Meet an ASU Prep Digital Student with Super Powers

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Check out this article about Neva Lee Recla, one of our amazing students, previously published in “Podcast Magazine”:

Witty, wise, and eloquent. Author, entrepreneur, mentor, and podcaster.

Meet Neva Lee Recla, an 11-year-old student in Arizona.

Like many girls her age, she attends school virtually, is active in her church, and dreams of going to college. Then, there are the many ways she shines brilliantly, like a supernova traveling through the universe.

For the Recla family, podcasting is a family affair. They created the SuperPower Network in January 2016, and Neva’s mother, Tonya Dawn, was the first to host a show. Then, at the age of seven, Neva decided she wanted to follow her podcasting mother’s example and host her own show. She asked her mother if she could, and remembers her mom “looking at me like I was crazy. Like, ‘How is my seven-year-old daughter going to do a podcast?’” She was actually a little reluctant at first.

“My mom said, ‘I don’t want to coach kids.’ I explained to her that I was going to be the one who coaches them. We talked about it more, and she agreed. When I first started Super Power Kids, I had no clue what I was doing. I copied everything my mom said and memorized her exact intro.”

To see the complete article from “Podcast Magazine”, visit their web site.

ASU Prep Digital Helped High Schooler Zero in on Film

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*This story was originally posted on ASU News*

Chelsea Seletewa is a senior attending ASU Prep Digital. While living on the Hopi reservation in northern Arizona, she has become a member of the Sun Devil community.

Seletewa decided she wanted more from school. She transitioned to online high school about a year ago so that she could take courses that aligned with her future career goals, including a course about filmmaking.

“The high school in my area didn’t have a good reputation,” Seletewa said. “They weren’t preparing students for life beyond high school. My mom’s friend mentioned prep digital at ASU, and I went for it,” she said.

Seletewa’s decision to get involved with ASU Prep Digital and take their filmmaking course came after she worked on making a short film with a professional filmmaker. The short film was a documentary about three different generations of her family: herself, her father, and her grandmother. She learned a lot about her family’s history and about how life was different for each generation. She also realized the importance of spending time with family, and she was able to deepen connections with her family members.

“I asked them questions about how their lives were different. I compared it to how my life is now with them in it,” Seletewa said. “I learned a lot from my grandma. I guess I should sit down with them more often to learn about our family.”

The storytelling experience gave Seletewa a glimpse of what it would be like to make films professionally, and she’s now planning to pursue a career in film or animation.

Completing her high school education from home has been challenging but rewarding for Seletewa. After about a month of taking online courses, she found a routine that works for her. Finding a source of motivation and focusing on it has helped her stay committed to completing her coursework.

“Motivation is a big factor, and you hear it a lot in online school,” Seletewa said. “Learn that your teachers aren’t going to sit there and teach you. It is a self-learning process that you have to get used to.”

Persistence has been key for Seletewa, and she said her Learning Success Coach has been extremely helpful. She has had the same Learning Success Coach for her entire online schooling experience. These coaches help students with goal-setting and planning, and they are available to help any ASU Prep Digital student.

Seletewa shared that it’s important for her to be independent and responsible, but it’s just as important to ask for help when she needs it.

She is currently taking six classes, and she attends the live lectures for each class whenever she can. Her advice to anyone transitioning to online schooling is to be patient with themselves.

“One of the big things is to not get discouraged when you’re starting out because, of course, it will take a while to adapt,” Seletewa said. “It took me almost a month to adapt to actual online school.”

As the world enters the new year, many are still stuck behind a computer screen. Seletewa was used to the online format. However, she felt for those who were thrown into it without any preparation.

“I heard when schools shut down it was hard for them to get back in the flow of things because they don’t know what online schooling is like,” she said. “I was already used to it, so I think I had an advantage. It was interesting to see people around me struggling.”

She offers some advice for those her age who are struggling to maintain their grades during this unprecedented time. She also recommends going to live lectures in order to connect with other classmates and make friends.

“It was hard for me. I was going through a lot when I started online. I think for everyone if your grades drop it becomes really hard to keep them up, but it is really important to keep going at it and to watch out for your mental health.”

Written by Claire Muranaka and Annika Tourlas, ASU Student Life. Reporting by Hannah Moulton Belec.

