Giving A Shy Student A Voice at the Innovation Preparatory Academy

A classroom full of students working collaboratively in small breakout groups.

Innovation Preparatory Academy (inPrep) opened its doors on August 24, 2020 in Wesley Chapel, Florida. The school aimed to establish whole-school blended learning by offering flexible attendance options and a high-tech learning environment.

Part of the Charter Schools USA network, inPrep offers families three options for enrolling their children: face-to-face, mobile (fully remote), or hybrid (a combination of face-to-face and remote). The school currently enrolls 450 students across K-8. Of these students, 80% attend face-to-face, 17% attend remotely, and 3% use the hybrid option to attend school face-to-face on Mondays and Tuesdays and remain at home for remote learning on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

Regardless of the attendance choice families make for their children, inPrep’s instructional goal was to ensure all students became part of a collaborative, synchronous learning environment. To accomplish this goal, inPrep chose to leverage SMART’s hardware and software along with an open-concept classroom layout, 1-to-1 student iPads, and 360-degree classroom cameras equipped with wireless speakers.

The school chose to work with SMART because of the company’s unique hardware and software connection. Specifically, inPrep teachers launch Lumio™ by SMART lessons from the SMART Board to engage all students, regardless of location, in game-based activities, individual Handouts, collaborative Workspaces, and formative assessments that result in real-time, personalized feedback. By leveraging SMART, teachers enable meaningful collaborative learning activities that enhance and extend learning while maintaining student engagement.

If a student or group of students needs remediation or enrichment, teachers post links to Lumio lessons in Schoology, inPrep’s learning management system. Students can work through these lessons independently, any time and anywhere.

SMART's hardware and software connection made blended learning accessible and sustainable for teachers, students, and parents at inPrep. According to one parent,

"Here at inPrep, I was able to see social distancing, amazing classroom set up, and options available that allowed parents to choose based upon what is best for their kids. The school has brought something to the community that I have never seen before. I could not be happier!"

This innovative school has garnered interest throughout the educational community, attracting many talented teachers with its technology provisions. Curriculum Resource Teacher Reagan Greco says,

"I chose to work at inPrep because of the forward-thinking leadership and the opportunity to push beyond the boundaries of traditional education by heavily incorporating technology. Many schools are in a situation where they would like to be more technology-based but do not have the means and resources to do so, but inPrep has a 1-to-1 device model, which allows students and teachers to use technology in ways that enhance and extend learning."
Through its innovative technology configuration, open-concept classroom layout, and flexible attendance options, inPrep leverages blended learning to achieve its mission for each student to "learn to their fullest potential".
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