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2019

EDUCATION IMPACT

REPORT


Contents A Note From Fusion Leadership

3

About Fusion

4

Our Mission

4

Schoolwide Learner Outcomes

5

2018-2019 School Year

6

Empowering Learners

9

Real Results

13

• Relationship Building

16

• Emotional Support

17

• Academic Thriving

18

• Student Engagement

19

• Academic Confidence

21

• Academic Success

22

• Homework

24

• Social Confidence

25

Impact of Long-Term Enrollment

2

27

• Improving Positive Relationships

28

• Developing Resilience

29

• Expanding Possibilities

29

Class of 2019

30

Fusion Family Stories

32


A Note From Fusion Leadership Dear Fusion families, friends, and teammates, Welcome to the 2019 Fusion Impact Report. In the following pages you will see just how life-changing a Fusion education is for students and their families. By educating the whole student, we’re able to help kids of all types flourish socially, emotionally, and academically in ways they’ve not experienced in previous schools. The stories and data inside are possible because of the hard work of our teacher/mentors, campus administration, regional and HomeBase teams, and our extended support network. It is an honor to work with this team of outstanding individuals and to be part of an organization that is helping students grow and expand their vision for their future. As you read the stories and analyze the information in this report, we hope you are as energized as we are about what it represents: Fusion Academy is changing the way school is done and positively impacting the lives of students and their families nationwide. With gratitude,

Peter G. Ruppert CEO Fusion Academy

Jeff Poole President & COO Fusion Academy 3


About Fusion Fusion Academy is an accredited private school providing one-to-one, personalized education for grades 6-12 with full-time and part-time programs. Since 2007, Fusion has changed the lives of thousands of students and their families. By tailoring the educational experience to each student and leveraging their unique strengths, interests, and learning style, Fusion unlocks each student’s true potential.

Our Mission 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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Fusion Academy students will be:

Our Schoolwide learner outcomes

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 individuals who… • recognize the value of their own and others’ unique strengths and challenges • wholeheartedly strive to build inclusive and connected communities • demonstrate curiosity and caring for the thoughts, beliefs, and perspectives of others

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

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Fusion Academy 2018-2019 School Year

Served 6,049

middle and high school

students AT

55

Across 16 states and Washington D.C.

Campuses we taught advanced level courses to 35% of our students

6

and graduated

573 Seniors


7


Before being enrolled into Fusion Academy, I was having a really difficult time at school. My mom would ask me how my day was, and my day never got any better than a monotone “good.” Before I transferred, I was failing three classes and I did not feel the motivation to try and get my grades up, because I had no motivation to learn. However, when I transferred to Fusion, things got much better for me — I feel motivation to learn, I’m getting all A’s, and most importantly, my days went from a monotone “good” to a beaming “great!” I feel right at home at Fusion, and I couldn’t ask for a more perfect school. Olivia K., Fusion Student

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Empowering Learners Fusion is designed to support the needs of diverse learners. We meet students where they are and help them thrive. While most 2018-2019 Fusion Academy students had above average academic skills, many reported struggling in their previous school environments for a variety reasons. Through our thoughtfully designed approach of “Love, Motivate, Teach,� we help students of all types better understand themselves and envision the kind of future they have the power to create.

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A snapshot of our 2018-19 student population In the 2018-19 school year, many students came to Fusion feeling unsupported, disconnected, disengaged, unheard, and unsafe. Despite strong academic abilities, they often lacked confidence, struggled socially, and experienced school-related conflict with their families. While every student is unique, each learns best when they feel safe, cared for, engaged, and confident. This report shows that students quickly begin to flourish in the Fusion school environment. We believe our focus on creating positive, authentic relationships — fostered by our one-to-one learning model — is key to unlocking academic and personal potential.

Before Fusion

82% did not receive the ACADEMIC SUPPORT NEEDED at their previous school.

70% Lacked confidence in their ability to learn the material.

