity and excitement for learning. The results are dramatic increases in measures of engagement.

CUSTOMIZATION 89%

80%

83% Before Fusion

39%

What they’re learning relates to their interests

39%

Able to explore creative interests

After 3 months at Fusion

Frequently excited or curious about something new

My son found his passion for school and for music production at Fusion. He progressed from school refusal and low prospects for graduating high school, to college acceptance and an academic scholarship! He will study music production and the Fusion studio and staff prepared him for that. Lori Prokes, Fusion Parent

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44%


The longer students stay at Fusion, the more students discover and articulate their passions; in turn, teachers are increasingly able to customize the material to connect student learning to their interests and goals. When students first come to us, only 39 percent report that what they learn in class relates to their interests. Not only does this jump up to 80 percent after the first few months, this steadily increases with the student’s length of enrollment.

LEARNING RELATED TO INTERESTS 95% 90% 85% 80% 75% Less than three months

Four to six months

Seven to twelve months

One to two years

More than two years

Fusion has changed my life forever! Before I discovered Fusion, I was in a harsh private school environment that made me feel like I wasn’t trying hard enough. Fusion allowed me to find who I truly am and to discover even more than I could ever have imagined. I remember the first time I walked into Fusion, I knew that I had found my home away from home. Now I am a part of the Improv Club, the Women Empowerment Club, and the VP/Secretary/Treasurer for our Charity Club. With supportive, fun, and super awesome teachers and faculty always having my back and helping me out, I don’t ever think I can go back to a school where I was suffering every day, nor do I want to. Stella, Fusion Student

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Student engagement is critical to success in high school and a strong predictor of postsecondary outcomes.

According to national data from the 2016 Gallup Student Poll5, student engagement rapidly declines by grade across the country. At Fusion, however, student engagement6 is not only higher than the national average, but is consistently high across all grades.

STUDENT ENGAGEMENT 100%

80% 60%

40%

20%

0% 6th Grade

7th Grade

8th Grade

Engagement nationally

5

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6

9th Grade

10th Grade

Engagement at Fusion

Based on a 2016 poll of ~ 3,000 students nationally. Gallup defines engagement as “the involvement in and enthusiasm for school.� Based on a student engagement index of the four questions shown in previous graphs (n=1087).

11th Grade

12th Grade


The longer students stay at Fusion, the more likely they are to experience a sense of meaning and accomplishment from the work in which they’re engaged and to demonstrate grit, perseverance, and a growth mindset. Positive psychology research affirms that positive meaning and accomplishment are key factors in overall well-being; moreover, grit and perseverance (long-term pursuit of goals) and a growth mindset (such as seeing challenges as a learning opportunity) are both strong predictors of flourishing outside of and beyond high school. The graph below shows the increasing percentage of students who frequently demonstrate these positive behaviors and report these beliefs as the length of time they have been enrolled at Fusion increases.

As students are motivated and active participants in their learning, they develop stronger connections to their own work and goals.

89 PERCENT

of all Fusion students say they have engaged in activities that mattered to them in the past month

89 PERCENT

80

POSITIVE MEANING & ACCOMPLISHMENT

PERCENT

95% Staying Focused on a Goal

90% 85%

Pursuing a Meaningful Goal

80% 75%

Seeing Challenges as a Learning Opportunity

70% 65% 60% 55%

are currently pursuing a goal that feels important to them

Less than three months

Four to six months

Seven to twelve months

One to two years

More than two years

Having Accomplishments You’re Proud Of

say they can motivate themselves to complete unpleasant tasks that help accomplish their goals

73 PERCENT

of parents say their child is more motivated to work toward his/ her goals since coming to Fusion 29


Denise’s Story Fusion Parent

Our son, Chris, started at Fusion in 8th grade and is now in 10th grade. Chris was on home instruction for most of 7th grade and struggled in his environment for years. As parents with a child who was diagnosed with Tourette Disorder, OCD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, school phobia, and other phobias, we spent every day advocating for our son. He was not learning and missed many days of school. By seventh grade he could not write a sentence and was in crippling pain from migraines and body pains from the violent tics he was experiencing. Our son was broken. We didn’t think he would be able to attend high school. A home school teacher said that we should look at Fusion. We were skeptical, but visited. We decided to enroll him,

