Frequently Asked Questions
Q:What emergency drills has your Innocademy Allegan practiced?
Contact Emily or Shelly for drill info.
Q:What does “Teacher Led” mean?
Teacher-led is a foundational value at all IES schools. Instead of a large administration staff, Innocademy Allegan Campus will empower teachers to lead school responsibilities that often fall to an administrator in an office. By embracing school responsibilities throughout the school, (Such as finances, environment, data analysis, technology, curriculum, etc.) teachers make informed decisions with their students best interests in mind. Also, by reducing administration costs, we are able to keep more money in the classroom and keep class sizes small!
Q:How will my children transition to another school after 8th grade?
While our school will open as a K-5 school and will grow to a Pre Kindergarten- 8th grade school, we care about our students success far beyond their 8th grade year. This year IES has opened a cyber school in Zeeland which is available for students across the state and beyond. Along with their online curriculum, iCademy offers learning coaches and learning cafes where students can take part in collaborative classes, get individual help, and socialize together. By the time our students are ready to enter High School, we will be hosting a learning café at Innocademy Allegan Campus. But there is no reason to wait till then. Students in Allegan county can participate in online learning through iCademy now! If there is enough interest, we would be interested in opening a learning café in Fennville earlier. Further students who choose to return to a traditional education setting for high school will be fully prepared no matter what high school they choose. In fact, with our focus on "just right learning", students will have the ability to take high school credit classes BEFORE entering high school! Our students from Innocademy have transferred successfully into many area schools and feel they have had an advantage over many of their peers.
Q:Does Innocademy Allegan Campus offer lunch and breakfast for students? Does the school have a free or reduced lunch program?
Students will be able to get nutritious breakfast and lunch served to them every day at Innocademy Allegan campus. Further, the same high quality food will be provided for students receiving free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs available at the school for families that qualify. We encourage ALL families to apply for free and reduced programs. Our breakfast and lunch program will be offered through Holland Christian Schools. They will be offering multiple lunch choices every day to best fit your child's dietary needs. www.lunchapp.com
Q:Are Special Education services available at Innocademy Allegan Campus?
Special education services are available through Innocademy Allegan Campus. We are blessed to have an exceptional, on-site, experienced, special education teacher and coordinator who will work directly with students as well as coordinate aides and consulted specialists to provide for the needs of every child. Speech, physical therapy, as well as push-in and pull-out services will be available through Innocademy Allegan Campus.
Q:Does Innocademy offer sports or other physical fitness programs?
Learn to be Fit classes will be offered at our school teaching sports and fitness to students at all grades. While we feel coordination and physical fitness is important, competitive sports will not be a major focus for our school. Sports can be an important motivator for some students, however many school systems spend more money on the relatively small number of students who participate than they do on academic curriculum. We will host and encourage all students to participate in intramural sports programs, and community fitness programs (girls on the run, ttq), as well as encourage our students to take part in community programs that build a healthy lifestyle (dance, running, gymnastics, etc.). Further, with our great gym we are looking at partnerships with other organizations to run sports programing for our students.
Q:If the school is located in Fennville, why is it called “Allegan Campus?”
Though our school is located in the wonderful town of Fennville, we chose the name Innocademy Allegan Campus because we will be reaching out to students throughout Allegan County and beyond. Families throughout the county have chosen to send their children to different school systems than the assigned school district for many reasons. We are excited to be one of those choices for families looking for the right fit for their child. Our school in Zeeland has children from Zeeland, Holland, Hamilton, Fennville, West Olive, Grand Haven, Grandville, Hudsonville, Byron Center, and other neighboring communities. We feel, this diversity and background of students and families brings a more complete understanding of the greater surrounding community.
Q:Who “owns” Innocademy? Who are the company shareholders?
Innocademy Allegan Campus as well as our chosen management company Innovative Education Services are both non-profit institutions. Although we as a team are cheering on everyone who is helping improve education for kids. In our case, there are no shareholders who receive profits in either organization. However, just like a for profit school or traditional public school, we must earn the right to exist everyday by providing quality education for students while giving families a choice as to where to send their children to school. By law, no millage money coming from property taxes in a community, can go to charter schools. So, all our money comes from the State of Michigan based on per pupil funding that follows any student regardless of where a family decides to send their child. Innocademy Allegan Campus pays for all services through that per pupil funding. By reducing administration costs, more of that money goes into the classroom!
Q:What grades are available at Innocademy Allegan Campus?
We are K-7, growing to 8th grade 2017-18. We are not offering Preschool.
Q:How can I learn more about the ideas, principles and structure of day to day life at Innocademy?
Please take a look at our Family Resource Guide for much more information and elaboration on specific topics. Innocademy Allegan Campus Family_Resource_Guide_'14-'15
Q:Is Innocademy for my family?