Student Spotlight – Mahayla Palachuk

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Many students turn to online learning in search of a new dynamic after spending years in a brick-and-mortar environment. But for ASU Prep Digital freshman Mahayla Palachuk, online learning is all she’s ever known.

“I’ve been doing online learning since kindergarten,” Palahchuk said. “I was with the same school up until the beginning of my freshman year, but after they made a lot of changes and took away the flexibility from the program, my mom and I went searching for a new online school.”

Luckily, Palachuk didn’t have to search for long before discovering the answer to her problem — ASU Prep Digital.

“My oldest friend actually attends ASU Prep Digital,” Palachuk said. “After her dad told my dad about all of the benefits, I reached out to her and she had nothing but good things to say.” 

The glowing review from her friend coupled with an informative phone call with Kathleen Bacon, one of the admissions advisors, solidified Malachuk’s decision to join the community of learners at ASU Prep Digital.

“The two main deciding factors for choosing ASU Prep Digital were the flexibility and the college courses,” Palachuk said. “Flexibility is a very big thing for me and my family, and the ability to take college courses will allow me to hopefully be able to do the required courses I would have taken while in college.”

Being able to work at her own pace and plan for her future has made it even easier for Palachuk to pursue her passions while earning her high school diploma. 

“I have the time to work on and write my books,” Palachuk said. “I have my first novel, The Rise of The Crimson Archer, in editing, and I have another book series that I’m currently developing.”

And because being part of a community is important to her, Palachuk also finds time to get involved with clubs at ASU Prep Digital.

“I am a blogger for the ASU Prep Digital Student Blog and the ASU Prep Digital Book Club vice president,” Palachuk said. “I have many different projects I am working on and researching and I wouldn’t have it any other way!”

While Palachuk has a passion for writing, her other interests include vlogging, reading, and weather!

“When I was six years old, I watched Twister for the first time with my mom,” Palachuk said. “Over the years, my love and interest for weather, severe storms, and natural disasters has grown. It eventually led to me deciding at 13 that I wanted to go to college and major in meteorology!”

Palachuk even plans on starting college classes next year to get ahead and save herself time when she gets to college.

“I may try to knock out required courses like math so when I do go to college, I can focus more on my major classes,” Palachuk said. 

Palachuk is a force to be reckoned with and wise beyond her years. As an advocate for online learning, she offers advice to those who are considering making the switch.

“If you are someone who needs the flexibility in their schedule or wants to be able to work at their own pace, online learning would be perfect for you,” Palachuk said. “It’s a lot of hard work, but in the end it’s extremely rewarding.”

And for those who want to join ASU Prep Digital, Palachuk is certain you’ll be pleased with how many benefits there are to being a Sun Devil.

“Everything is completely opposite of how my old school was before I decided to leave,” Palachuk said. “The schooling is flexible, the teachers are present and helpful, and it’s so much easier to catch up if you fall behind. I know I made the right choice to enroll at ASU Prep Digital!”

Interested in learning more about our students? Check out these spotlights:

Oliva Bolles

Hannah Stewart

Margaret Koukos

 

What’s It Like to Take a Concurrent Course?

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Alexis Stratman, a senior at ASU Prep Digital, has always been a hard-working, independent learner.

“I like guidance and direction for some things,” Stratman said. “But I strive when I’m in charge of my own things and can work at my own pace.”

When she discovered she could apply her work ethic to an online learning environment where she could also kick start her college career, the choice was a no-brainer.

“I chose to enroll at ASU Prep Digital my junior year mainly because of the college credit component,” Stratman said. “They offer college courses and credit that don’t require taking AP tests.”

Since she enrolled, Stratman has successfully completed four college classes through ASU: college algebra, sociology, first-year composition, and economics. 

“I think my favorite course was college algebra because math is my best subject,” Stratman said. “Actually, I finished the course several weeks early, which gave me more time to focus on my first-year composition class.”

That’s the great thing about online learning: you get to work on your own time. The flexibility component makes it easy to work ahead, spend more time on classes you need a little help in, or free up time to do things you love.

“I am very active in competitive cheerleading and my team travels a lot throughout the year,” Stratman said. “I can work ahead and plan ‘off days’ so my travel schedule doesn’t interfere with my studies and I get a little break.”