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being clear he would not be able to handle many classes, and were concerned he would not stay because of his severe school phobia. We dropped him off and from that day, a new life began for Chris and our entire family. As the days went on, the tics, anxiety, and other issues subsided. He was a new kid. The tremendous support by his teachers and Fusion staff were amazing. Chris loves his teachers and rarely misses a day of school. He loves it so much that he attends through the summer. Chris has grown tremendously at Fusion. He is now in honors classes, clubs, and has a wonderful group of friends. He is a Student Ambassador. He gained his strength and courage through the wonderful teachers and staff at Fusion who support him in every way. He is also a Youth Ambassador for the Tourette Association and speaks in schools and hospitals spreading awareness about Tourette. I would like to share a small paragraph that Chris wrote last year for the Tourette Association: ‘Only two years ago, I was unable to continue in my public school district. My story has a happy ending because of the tremendous support from my Chapter, family, friends and a new school with teachers who understand me.’ We cannot say enough to thank Fusion for the transformation it has brought about in our son.


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Our daughter was making honor roll, barely, in her public school, but was truly struggling due to her ADHD. We just weren’t able to engage the school in being interested in helping her; they did not seem to understand, or really care about her as an individual. Since coming to Fusion, our daughter has thrived academically. The one-to-one instruction is ideal for a child with ADHD, and the level of teaching has also raised her intellectual level to the point where she is now a critical thinker, capable of independent analysis of complicated matters beyond where she was, and beyond where we believed she ever would have been, were it not for Fusion. Frank Cicero, Fusion Parent

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Teach Motivate Love 33


With positive relationships and a safe environment as the foundation, increased engagement and customized teaching in a one-to-one setting quickly shifts the way students relate to learning.

When students are effectively supported academically in the right school setting, their academic mindset, behaviors, and learning are all strengthened. The majority of our students did not feel they were getting the academic support they needed prior to Fusion; after a few short months, 95 percent of our students report that they are getting the academic support they need to be successful. Similarly, 85 percent of parents believe their child is more successful academically at Fusion as compared to their previous school.

ACADEMIC SUPPORT 95%

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CONFIDENCE AS A LEARNER 94%

61%

Before Fusion

After 3 months at Fusion

Confident in their ability to learn the material

It is as critical to reignite our students’ belief in themselves as it is to find the right classes, teachers, content, and teaching styles.

47%

A student’s self-perception with regard to their ability to learn is a key predictor of their ability to flourish in a post-secondary environment.7 More importantly, having a positive mindset toward oneself as a learner is critical to being a lifelong learner, in any endeavor or environment.

Before Fusion

Over a third of our students lacked confidence in their ability to learn the material when they started at Fusion but within three months, 94 percent were confident in their ability. Eighty-one percent of parents report that their child is more confident, overall, since attending Fusion.

After 3 months at Fusion

Getting the academic support they need to be successful

7 Nagaoka, J., Farrington, C.A., Roderick, M., Allensworth, E., Keyes, T.S., Johnson, D.W., Beechum, N.O. (2013). Readiness for college: the role of noncognitive factors and context. Voices in Urban Education, 38(45-52).


Homework is a common struggle for students and their families before they come to Fusion that quickly resolves through the structure and support of the Homework Café®. When students first come to Fusion, about two-thirds report that homework is a source of family conflict. Doing “homework” on campus throughout the day ensures that students are able to reinforce learning shortly after class and develops executive functioning skills such as time management, organization, and prioritization. While some students are already diligent, 65 percent of students report that they are completing more homework than they did at their previous school. In addition, our student are able to enjoy their time outside of school more, and the “homework battles” at home are reduced. Less than three months after enrolling at Fusion, the number of students experiencing family conflict over homework drops to one-third. These academic behaviors not only help students flourish in high school, they are also a predictor for success in college.8