64% didn’t enjoy participating in social activities and 43% participated in no activities at their previous school

57% Didn’t feel respected by the other students and 43% Didn’t feel Safe from bullying 10


When asked what they wanted out of their Fusion experience, most students said they desired more confidence and a better education.

I would like to be able to enjoy learning a bit more, by learning in a more ideal environment for me. I would like to be able to learn at a more personalized pace and get more out of my learning. I would also like to have more time to pursue personal interests.

I want to feel proud of myself.

I hope to be more confident, grateful and happier when I get home after my Fusion experience.

FALL 2018 FUSION ACADEMY MAP SCORES 34%

23% 17%

15%

32% 22% 17% 18%

24%

22% 22%

11%

1st - 20th percentile 21st - 40th percentile

17% 13%

15%

41st - 60th percentile 61st - 80th percentile 81st - 99th percentile

Language Usage

Mathematics

Reading

The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test is a nationally-normed, independent assessment developed by NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association). It is given to students when they first begin attending Fusion full-time. This assessment covers three areas: Language Usage, Mathematics, and Reading. The results of this test allows Fusion to have a more accurate sense of student strengths and gaps in knowledge or skills.

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“

This was the place where our daughter leaped the chasm between failure and anxiety to success and self-esteem. The unique environment and highly-motivated teachers listened to our child and tapped into the way she learns. The results of this are a delight to see. Henry Sopher, Fusion Parent

12

“


Real Results Survey results from hundreds of students and parents1 affirm that Fusion students experience life-changing shifts that result in long-term transformation. By first establishing positive, authentic relationships and then customizing the entire educational experience, Fusion helps students reverse their patterns of disconnection and disengagement. When Fusion students feel safe and understood, they fully engage in their personalized learning process. This allows them to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

Survey results reflect responses from approximately 1,720 students (gathered in February-March of 2019) and approximately 1,250 parents (gathered in May-June 2019)

1

13


Impacting the Whole Student Fusion’s revolutionary approach focuses on the success of the whole student — relationally, academically, socially and emotionally. In this section, we share our results in four key areas:

1. Relationship Building 2. Emotional Support 3. Academic Thriving 4. Social Confidence

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Without Fusion, I believe our son would have become a high school dropout because of the immense frustration he was experiencing in the classroom. He is now the family entrepreneur and already running his own business. If you are a parent that’s concerned about your child’s performance in a “traditional” school setting, I urge you, as a parent that’s been down that painful road, please consider Fusion. It can change your child’s future from a frightening unknown to a bright and confident one. We are incredibly grateful to Fusion Academy. Toni Vlaovich, Fusion Parent 15


Relationship Building POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS 92%

42%

38%

31%

Felt listened to and treated with respect by their teachers

Felt listened to and treated with respect by their administrators

Before Fusion

96 PERCENT

of parents report that their child has positive relationships with his/her teachers.

16

86%

87%

Felt cared about by adults at school

After 3 months at Fusion

At Fusion, every educational journey begins with the relationship between student and teacher. In the 2018-2019 school year, our students quickly developed more positive relationships with Fusion faculty and administration than they experienced at their previous schools.


Emotional Support

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT All Fusion Students 86% Before Fusion

Like adults, many adolescents struggle with emotions: the fear of failure, the search for social belonging, or the aftermath of negative experiences. These challenges can be painful and lonely to navigate. They also make it difficult to focus on and engage in school. Fusion teachers use their training as mentors to ensure students are emotionally supported, clearing the path for them to learn.

After 3 months at Fusion

48%

Felt they were receiving the emotional support they needed

Before coming to Fusion, less than half of our students felt emotionally supported by their previous school; that number doubled after just three months at Fusion.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT Students Who Highly Prioritize Emotional Support 95%

Not all students come to Fusion seeking emotional support, but we identified a subset of students in our data who recognized emotional support as a high priority or essential. Of these students, only 23 percent felt they received the emotional support needed at their previous school. At Fusion, the number quickly soared to 95 percent.

