Innovation Preparatory Academy, a public charter school opening in Wesley Chapel next week, is suited for a world that has become increasingly customized and on-demand.
InPrep, at 7800 Avery Scope Way, will deliver face-to-face instruction, live instruction for remote learners, and a hybrid option — which allows students to attend school on campus two days a week and learn remotely on the other three.
The school is part of the Connected City campus being developed by Tampa-based developer Metro Development Group.
The Connected City encompasses two Metro Places communities, Epperson and Mirada, each featuring Metro’s exclusive ULTRAFi high-speed internet technology — the fastest internet speeds available with up to 1 Gigabit of speed.
“We wanted to make sure that as part of the Connected City there was a school that supported the big vision of Connected City,” said Kartik Goyani, vice president of operations with Metro Development Group.
Goyani, who grew up in India, said the educational system there was rigid. This school, by contrast, will provide an on-demand, customized form of education.
Principal Sara Capwell said the school’s technology, blended with its instructional method, will deliver a personalized approach to education.
“All of our students are assessed at the beginning, when they first join us. We will develop plans for them that target their areas of need, and extensions, enrichments, as well,” Capwell said.
Whether students are learning face-to-face or remotely, they’ll be able to join in with their teachers and classmates.
“Students will be able to engage in small group instruction with their instructors and peers, utilizing the iPads and specialized cameras that the teachers will have that will be able to follow the teacher, and the teacher’s interactions with the kids,” Capwell said.
It’s as close as students can get, she said, “to actually being there together.”
“If I’m a first-grader, for instance, and it’s time for reading class and I’m at home, I’ll join in. The platform we’re using is Schoology.
“All of my courses will be in one area, one folder on my iPad, where I can click on my reading link. When I go there, I’ll have my Zoom access for that class, right there, too. My assignments are right there. And, if the teacher wants to assign me an assignment that the other kids don’t have, it’s there, too.
“Then, I click on the Zoom. I interact with the teacher. I can raise my hand and ask questions. I can collaborate with a peer, using the cameras,” Capwell said.
Goyani added: “We wanted to make sure that everyone has access to the same software, the same learning platform, and then they have the hardware device at home, so they’re not left behind.”
To ensure that all students will be able to fully participate, the school is providing a device for each student, regardless how many children a family has, Capwell said.
Classes also will be recorded, so if a child has to miss a live session, it can be viewed later.
Another thing that sets the school apart is its collaborative approach to teaching, the principal said.
“Grade-level instructors instruct together, as a team, with a grade level of students,” Capwell said. “Each teacher has an area of expertise, that he or she has been hired for, and that is the primary expert teacher for that content area, and the other teachers actually provide support throughout that content time, as co-teachers and co-facilitators. They pull small groups. They provide direct instruction to individual students or small groups, while the content expert is providing the direct, overall instruction.”
The school has adopted a WISH model of education, which stands for wellness, innovation, science and health.
To promote wellness, the school has a partnership with AdventHealth West Florida. It also has two indoor wellness tracks. In addition to wellness walks, there will be other wellness activities, such as yoga and meditation, Capwell said.
The idea is to make wellness a part of daily life, Goyani said.
The school also will emphasize science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Capwell said.
InPrep is part of Charter Schools USA, Inc.
It will serve students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade, but initially is opening as a K-6 school, and will add grades seven and eight in in subsequent years.
InPrep will have a maximum enrollment of 615 this year, with students coming from Wesley Chapel, Dade City, Zephyrhills, Land O’ Lakes and other communities, Capwell said.
Both she and Goyani are excited about opening the new school.
“We think this is going to be a school unlike anything else that the state has ever seen — so that’s the part that I’m most excited about,” Goyani said. “I can’t wait to welcome parents and kids on Aug. 24.”
Innovation Preparatory Academy, K-6
7800 Avery Scope Way, Wesley Chapel
Principal: Sara Capwell, (954) 202-3500
Other area charter schools*
Learning Gate, K-8
16215 Hanna Road, Lutz
Principal: Michelle Mason, (813) 948-4190
Lutz Preparatory, K-8
17951 N. U.S. 41, Lutz
Principal: Bonnie Guertin, (813) 428-7011
Sunlake Academy of Math and Science, K-8
18681 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Lutz
Principal: Dr. Judith Moore, (813) 616-5099
Academy at the Farm, K-8
9500 Alex Lange Way, Dade City
Principal: Ray Polk, (352) 588-0508
Countrywide Montessori Charter School, 1-8
5852 Ehren Cutoff, Land O’ Lakes
Principal: Michael Picone, (813) 996-0991
Imagine Charter School of Land O’ Lakes, K-9
2940 Sunlake Blvd., Land O’ Lakes
Principal: Aimee Williams, (813) 428-7444
Published August 19, 2020