iLEAD Charter Schools Support Equity and Access for All Learners
In the world of education, charter schools have had their share of critics. Although the data doesn’t support the claim, some say charter schools fail to adequately serve all students, especially those with disabilities. iLEAD Charter Schools strive to support equity and access for all students, and their model of project-based and social-emotional learning has provided a successful approach for all learners. Recently, one parent explained how and why.
Kristin Wullschleger, whose son Adam has attended iLEAD Exploration since 2018, is grateful for the growth and learning her son has experienced since starting with iLEAD. iLEAD’s additional supports for Adam have included occupational therapy, adaptive physical education, speech services (both individual and group) and specialized weekly academic instruction.
According to Wullschleger, Adam has benefited from the one-on-one attention, the opportunity to learn at his own pace, and the efforts of the iLEAD staff to find new ways to support their learners. “Our son has gone up three reading levels and now enjoys math,” said Wullschleger. “He focuses more now on his work and even chooses subjects he wants to learn more about.”
Additionally, Wullschleger and her family have seen a change in Adam’s social-emotional development. “He has better control of his emotions now,” said Wullschleger. “He communicates more effectively with what’s bothering him.”
The game-changer, according to Wullschleger, is the level of support and service Adam receives. She said the staff truly care about her son’s individual growth.
“When virtual learning was not working early on for our son, iLEAD staff asked if we wanted an in-person teacher,” said Wullschleger. “At least two support staff recommended more session time. iLEAD approved it.”
In the previous non-charter-school experiences that Adam had, Wullschleger said, these would have been roadblocks, but at iLEAD it’s always about what’s best for the learner.
Wullschleger said that iLEAD’s Individual Education Plan is not just an acronym or catch phrase but a real practice. “I’m so happy that I’m included regularly in his educational plan,” she said. “I told his occupational therapist and his teacher that we wanted him to learn to write.”
She said his previous non-charter school told her that her son would be only a technology learner and wouldn’t be able to write. “He’s writing now regularly and legibly,” said Wullschleger.
Many of Adam’s projects and learning experiences have impacted him as a learner and person, according to his mom. “Our son is a hands-on learner, so educational field studies at places like Medieval Times, Knotts Berry Farm, and Leaps and Bounds, where he went horseback riding, have all been beneficial to him,” said Wullschleger. “He is now enjoying subscription boxes like Little Passports, Ivy Kids and Raddish Kids. We just studied France and painted the Eiffel Tower.”
Wullschleger’s enthusiasm over Adam’s continued growth and success is contagious. She said she routinely recommends iLEAD to other parents, especially those with special learning needs.
“Our previous school basically said our son was too far behind,” said Wullschleger. “With iLEAD, we have proven that with the right support and team members, he can catch up and exceed all expectations.”