Before Fusion

According to neuroscience, a person must feel safe in order to learn. When students experience fear, stress, or anxiety in school, they not only have difficulty learning, but they also associate negative emotions with it that can lead to a neurobiological aversion to school.

23%

After 3 months at Fusion

Felt they were receiving the emotional support they needed 17


Academic Thriving

97% of parents report Fusion teachers as

Engaging in the classroom

Positive changes in mindset and academic behaviors yield positive changes in learning outcomes. Once trusting relationships and a safe environment are established, Fusion students experience a reawakening of curiosity, an infusion of confidence, and a positive connection to school. Teaching in a one-to-one setting and customizing each course builds on this foundation and shifts the way students relate to learning. This sets students on an upward trajectory toward academic flourishing.

2018-2019 STUDENT ENGAGEMENT

Likely to ask questions or offer thoughts in class What they’re learning is related to their interests Frequently excited or curious about something new Able to explore creative interests Had fun at school

53% 95% 41% 87% 40%

38% 90% 66% 85% Before Fusion

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School Engagement

85%

After Fusion

When a student’s interest is captured, they are more likely to persist through challenges, retain new information, and pursue learning independently. If you’ve ever seen how quickly a teenager learns to navigate a new app, you’ve seen this in action! Learning is always most effective when students are intrinsically motivated by an interest in, or personal connection to, a subject.


Fusion teachers personalize learning by leveraging each student’s creative and personal interests. This sparks curiosity and excitement for learning, and it results in dramatic increases in student engagement. After just three months at Fusion, 85 percent of students describe themselves as frequently excited or curious about something new; 96 percent take the initiative to ask questions or offer thoughts in class.

At Fusion, student engagement is not only higher than the national average, it is consistently high across all grades. 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 Poll, student engagement is a persistent problem and rapidly declines by grade across the country.2 This is in contrast to Fusion student engagement, which starts high and remains steady throughout high school.

STUDENT ENGAGEMENT 100%

80% 60%

40%

20%

0% 6th Grade

7th Grade

8th Grade Engagement nationally

9th Grade

10th Grade

11th Grade

12th 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.� Fusion student engagement is based on an index of the first four questions shown in the previous graph (n=1,719).

2

19


20


Academic Confidence Reigniting students’ belief in themselves is as important as finding the right classes, teachers, content, and teaching styles. Students who are confident in their ability to learn perform better in a post-secondary environment.3 This positive mindset is also critical to being a lifelong learner. At Fusion, student confidence soars as they experience success as learners.

CONFIDENCE AS A LEARNER 95%

After 3 months at Fusion

Confident in their ability to learn the material More than 40 percent 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.

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). 3

PERCENT

of parents report that their child is more confident overall since attending Fusion.

85 PERCENT

of parents believe their child is more successful academically at Fusion compared to their previous school.

59%

Before Fusion

81

88 PERCENT

of students say they are frequently proud of the work they do at Fusion.

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Academic success The connections Fusion teachers form with students not only create an environment of safety and support, but also an opportunity to customize their teaching style and content as they get to know the students. Fusion teachers set their students up for success and reverse the pattern of failure by adjusting their pace, approach, and assignments to target each student’s needs and ensure mastery of the curriculum. A student’s academic mindset, behaviors, and learning are all strengthened when supported academically in the right school setting. The majority of our students said they weren’t getting the academic support they needed prior to Fusion. After a few short months, 95 percent said that they are getting the academic support they need to be successful.

ACADEMIC SUPPORT 95%

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

42%

Before Fusion

After 3 months at Fusion

Getting the academic support they need to be successful 22


Positive psychology suggests that a sense of positive accomplishment is key to overall well-being.4 For students with a history of negative experiences such as academic failure, bullying, and/or social/emotional 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. Fusion students who experienced a pattern of academic failure at their previous school have been able to reverse that trend and find success in all academic subject areas.