Fusion tailored a program for our son that would accent his strengths in math, science, and especially his love of computers. He quickly began to take the initiative to finish his homework during assigned times. This was a major win for us as on-time homework was not a strength before attending Fusion. He also researched and completed independent projects on his own while at school. All the typical end-of-day homework tension at home dissolved, as he was able to do his work at school - and do it successfully. Our son has always loved school but this environment allowed him to focus and move forward at his own pace. His time management skills improved and he is now able to organize, prep, and study for tests on his own. This is reflected in improvements in standardized tests such as the PSAT. Fusion Academy met our goals of finding a school that would instill good study skills, teach our son how to organize his work, and how to self-motivate so that he can be successful in college. Dena Williams, Fusion Parent

Nagaoka, J., Farrington, C. A., Roderick, M., Allensworth, E., Keyes, T. S., Johnson, D. W., et al. (2013). Readiness for College: The role of noncognitive factors and context. College Readiness Indicator Systems, 45. 8

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With students more engaged in the classroom, feeling confident about themselves as learners, and regularly engaging in their school work, learning soars and students take pride in their accomplishments. 85 percent of parents report that their child is more successful academically since attending Fusion and 85 percent of students say that they are learning more at Fusion than they did at their previous school.

INCREASED LEARNING Compared to my previous schools, the education I receive at Fusion is helping me learn:

63%

22% 1%

4%

10%

My old public school was too big. I was an F student, failed tests and assignments, and didn’t want to do any school work. I even had failed choir. Now that I am a full-time student at Fusion, I’ve turned my school life around, passing with A’s in all my classes. With my current GPA, I could get into really great colleges. The teachers at Fusion are a lot more supportive and helpful and will provide each student with the skills they need and/or desire. I see Fusion as a family more than a school and I can look forward to stepping on campus every week. Paetyn, Fusion Student

Much Less 36

A Little Less

Same Amount

A Little More

A Lot More


Positive psychology suggests that a sense of positive accomplishment is key to overall well-being.9 For students with a history of negative experiences such as academic failure, bullying, and/or mental health issues – all of which are typically marked by, or result in feelings of worthlessness – believing in themselves is scary. Self-deprecation can be a survival mechanism for adolescents. High self-worth, on the other hand, requires trusting that you no longer need those defense mechanisms. It requires vulnerability, a safe space to explore, and the tools to effectively build confidence.

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The longer students are enrolled at Fusion, the more likely they are to say they are learning more as compared to their previous schools.

Percent

INCREASED LEARNING 90% 85%

85 percent of all Fusion students tell us they are proud of the work they do at Fusion.

80% 75%

Less than three months

Four to six months

Seven to twelve months

One to two years

Seligman, Martin E. P. Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being. 2013.

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Through Fusion’s education model, our students who experienced a pattern of academic failure at their previous school are able to reverse that trend and find success in all academic subject areas. All of the changes that take place within the first few months, or even weeks, of a student’s journey at Fusion have a powerful impact on their grade point average (GPA). Research shows that GPA is a strong predictor of post-secondary success, even more so than SAT, ACT, or AP Exam scores.10 To understand Fusion’s typical impact on GPA, we examined a representative sample of student transcripts.11 Our analysis showed that the average cumulative GPA at Fusion was .82 points higher than at their previous school.

FUSION IMPACT ON GPA ALL STUDENTS 3.79

2.97

GPA prior to Fusion

GPA at Fusion

Geiser, S., Veronica Santilices, M., (2007). Validity of high-school grades in predicting student success beyond the freshman year: high-school record vs. standardized tests as indicators of four-year college outcomes. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED502858.pdf. 11 To be included in the sample, students must have attended prior school(s) for a minimum of two semesters then attended Fusion for a minimum of two semesters. In total, 568 students were included in the sample, with an average of 114 credits (or close to four semesters) earned at their prior school(s) and an average of 106 credits (or three semesters) earned at Fusion. 10


This rapid success is highly aligned with the data on the impact of one-to-one instruction: known as “Bloom’s Two-Sigma Problem.” Benjamin Bloom demonstrated that one-to-one instruction results in student outcomes two standard deviations higher than group instruction. His research shows that the average student receiving one-to-one instruction will outperform 98 percent of all other students in traditional group instruction.12 The stakes are even higher for students who enter Fusion with a below average GPA. In this sample, 56 percent enrolled with a GPA below average. Of these students, the average GPA prior to Fusion was 2.59, generally considered less competitive for college acceptance. Compared to their previous school, the average cumulative GPA at Fusion was 1.08 points higher.

