There are no crowded school classrooms or study areas where students try to focus on schoolwork in the midst of whispered conversations among other students as well as other disruptions.
This type learning environment is nonexistent at the new Fusion Academy, which opened April 29 at the Atlanta Financial Center in Buckhead.
Fusion, which began 30 years ago in Solana Beach, California, has more than 50 campuses nationwide, including one opening May 28 in Alpharetta. It offers a one-teacher, one-student learning environment and is open year-round.
Christina Neri, head of school at the Buckhead location, said it is an accredited private institution for grades six through 12.
“Fusion Academy is unique, as we take the approach that each of our students will be able to focus on their mental and social well-being while also being provided with a high-quality academic program,” she said. “We thought Atlanta was a perfect fit for us.”
When asked why the school offers a year-round academic schedule rather than a regular one, Neri said Fusion offers “flexible learning opportunities, as we cater to students who would benefit from a one-on-one educational opportunity and be in school throughout the year, including part of the summer.”
Doug Sheppeck and Mary Coleman, whose son Aiden is a seventh-grader at Fusion, said they enrolled him in the school because the one-size-fits-all approach in other schools made it difficult for Aiden to pay attention in class.
“He had trouble focusing when other students would have side conversations,” Sheppeck said. “Fusion’s one-to-one method lets him fully focus on learning.”
Coleman described Aiden as more of a kinesthetic learner, meaning students learn by carrying out physical activities instead of listening to a classroom lecture. He has been playing basketball since he was 5.
“Fusion teachers have come up with lesson plans tailored to Aiden. His first essay was about college athletes, and he learned statistics and probabilities through basketball scores,” Coleman said.
The parents said Fusion stands out because the school has such a welcoming environment.
“The teachers really listen to the kids, and genuinely care about them succeeding,” Sheppeck said. “The most important thing for us is that Aiden is feeling confident about school for the first time in his life.”
In actuality, there is no homework. The students do their out-of-class work at the school as they complete their homework from the prior classroom period.
“This gives the students time at school to interact with their peers in a campus environment,” Neri said.
With the school having opened only last month, she said, they only have what she termed a “handful of students “now, but have the capacity for 75 students and will cap enrollment at that number.
“We believe holding our student body to 75 gives our students the best of both worlds as we combine a unique one-teacher, one-student academic environment as well as offering students a full campus culture,” Neri said.
For more information, visit www.fusionacademy.com.