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

63%

21%

4

2%

4%

Much less

A little less

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

11%

Same amount

A little more

A lot more 23


Homework Homework is a common struggle for students before coming to Fusion, but quickly resolves itself through the structure and support of our Homework Café®. This dedicated space on campus provides easy access to teachers and resources for student success. Fusion students begin to shift their relationship with homework in as little as a few weeks through a positive Homework Café® experience.

STUDENT PERCEPTION OF THE HOMEWORK CAFÉ ® Less than 3 months after enrollment 97%

90%

It’s easy to get help from teachers

I know how to find the resources I need

80% I like doing my homework in the Homework Café®

Doing homework on campus throughout the day helps students reinforce learning shortly after class and develops executive functioning skills like time management, organization, and prioritization. As a result, students complete homework at a higher rate than at their previous schools. While some students are already diligent with coursework, 65 percent report completing more homework than at their previous school.

HOMEWORK COMPLETION Compared to my previous schools, at Fusion I do my homework...

2%

6%

Much less

A little less

26%

23%

Same amount

A little more

42%

A lot more

Students who complete their homework not only flourish academically, but also are free to enjoy their time outside of school. These academic behaviors are key predictors of success in college.5 24

5

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


Social Confidence Fusion creates a safe, supportive environment that fosters positive relationships among students. The longer students stay at Fusion Academy, the more likely they are to participate in social activities.

90% feel

81% feel quite

respected

or completely safe

by other students

from bullying

86% feel they have

friendships with other students

91% feel comfortable

being themselves

85% have

fun at school

70% enjoy participating in

Social activities at Fusion (like clubs, field trips, after school activities) 25


My son has been attending Fusion for nearly four years, and it’s had a transformative effect on him personally in addition to helping him academically. Basically, he entered Fusion a very anxious dyslexic student with little to no confidence that he could succeed. Thanks to the warm teachers and staff, he has more than succeeded and thrives academically! I am also very grateful for the generosity of the school — their flexibility and understanding of different issues has been incredible. I can’t say enough positive about our experience at Fusion. Elizabeth Aquino, Fusion Parent

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Impact of long-term enrollment 27


Improving positive relationships Students tell us the connection with their teachers matters and has led to increased comfort communicating with adults in their lives. Our 2019 Student Survey shows the longer students experience positive relationships at Fusion, the more confident they are in advocating for themselves. According to Gallup Poll research, the most important elements for student success are having someone who cares about their development and having an opportunity to do what they do best every day (Busteed, B. Gallup Business Journal, 2014). In our one-to-one classrooms, teachers provide students with opportunities to learn and to demonstrate essential life competencies, including communication skills that translate into greater student advocacy.

LONG-TERM IMPACT OF POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS

Scale of 1-5

4.2

Feeling Connected to Teachers

3.9

Comfort Communicating with Adults

3.6

Comfort Advocating for Yourself

3.3

3.0

28

Less than three months

Four to six months

Seven to twelve months

One to two years

More than two years

The one-on-one environment offers the perfect level of interaction for my son — on many different levels. First, the personal relationship he has developed with his tutors inspires him to prepare for his classes on his own. He has found mentors in his teachers. The teachers are genuinely excited about inspiring students. I no longer worry about social connections as the school provides so many opportunities for meaningful interactions among peers. I highly recommend Fusion Academy — it has changed our lives! Brooke Morton, Fusion Parent


Developing Resilience INCREASED RESILIENCE

Fusion provides a stable and secure environment where teachers prioritize getting to know their students. Our teachers focus on student strengths, while promoting essential elements such their wellbeing and resilience. When resiliency is embedded in the classroom culture, teachers transform the lives of students (Cahill, Beadle, Farrelly, Forster, & Smith, 2014).