Finally, we also have many students who come to us with a moderate to strong academic track record, who may be seeking a more flexible schedule, a more supportive environment, or the opportunity to accelerate their learning. With an average GPA of 3.47, these students soar to an average GPA of 3.96 at Fusion – effectively taking them from “good to great.” Bloom’s research tells us that students receiving one-to-one instruction outperform students receiving traditional group instruction. At Fusion, all of our students – regardless of starting point – find that they are able to outperform their own expectations!

BELOW AVERAGE UPON ENROLLMENT

ABOVE AVERAGE UPON ENROLLMENT 3.96

3.67 3.47

2.59

GPA prior to Fusion 12

GPA at Fusion

Bloom, B. (1984). The 2 sigma problem: The search for methods of group instruction as effective as one-to-one tutoring. Educational Researcher, 13:6(4-16).

GPA prior to Fusion

GPA at Fusion 39


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Lisa’s Story Fusion Parent

Our son struggled in the traditional high school setting. He is very bright, but lost focus with social distractions and had trouble with accountability and self-motivation. He was finally asked to leave the private school he was attending in the middle of March of his sophomore year. In our final meeting before the dismissal, the headmaster stated, ‘Kids with your son’s track record do not change.’ I strongly disagree. Luckily, Fusion does as well. Our son thrived in the one-to-one classroom setting and began earning straight As. He was also able to take classes at an accelerated rate and graduated a year ahead of schedule. He loved his teachers, learned time management,

became self-motivated, and decided he wanted to study engineering in college. He applied to eight engineering programs and was accepted to six of them. He received an academic scholarship at Ohio State University, the largest university in the country, and started as a 17 year old. I was worried about the size of the school after attending Fusion, but he had no problem with the transition. That was almost four years ago. Now he is graduating with a degree in Computer Engineering, is on the Engineering Dean’s List, and will be working for Amazon as a Software Engineer. Fusion was absolutely the foundation of my son’s success. They truly help students find their best selves.

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IMPACT BEYOND THE CLASSROOM... Schooling doesn’t happen in a vacuum – a student’s experience in school has ripples beyond campus life. When students first come to Fusion, many report family conflict related to school issues, including discipline, homework, and grades.

In less than three months at Fusion… • Conflict over homework drops by 65 percent • Conflict over grades drops by 59 percent • Conflict over school-based disciplinary issues drops by 38 percent By completing homework before they leave campus, our students often find they can cultivate or continue to have a life outside of school, participating in personally fulfilling activities and opportunities to grow and develop.

...ALL THE WAY TO THE FAMILY 42


The End Is Just the Beginning When students first come to Fusion, many worry they will not complete high school: in the fall of 2016, only 66 percent of new Fusion students felt “pretty confident” or “very confident” they would graduate. Within three months, with growing confidence, 84 percent report they expect to graduate. With continued partnership in learning, we are proud that 100 percent of Fusion full-time students reach graduation.

While success is defined differently for each individual, one thing is true for all Fusion students: our goal is to help them discover and pursue their own unique path.

For many students, this means finding the right four-year college or university – not just the school that sounds best on paper, but the one that will truly allow them to flourish. Our students are accepted at, and attend, a wide array of schools, public and private, ranging in size, geographic location, and areas of specialty and training. At Fusion, we are committed to supporting students to seek out the path that is right for them, including highly-specific interests that may be best developed through experiences outside the traditional college model. We help connect students to local opportunities, internships, specialized programs, and/or certifications to develop their expertise and launch their careers. For example, some of our recent graduates pursued training through the Cinema Makeup School, an addiction counseling certification program, massage school, and a Fire Academy. Other Fusion graduates jump right into their professional lives as athletes and entrepreneurs; current alumni pursuits include interning for a record label, working as production assistant, and starting a clothing line. We are proud of each and every one of our students.