Concurrent enrollment has not only given Stratman the opportunity to get comfortable taking college level courses, but it has also helped her get ahead of the competition.

“At the rate I’m completing my college classes, I’ll be in a position to enroll at ASU as a sophomore next fall,” Stratman said. 

 

“I think switching to online school was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

 

Stratman has paved a successful path for herself and for those who want to follow in her footsteps, she offers this advice:

“I would definitely recommend taking a concurrent course,” Stratman said. “Some classes are harder than others, but they have prepared me for my future college courses. I know what it’s like to be responsible and I have been able to get an idea of how different professors teach and what their expectations are.”

And with graduation less than a year away, Stratman has her sights set on continuing her journey as a Sun Devil. 

“I’d like to major in business entrepreneurship at the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU,” Stratman said. “I can’t wait to see where I end up next fall with the help of ASU Prep Digital!”

 

Interested in learning more about taking a concurrent course at ASU Prep Digital? We’ll be outlining the benefits of concurrent enrollment here at ASU Prep Digital in our next blog post. In the meantime, sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on everything from events to enrollment deadlines.

What Are the Expectations for Parent Involvement in Online Education?

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When your child is enrolled in a traditional school, you know the level of parent involvement that is expected. You check in nightly on homework assignments and upcoming tests, you attend parent/teacher conferences, and you help them navigate planning for college and the future.

But what if your child is enrolled in an online school?

The good news is there are plenty of opportunities for parent and family involvement in online education. And at ASU Prep Digital, we encourage our families to be just as involved in our community as their children are!

Here are some ways to help your child successfully navigate online school:

Check in often.

High school is the time for your child to begin developing a strong work ethic, good study techniques, and healthy habits to help them balance school and life. And if they’re just beginning online school, this can be an especially stressful time as they develop a routine and adjust to online learning. 

“I would recommend a nightly check in during the grace period, or first two weeks of classes,” May Huang, a Learning Success Coach at ASU Prep Digital, said. “Continue this for another week and if they are passing or have As/Bs, proceed with weekly monitoring. However, if a grade drops, then move to nightly.”

Help create a space free of distractions.

One of the key components of online learning is having a work space that promotes productivity. It’s tempting to stay in bed and work all day in PJs (which is totally acceptable with online learning), but sometimes students need a dedicated spot to really buckle down and get things done.

This will look different for every student, but finding a part of your home that is quiet and free of distractions is a great first step. Work with your child to figure out what helps their efficiency and what detracts from their focus.

Keep in touch with instructors and Learning Success Coach.

At a brick-and-mortar school, you may not hear from your child’s teachers after parent/teacher conferences unless your child is struggling in a class. 

At ASU Prep Digital, we believe in creating a community of support for your child, which includes his or her instructors and Learning Success Coach. You will be in frequent communication with them whether your student is excelling or needs a little extra help. You will also have access to your child’s courses, so you’ll be able to view their grades and reach out if you have any concerns.

Expand socialization opportunities by attending in-person events.

It’s a common misconception that online high school students don’t socialize the same way brick-and-mortar students do. However, many online high schools continue to debunk this myth—including ASU Prep Digital.

Not only do we offer a variety of online clubs for students to join, we also provide many opportunities for our ASU Prep Digital community to meet in person and get to know one another. From orientations and pizza parties to ASU campus tours, we have plenty of events coming up this fall for you and your child to participate in.

 

We empower our students to take control of their education, and we want you to feel empowered to help them every step of the way. 

Take a look at our Family Handbook and other frequently asked questions for additional information on parent and family involvement. You can also join our ‘Parents of ASU Prep Digital’ Facebook group to share tips and plan meet ups with other families.

 

Stay up to date with all ASU Prep Digital news by signing up for our monthly newsletter here.

How to Set Yourself Up For Success – Sophomore Year

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You’ve done it! You’ve made it through freshman year unscathed. No longer at the bottom of the totem pole, you’re eager to begin your sophomore year a little wiser, a bit more prepared and ready to slay the next chapter of high school! Conquering daily homework and heavy course loads during your freshman year was no small feat and neither are the upcoming challenges. Keep in mind that in order to grow, you must first have an end in mind. Here are some goals to reach for in sophomore year:

Discover new extracurricular activities

Now that you’ve learned how to balance your course load and social life, it’s a great time to start diversifying your interests. Not only will this introduce you to new ideas and social circles, but it will also give you quality material for your college résumé. These days, a high GPA and diploma might qualify you, but what makes you stand out is extracurricular activities. 