3.9

Persistence in Goal Pursuit

3.6

In 2019, students said the longer they are enrolled at Fusion, the more likely they are to experience increased resilience in pursuing their goals such as improving social skills and developing plans for their future.

3.3

Motivated Toward Accomplishing Goals

3.0

Persistence in the Face of Fear Four to six months

Seven to twelve months

One to two years

More than two years

Length of Enrollment

Expanding Possibilities According to Dr. Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association, “The gold standard for measuring well-being is flourishing” (2012). Scale of 1-5

Long-term enrollment at Fusion is associated with increased confidence and a strengthened vision for the student’s academic future. Students appreciate the opportunity to develop skills that impact their future, such as learning how to prioritize, complete homework, communicate effectively and think critically.

INCREASED CONFIDENCE IN FUTURE 4.8 4.6 4.4 4.2 4.0 3.8

Confidence in Graduating High School

Less than three months

Four to six months

Seven to One to two twelve months years

More than two years

Desire to Go to College

Length of Enrollment 29


Class of 2019: Bright Futures

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

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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 allows them to flourish. Our students are accepted by, and attend, a wide array of public and private schools, ranging in size, geographic location, and areas of specialty and training. At Fusion, we are committed to helping students find the path that’s right for them. This sometimes means pursuing highly specific interests that may be best developed 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, one of our recent graduates was accepted to the Mark Kislingbury Academy for Court Reporting. Another chose to attend E.I. School of Professional Makeup for special effects makeup. A few students decided to take gap years — one is spending her year working with AmeriCorps, and another is headed to Israel to study Hebrew, do community service, and work for a lifestyle blog.

Sample of Colleges and University Acceptances Top-tier schools Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford, Columbia, Brown, Vanderbilt, Cornell, Georgetown, Duke, Johns Hopkins, and Northwestern Small, liberal arts schools Dartmouth College, Sarah Lawrence College, Wesleyan University, Goucher College, Trinity University, Bard College, and Loyola Marymount University Large state universities 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 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 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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The Williams Family Story Dena Williams Fusion Houston Galleria

32

Three years ago, my son attended Fusion Academy to brush up on his math skills during summer break. He quickly fell in love with the one-to-one teaching methods, learning style promoted at Fusion, along with the warm and nurturing academic staff. It was an easy decision to move him to Fusion full-time to start his 8th grade year.

Another aspect of Fusion we believe important, the teaching staff kept us well informed of his progress on a daily basis. Communications of this type are not available outside of a one-toone environment, yet are incredibly helpful so that our feedback from the day is more than just “it was good” which we heard a lot previously.

Fusion tailored a program for him that would accent his strengths in math, science and especially his love of computers. Our son quickly began to take the initiative to finish his homework during assigned lab times, this was a major win for us as homework (on-time) 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 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.


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The Nikolich Family Story

“

Sanja Nikolich Fusion Oak Brook

My son was always an enigma: he was extraordinarily bright, but produced little work. By the time he made it to middle school, we were devoting three to four hours per night to getting his homework done. Testing showed him to have ADD and we decided to try medication. It helped a bit. We thought changing schools from private to public when he started high school would help as well. It did because his freshman year was a review of what he had done in middle school and he somehow made it through. Sophomore year was another story. He could not get any homework done. Our family evenings were completely devoted to getting SOME of his homework done. He was miserable and thought of himself as a failure. By the end of the first semester, he was failing three classes. I started looking for alternatives. My mother spotted an article about Fusion opening in the Chicago area. We reached out for more information and thought the one-

34

to-one approach would be great for my son. We LOVED the homework being done at school concept. We signed up and have not looked back. In the two years he has been at Fusion, he has grown into a confident, happy, and successful young man. He has discovered his passion, art. He chose a college and worked hard to get in. He is aware of his strengths and of his weaknesses. He has become an amazing, articulate young man. We are very proud of him. Fusion has not only changed Matt. It has changed our family. We are happier, calmer, and a more cohesive unit. We have fun with our children without arguing about homework. We have actually taken several vacations- something very unusual for us. Thank you for coming to Chicago when you did.


