Aside from good health and overall happiness, most parents would probably list a quality education as one of their top priorities for their children. They want their kids to embrace learning, be motivated in their studies and set themselves up for future success, in whatever endeavor they pursue.
Yet many times, for a multitude of reasons, certain students just cannot get on track in the traditional educational setting, whether at a public, private or charter school. For those who are frustrated with the status quo, a unique and revolutionary school like Fusion Academy could very well be the answer.
Fusion Academy is an accredited private middle and high school for grades 6 through 12. It has 48 locations across the United States, including its first South Jersey school set to open in Cherry Hill.
The foundation for Fusion’s success is a commitment to one-to-one learning that fosters academic, social and emotional growth in each student.
“All of our classrooms have one student and one teacher; everything from the pace of the instruction to the method of teaching is completely personalized,” says Michelle Blasberg, director of admissions and outreach for Fusion’s Cherry Hill campus. “Our teachers are not only educators, but they’re mentors to the students.”
Some children simply are not suited to learn in a classroom with 25 of their peers—or on a traditional 8-to-3 schedule—for a variety of reasons, such as a learning disability, anxiety, depression, ADD or ADHD. Through the personal, positive relationships they build with their teachers at Fusion, learning comes more easily.
Fusion also has flexible hours and an open enrollment policy throughout the year, even the summer, which appeals to athletes with a busy training schedule.
“The one common thread with all of the students who come to Fusion,” Blasberg says, “is the traditional setting is not working for them.”
Blasberg has teaching experience in the traditional setting at public, private and charter schools. But she was drawn to Fusion because of her own childhood education memories.
As a third-grader, Blasberg was identified with a learning disability and started taking her core classes at her school’s Learning Resource Center. By the time she got to high school, she was back in mainstream classes and on her way to college and a teaching career, but she has never forgotten the gains she made as a young girl.
“Once I realized that I could be confident and ask questions, and I didn’t have to pretend that I knew how to read, I could just be me and that’s where all my learning happened,” she says. “That is the pillar of Fusion. We start off by making the children feel they are important and loved, and that transitions to them being motivated to learn. Once they are motivated, we can educate them.”
In addition to core academic subjects, students also have the option of electives and enrichment programs. These include music programs, where they can play instruments and learn to produce songs in a state-of-the-art recording studio; art programs for drawing, painting, sculpting and graphic design; and wellness and yoga classes, which instill healthy habits.
Another unique aspect of Fusion is the Homework Café, where students end every school day by completing their homework— with the help of teachers, if necessary—and spending time with other students.
“The biggest question we get is, ‘Where does socialization happen at Fusion?’ The Homework Café is where students meet with their peers in a supportive campus environment. They can work on projects together, play games, or just hang out and get to know each other,” Blasberg says.
“The Homework Café also takes the pressure cooker of homework away from home, so a child can go home and be a child, and focus on their friends and family life after school.”
Many Fusion graduates end up at a fouryear college or university; others enroll in art school or go straight to the working world.
Whichever path they choose, Blasberg hopes that Fusion can help them achieve their goals, the same way that her education did.
“I owe a lot to being in a small class and having that sense of support to be able to learn and embrace education, instead of staying in the mainstream class and struggling,” she says. “When I heard about Fusion, it reminded me of what I had. That is why Fusion spoke to me and why I needed to take this job.
We love to have families interested in Fusion tour our campus and get a sense of the culture and see if it’s a good fit for their child. We want to place students in a setting that’s right for them, and not just right for Fusion, because we want them to succeed in life.”
923 Haddonfield Road, Suite 2B, Cherry Hill
(866) 997-0740 | FusionAcademy.com
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 12 (March 2018).
For more info on South Jersey Magazine, click here.
To subscribe to South Jersey Magazine, click here.
To advertise in South Jersey Magazine, click here.