Do you and your family…. believe in an emphasis in the development of the whole child through small student to teacher ratios and student directed learning? support the methods of teaching that Innocademy offers such as character development, global education, multi-age grouping, and a modified school calendar? agree that parental involvement is crucial in a child’s education? believe that in the 21st century it is imperative to cultivate knowledge of a second language starting in elementary school? desire to make a difference in the world and influence students to do the same? have an interest in Project Based Learning and STEAM curriculum? embrace multi-age learning environments and "just right learning"? encourage multi-lingual communication through daily Spanish classes? If your answer to these questions is YES! Innocademy Allegan Campus is the ideal place for your family!
Q:What curriculum does Innocademy Allegan Campus follow?
Innocademy follows the Common Core State Standards and curriculum for the State of Michigan. We are allowed the flexibility to try new materials and new programs to teach the content expectations necessary in Michigan.
Q:Is there transportation offered to and from Innocademy Allegan Campus?
Yes! We have a 70 passenger bus.
Q:What is a “charter school” or “public school academy”?
A charter school is a public school meeting all of the Common Core State Standards for each grade level. In this case, instead of reporting to a traditional public school district who then reports to the Michigan Department of Education, we will now report to Lake Superior State University who will report to the Michigan Department of Education.
Q:Is Innocademy Allegan Campus a private school?
No, Innocademy is a tuition-free public school academy that is authorized by Lake Superior State University. Our school is open to all families throughout Allegan County and beyond.
Q:Are there requirements for volunteering at school? We work full time and wouldn’t be able to be at school very often.
All volunteers must agree to a background check. Students and staff LOVE volunteers and encourage involvement from all Innocademy families. They also understand that for many parents who work full time, volunteering might come in the form of helping on a committee that might meet quarterly in the evenings, taking on small home projects or, perhaps, working on an event.
Q:Is there a tuition cost to attend the school?
There is no tuition at Innocademy. We do, however, strongly encourage each of our families to contribute time or resources as they are able.
Q:What is the school schedule at Innocademy Allegan Campus?
Innocademy is a year-round school that offers frequent breaks throughout the year instead of one large break during the summer months. Our daily schedule begins with breakfast at 8:30 and runs through 3:30 each day. After school enrichment will be available for students.
Q:What exactly does “small class size” mean?
Class size is determined by just right learning groups. What that means is that Innocademy might have 20 chronological sixth graders enrolled at the school, but because students may be moving up or down a level to meet their individual learning needs, their "class size" for math or ELA (reading/writing) might be slightly bigger or smaller based on that movement.
Q:What is “Just Right Learning”?
“Just Right Learning” at Innocademy Allegan Campus means that students are evaluated and plans developed to meet their specific learning needs. If, based on in class, state and national assessments, a chronological third grade student has demonstrated proficiency in third grade math and is ready for concepts in a fourth or fifth grade level math group, they are placed in that “Just Right Learning” level. This is the same for reading and writing.
Q:What is the teaching style/philosophy of Innocademy Allegan Campus teachers?
We want our Innocademy children to develop a LOVE of learning. We strive to teach through inquiry practice, project based learning, critical thinking and problem solving opportunities. In addition, Innocademy Allegan Campus will embrace an integrated approach to learning based around a STEAM model (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math).
Q:Can anyone attend Innocademy Allegan Campus?
Innocademy Allegan Campus is a public school academy and is open to any student. Each spring Innocademy Allegan Campus will have a two week open enrollment period in which students may fill out applications for enrollment. By law, if there are more students applying for a particular grade level than seats available at that grade level, a public lottery will be held to determine admission and the waiting list. However, all students are encouraged to apply! All are welcome!
Q:What does Innocademy offer my child?
Innocademy believes in student-directed learning with small class sizes and multi-aged grouping of students. Innocademy children will study a second language, have field experience in the work place, gain a global stewardship, character development, and a sense of community partnership while attending Innocademy. With a STEAM focus, students at all grades will have access to cutting edge technology (including computer coding) and hands on science and engineering experiences blended throughout their school day.
Q:Why was Innocademy started?
There was a group of local, but global companies who started discussing the possibilities of a non-traditional school setting in 1996. Through those discussions it was determined that a school needed to offer flexibility to families, focus on critical thinking and problem solving skills, and prepare our Innocademy students for a global economy. That vision included multiple campuses in Michigan and throughout the world. Innocademy Allegan Campus will be the third school to grow out of that vision, following in the footsteps of Innocademy (Zeeland) and iCademy Global (virtual online curriculum delivery with learning coaches in learning cafes opening throughout West Michigan and beyond).
Q:I understand Innocademy operates on a year around calendar? What does that look like?
Yes! Our families enjoy recess times throughout the year rather than just one long summer break. In June and August, students do not attend school on Friday. Winter and Spring Recesses are coordinated so that they align with the calendars of the districts surrounding Innocademy Allegan Campus. INNOCADEMY Allegan Campus Calendar 16-17