35


“ 36


Luke’s story Told by his mom Danyne Senft Fusion Cherry Hill

Our son, Luke, currently attends Fusion and just successfully finished his junior year. Prior to attending Fusion, Luke started struggling during his 8th grade year in the traditional school setting. He was diagnosed with anxiety, OCD, and an autoimmune illness. Luke missed many days getting treatment and fell behind academically and socially which added to the pressure of trying to keep up with his make-up work and complete his courses on time. While suffering from anxiety, OCD, and health issues, attending his traditional school became an increasingly high source of anxiety for Luke on many levels. We started searching for other schools that could meet Luke’s unique needs. After hearing about Fusion, we scheduled our first tour. Luke left our tour excited about going to school for the first time in several years. I saw an enthusiasm and smile on Luke’s face that had been missing for so long. Fusion was the school we were searching for. Fusion has had such a positive impact on Luke and our entire family. There is no stigma there. The teachers accept each

child for who they are and meet each child wherever they are in their journey. The individual one-to-one teaching approach is exactly what Luke needed. Since attending Fusion, Luke has transformed into a successful student that is thriving and loves school once again. By attending Fusion, Luke has been able to get treatment when needed without the pressure of keeping up in a traditional school setting. Each teacher formulates a oneto-one individual teaching plan that is geared specifically to meet Luke’s educational needs and proceed at a pace that fits Luke’s needs. The flexibility has made a huge difference in getting treatment for Luke. The philosophy of no homework is amazing! All homework is done in school allowing us to be a family again without the stress and interruption of homework. Fusion gave Luke a second chance at becoming successful in high school academically, socially, and emotionally. We will forever be grateful for the amazing positive impact that Fusion has had on Luke and our entire family. 37


The Bennett Family Story

Meg Bennett Fusion Malvern

Prior to joining the Fusion family, our daughter was disengaged from school. She struggled with connecting to people in her classes, understanding her teachers, and even just getting her homework done. She was anxious and did everything she could to avoid going to school. As parents, we had to constantly fight and beg to get her what she needed, to get the teachers to engage with her in anyway that could even attempt (although often failing) to help. We often had to become her teachers and spend hours with her doing homework, time that should’ve been spent just being together as a family. Fusion has given our daughter the chance to shine and be the student and person we always knew she was. She has made so many friends, people she actually spends

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time with outside of school. She connects with her teachers and has demonstrated herself to be an amazing student, so creative and outgoing. She was recently elected as Student Ambassador, a role that requires her to be in front of her peers, new students, new families, introducing them to the school and welcoming them. We could write books on the difference Fusion has made for our daughter. But the reality is, Fusion has made a difference for our whole family. We don’t spend time focused on keeping her anxiety at bay because Fusion creates a safe space for her to be herself. We don’t have to reteach her content or even help with her homework because Fusion has created a space where she feels empowered to work with her teachers to get what she needs. And as if that wasn’t enough, we don’t have to be the squeaky wheel and fight for her rights anymore because


Fusion just does what is needed to help not only build her confidence, but help her see that she truly is an amazing student, leader, person. We don’t know that our daughter would have “survived” in the traditional high school setting. When we think back to where we were just about a year ago, we are amazed by the progress and growth in our her. It’s not fair to say that she’s become a different person because she really has just become who she always was. The person that was hidden from everything because of how she felt. Fusion gave her the chance to just be herself. And that person has proven to be a star in her own right.

To say we are thankful would be an understatement. We don’t know where we would be without this school, these teachers, this uniquely wonderful, non-traditional way of engaging with students. And for that, and for everything we know we will continue to see as she goes through high school, we are, from the bottom of my heart, so very grateful.

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