Answers to Your Questions
HOW DO STUDENTS INTERACT WITH EACH OTHER?
Inspired offers a social framework that supports student interaction in multiple ways:
Pod Check-ins - daily online meeting with your Pod for Group Connection Activities, Announcements, and the like; a Start-the-Day ritual to get everyone going
Crew Huddles - students meet with their Support Crew once at the beginning of the day to set goals and then again at the end of the day to reflect on progress made
Inspired Workshops - live online special topic workshops which may include Passion Projects, Self-Directed Learning 101 group coaching, Badge work, Socratic Discussions, or Group Projects
HOW ARE STUDENTS PLACED INTO PODS?
Inspired aims to place students with similar interests together in the same pod and, as more students join, this can become more and more specific. For example, at some point career-interest-based pods (e.g., "Future Graphic Designers", "Future Authors", "Future Architects") could be formed. Location-based pods where members can hold local meetups and meet in-person would be another possibility. Always student agency is valued, so students will have a say in which pod they join.
WHAT IS THE CURRICULUM?
Students may bring their current curriculum or they may work with their Learning Coach to select the best online classes that are both personally interesting and serve their long term goals (college prep, entrepreneurship, vocational training, etc.). Students aren't limited to traditional courses and enjoy the flexibility and meaning of a personalized curriculum.
There are a wide variety of excellent online learning resources and students can choose which resources work best for their style of learning. They can encourage a Podmate to join them in a class for a shared experience. Or they may get interested in something they hadn't considered when they see what other members of their Pod are doing. Or they may take suggestions from their Learning Coach. Above all, there is student agency. The student ultimately decides which courses they take - the key to engagement!
WHAT IS THE INSPIRED LEARNING CYCLE?
The Inspired Learning Cycle can be expressed as the acronym IIPEAR: Inspire - Intend - Plan - Execute - Assess - Reflect. Students spend the first week of the cycle getting Inspired, making Intentions for learning (creating their schedule, committing to classes) and Planning their learning. Depending on when they start, students spend ~8 weeks Executing this learning plan. The last two weeks of the cycle are spent preparing for Presentation Night, Assessing progress and outcomes, and Reflecting on the learning cycle.
The Inspired Learning Cycle is designed to model successful real-world learning vs. traditional school-environment-only learning.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY LIKE?
Students start their day by joining a Zoom call at their scheduled Pod Check-in time for a Start-the-Day ritual that builds community and connection. At the end of this Check-in, they separate into breakout rooms for a Crew Huddle with their Support Crew to complete the daily entry in their Working Journals and to exchange goals for the day. They follow their schedule (created the first week of the cycle) and attend a mix of group project meetings, live, flex or self-paced online classes, and independent studies. At the end of the day, they hop onto a Zoom call for another Crew Huddle, this time for accountability checks on their progress for the day and to complete the end-of-day time tracking log in their Working Journal. They may spend some time in the evening working on projects and assignments or joining others for club activities.
ARE THERE GRADES?
Assessments of learning are performed through documented self-assessments, narrative and verbal feedback from the Learning Coach and facilitators, and through Presentation Nights - where students present products from their learning that cycle to family and friends live online in a Zoom call.
Traditional grades may come from online course providers and community college dual-credit courses. For online courses that don't provide grades, independent studies, or special courses offered by Inspired, the student will work with their Learning Coach to determine mastery criteria. Students then work with their Learning Coach for honest, self-assessment.
Rest assured they will have an established GPA for college admission purposes.
ARE STUDENTS REQUIRED TO TAKE STATE STANDARDIZED TESTS?
Inspired does not require or administer standardized tests. Some states may require them per their homeschool requirements.
HOW FLEXIBLE ARE YOU WITH SCHEDULING?
We understand that some students are pursuing special talents that may require a specific practice or training schedule. That is the beauty of personalized schedules. While we are flexible, we do ask that students attend their daily Check-ins if possible to build community and a sense of belonging.
ARE YOU ACCREDITED?
Inspired is not accredited in the same way that homeschools are not accredited. Colleges and universities do not hesitate to admit homeschool applicants (some even recruit them). The same is true for the Inspired graduate.
DO YOU PROVIDE TRANSCRIPTS?
Yes. Each student is guided in creating and maintaining an impressive narrative transcript (including digital badges and an ePortfolio) that will be made official by Inspired upon graduation.
DO YOU PROVIDE A DIPLOMA?
We do provide diplomas and offer 3 paths to graduation (University Path, Community College Path, Life Start Path), each with opportunities for personalization.
WHAT DOES IT START?
The first pods are scheduled to start January 12th, 2021. Additional pods will start as and when they are filled.