Fusion Academy builds a tailored curriculum around students’ individual interests, hobbies and time.
In most schools, the average classroom size ranges from 15–30 students per one teacher. But Fusion Academy is disrupting this format with its one-on-one teaching model. At Fusion Academy—a private school with campuses across the country—students in grades six–12 get a chance to explore their extracurricular interests at a deeper and more customized level while planning school around their schedule. And local students now have the opportunity to explore this education model with the launch of Fusion Academy’s first Minnesota campus in Edina.
Fusion Academy’s curriculum places an emphasis on real-world skills students can bring to their future endeavors and use as adults. One-on-one learning may call to mind more of a tutoring model, but their teaching method dives further into subjects, making sure students not only grasp the learning concepts, but become confident in learning and applying them far beyond a classroom setting.
“Love, Motivate, Teach” is Fusion Academy’s driving force for students’ success, and its mission is to help each student flourish emotionally, socially and academically through positive mentoring relationships and a personalized education experience. With that mission in mind, classroom exercises are put in the hands of the students to accelerate their love for a topic they’re interested in while also placing that topic within the learning subject.
“If we have one student that really likes Minecraft, instead of drawing the solar system out on paper, we’ll encourage them to build it out in Minecraft,” says Meghan Bennett, head of school at the Edina campus, as an example. Teachers at Fusion Academy recognize the importance of students’ interests in their ability to thrive in academics.
However, Fusion Academy’s emphasis on individual student interests goes beyond academics; it also reaches into family life and students’ social lives. Its teaching model intends that students will take no homework home. Instead, the academy offers a cafe study hall where students can finish their homework during school hours under the supervision of their teachers.
It also offers field trips, activities and prom, catered to students’ hobbies. Bennett notes that last year’s full-time student body was comprised only of male students. “Instead of making them find [prom] dates from other campuses, we decided we were all going to get dressed up and go paintballing,” she says. “We really want to meet the students and their interests and where they are at mentally.”
The Edina campus is Fusion Academy’s 64th location and Karen Craven, head of strategic communications, says that Edina was a strategic choice. “Minneapolis has always been a leader in academics, but the Edina community is remarkable and rich in the history of parents believing in education,” Craven says. “They value education, and they value educational options.” Fusion Academy’s soft opening was in January 2022 and moved into the new building near Centennial Lakes in June.
With Fusion Academy’s unique teaching model, staff believe they can help every student flourish, no matter what personality and learning style they possess. Although attending fulltime offers students the fullest Fusion experience, there are part-time options available, allowing students to get tutored or take individual classes for credit. Fusion also offers transfer opportunities if families want to try out the one-on-one teaching method.