Sample of Colleges and University Acceptances Top-tier schools such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford, Columbia, Brown, Vanderbilt, Cornell, Georgetown, Duke, Johns Hopkins, and Northwestern Small, liberal arts schools such as Dartmouth College, Sarah Lawrence College, Wesleyan University, Goucher College, Trinity University, Bard College, and Loyola Marymount University Large state universities such as New York University (NYU), University of California (UCLA, UC Berkeley), University of Michigan, University of Maryland, Ohio State University, University of Virginia, Texas A & M University, Penn State, North Carolina State University, and Arizona State University Some of the best fine and performing arts schools in the country including Rhode Island School of Design, Savannah College of Art and Design, California Institute of the Arts, Pratt Institute, Berklee College of Music, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Tisch School of the Arts, and The Juilliard School Technological and technical-vocational schools such as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, DigiPen Institute of Technology, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, University of Sciences, and New York Film Academy

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Deborah’s Story

Fusion Parent

My daughter was a senior in high school when she was first introduced to Fusion Academy. She had always struggled with Dyslexia and had many challenges with both english and math. Her selfesteem had been completely destroyed by her previous school, its teachers and administrators. She was made to feel stupid and that her struggles were all her fault. She was beaten down, blamed for her problems and was on the verge of quitting school altogether. In the first week at Fusion, my daughter – for the first time in many years – came home happy, confident and feeling great about her day. It was completely different from the environment she had endured for years. She suddenly felt that she could do anything and actually succeed in school. She said she learned more in one day than she had that entire semester at her previous school. She believed in herself. Her confidence was off the charts. She felt loved, supported, and motivated to learn. She went from Ds and Fs to As and Bs. My daughter knew that Fusion was going to help her achieve her dream of going to college. In February 2018, we received a letter from my daughter’s dream school. Once she completed all of the required classes, she would be welcome to attend St. Mary’s College of California. She did it! She’s more motivated now than ever. My daughter will be attending St. Mary’s in the spring of 2019, thanks to the great educators, administrators and staff at Fusion Academy. Fusion Academy saved my daughter from giving up on herself.

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Scholarship Stories Through the generosity of the community and a few passionate parents’ persistence, 2017 marks the first award year of the Fusion Scholarship Foundation. The Fusion Scholarship Foundation is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit, tax-exempt organization which seeks to provide a transformative experience to students who desperately need the benefits of personalized education, and require tuition assistance. With financial support from Fusion Education Group, current and former Fusion families, and the community, the Foundation awards scholarship monies to students who would otherwise be unable to attend Fusion Academy. The majority of the donations received by the foundation are from families who have experienced first-hand the transformative education Fusion provides and gave generously when the chance to share this life-changing opportunity arose. While the Foundation is in the early stages, the generosity of these families funded full scholarships for three students to attend their local Fusion Academy for the 2017-2018 academic year. The goal is to help many more students in the future. Fusion Academy Pasadena was delighted to receive the news that their part time student, Noah, would be able 46

to completely immerse into our well-rounded program. Noah, a 14-year-old cancer survivor, is excelling in our one-to-one model and has become the center of campus culture. Fusion Academy Austin is home to Bailey, a young equestrian who had issues with bullying at his former school. He is thriving socially and academically today, as he continues his education at Fusion Academy. Fusion Academy Woodbury planned to host our third recipient, Hayley. A lover of both art and science, Hayley wants to become a doctor to find a cure for the autoimmune diseases that she’s currently overcoming. Due to health issues, her schooling has been put on pause. Her scholarship is being held in reserve and will be available as soon as she is able to resume her studies at Fusion. We could not be more grateful to our donors, and to the Foundation, for making this possible! To hear the moving stories of our incredible scholarship recipients and to learn more about opportunities to help fund a child’s education at Fusion Academy, please visit the Foundation website at FusionScholarship.org.


The things I’ve seen and felt have been life-changing. I have seen students come to us anxious, afraid, lonely, confused, intimidated, wounded, indifferent, unloved, and always ready for a change. And so we begin by loving them. Right where they are. And they begin to transform. I consider myself most blessed to witness their beautiful and often messy transformations into students who are confident, secure, included, loved, and healing. Of course, they may still stumble, fall and even fail, but now they know that they have a huge team of teachers and mentors there to help them back up. And keep loving them. Amy Middleton, Fusion Teacher/Mentor

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Fusion 2018 Education Impact Report  
Fusion 2018 Education Impact Report