We recommend you focus this year on exploring these options and pick a few to dedicate your attention to. On campus, you could join an academic club, philanthropic organization or athletic team. Off campus, you could take on a part-time job, find an internship or volunteer in a community project. These are just a few examples; there are many more at your disposal. Engaging in extracurricular activities shows colleges that you are a hard-working, well-rounded and active member in your community.

Foster supportive friendships

Freshman year was most likely fueled by late nights, study sessions and new friendships. As your courses get harder and your free time becomes sparse, be considerate of the friendships you are nurturing. Friends that offer genuine love and support have your best interests at heart. They will get you through stressful courses and tough life lessons. 

Look for friends you can study and celebrate with. Be wary of those that never seem interested in anything but the next social event. The friendships you form now can impact the rest of high school, for better or worse, so surround yourself with friends who share the same goals and are making strides to achieve them. 

In the same respect, be a good friend to others. Encourage their successes and help them be the best versions of themselves. Who knows, some of these friends might be here for a lifetime if you choose wisely.

Master life skills

Right now, you probably live with your family. Perhaps you already wash your own laundry, clean your room and cook your own meals. That’s wonderful! However, if you haven’t developed a knack for cooking yet, now’s the time to start. In preparation for college, you should get a head-start on conquering these essential life skills so when you do live on your own, you can rely on yourself to get it done. There’s nothing more frustrating than learning the hard way that whites need to be separate from your colors! 

This is an exciting time. You get to meet new friends, discover new hobbies and learn about subjects that really matter to you. Take advantage of your position as a sophomore and get a head start on the things that will matter in the long-run: your extracurricular activities, your  friendships and life skills. You’ll be thankful later in life that you didn’t delay in working toward these goals. Have a wonderful sophomore year!

ASU Prep Digital Student Spotlight: Michael Scavuzzo

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Discover how Michael became an ASU Prep Digital student

Michael Scavuzzo was destined for a life on the go since before he turned one.

“He literally started to kick the soccer ball around when he learned how to walk,” Diane Scavuzzo, Michael’s mom, said. “He must’ve been around 11 months old.”

As soon as he was old enough to join a team, Michael started playing soccer. He immediately fell in love with the game and possessed a natural talent on the field.

The San Diego native has played in various leagues, traveling the world to train with professional soccer teams, including Manchester City, West Ham United, and BVB.

At the age of 15, Michael moved to Arizona to attend Barca Academy, the only U.S. Soccer Development Academy program in the country that offers a full-time residential program as part of their partnership with a top international professional team. The program also includes access to an on-site high school—ASU Preparatory Academy at Casa Grande.

“I really enjoyed the focus on learning with ASU Prep,” Michael said. “I enjoyed being in the classroom as much as I enjoyed being on the field.”

At the beginning of the year, Michael was scouted and invited to play for Sporting KC Academy, one of the top U.S. Soccer Development academies in the country. Knowing he couldn’t pass up this opportunity, Michael and his family began to explore academic options since leaving Barca Academy meant no longer being able to attend ASU Prep at Casa Grande.

Michael loved the personalized learning he had grown accustomed to at ASU. When he discovered he could enroll in ASU Prep Academy’s online high school and become an ASU Prep Digital student, the decision was a no-brainer.

“I feel the teachers want to know me and help me achieve my goals,” Michael said. “I’ve been able to maintain a 4.0 GPA while juggling a rigorous training and traveling schedule. I know this wouldn’t be possible without the support and guidance from my amazing teachers at ASU Prep Digital and I can’t thank them enough.”

And his mom couldn’t agree more.

“The teachers are very involved and the discussion based assessments provide a real opportunity for the teachers to get to know their students,” Diane said. “We feel very lucky to be part of the ASU Prep Digital family.”

Michael has his sights set on becoming a professional soccer player and leading his country to victory in the World Cup someday. Until then, he’s looking forward to playing collegiate soccer while studying either marine biology or sports science.

We couldn’t be happier to have Michael as an ASU Prep Digital student and we’re excited to see where this next year takes him!

 

Be sure to check out some other student spotlights here.