Ken LaVicka spoke with ELEV8 Sports Institute academic advisor Lisa Paolo to discuss the academy’s academic program.
Ken: Fill us in on the academic portion of the Elev8 prep academy?
Lisa Paolo: We so are excited to get the word out. We have a academic program, it’s a regular high school, its intensive, it’s individualize, its specially designed for the school athlete and to help them succeed and excel so they can get on the field and do their best.
Ken: There has to be a recognize of how trying it is mentally, how is that different from a tradition class room setting, how do things differ from the things your to what you encounter at Elev8.
Lisa Paolo: The way it differs the most for student athletes is not having to sit down in a chair for seven hours a day, which is very difficult for them physically so they are able to be individualize and do curriculum that they absolutely need to get into college and further their career, but they can do it at their pace and so they can either accelerate work or ruminate their work. If they want to accelerate and do a course in 8 weeks for half a semester or 16 weeks for a full year, they can do that, so then they can get out on the field and do more training.
Ken: What you are offering from a class standpoint, online courses but also one on one interaction with teachers. It seems like you guys have a balance of online work, but also your able to sit face to face with students and there is tradition teaching going on.
Lisa Paolo: There is tradition teaching, there are AP classes and honor classes, but the thing that works well for high school athletes is that it trains them up for college and so that they set up their own pacing schedule, we check in on them and see that they are following the schedule, that they are working it on time, getting assignments in, and really while doing it with us for 4 years, it will be a no brainer and so easy for the college coaches when they get into college they will already be use to a discipline and schedule program for themselves.
Ken: One major part of being a high school athlete that’s looking to going to the next level is how to contact these college coaches, how to get transcripts there, and how to evaluate their grades. You guys are extremely helpful with that, aren’t you?
Lisa Paolo: We are, you know I was telling my students today that I love my job because I get to do what they want to do and help them get their. I laugh because I get college coaches calling all day long, and really they want to talk and know how the student is because they know how the student as a athlete, but they want to see how they are academically, and see if they are going to have to chase them to get to class, but all my students are well discipline with the training.
Ken: Sometimes with academies and specialty organization like this, where the main goal is to get them physically for completion at the collegiate level, there are always some issues that college coaches with grades transferring and whether or no kids are mentality ready for a classroom standpoint, seems like there is just a big put emphasis on at evele8 as there is at making sure they can hit a curve ball or a three consistently.
Lisa Paolo: Absolutely, it is so important for me and at Elev8 that they are able to grasp the concepts that they are learning and be able to move forward with that. So if a student is struggling in a algebra 2 class, and that’s a class that suffices on top each other you have to know the first part before you go on. We make sure that they have extra time, so that they grasp that concept and able to move on. We do really intensive test prep also with them to get them ready for the SAT and the ACT exam. In fact we worked with the high school seniors in the fall of last year and we had results that came in and they earned anywhere from 90 points to 250 points higher on the SAT which is incredible results and its just from the intensive training that we are doing with them.
Ken: Could you talk about the credit recovery for these kids?
Lisa Paolo: Sure, so the core classes are the ones that count the most when it comes to colleges that’s your math, your readings, your histories, your sciences. If a student in Florida earns an D or F in those classes, they can take a credit recovery course, the grade doesn’t go away, the colleges will see the grade, but its not counted in their cumulated. If they do better on it the second time around, and the colleges like to see maybe they were a freshman when they took geometry and now as a junior they are taking geometry and they are getting an B instead of an D and they know that they have matured and at least have grasp the material, so its huge in helping to raise GPA’s, especially in the core classes and also in helping the kids in with their self-esteem when it comes to academics.
Ken: At Elev8 there seems like there is a redemption, if you struggle in something, there is a second chance like in a lot of ways life, I mean this not the end all be all, if your hurting in a class.
Lisa Paolo: The bottom line is that we want to make sure that they have grasped the material. Not that they just graze pass it, and maybe know it a little bit, but they really understand it and you know athletes are talented in there athletics skills, so they might struggle academically and that’s all perfectly fine. We need just to tighten things up a little bit and figure out how is best for them to learn and just really individualize it for them.
Ken: And, eight to sixteen weeks the course scheduled and there is summer school at Elev8 I’m sure, right?
Lisa Paolo: We do have summer school and that’s a great opportunity for students because some of our curriculum delivered visually so they are able to go while they are playing in baseball tournaments or basketball or lacrosse tournaments all summer long. On the travel teams they can go ahead and take a course online and still have us monitoring and being the home base for them so they can check in with us when they are not traveling and it’s a great way to pull up some of those grades.
Ken: Your son actually goes to Elev8 Institute, right?
Lisa Paolo: He does actually, he started last year as a freshman and the whole reason he started was because he said to me when he was in eight grade, “Mom won’t it be really cool if I can get my studies done in a couple of hours and then go play baseball all day long.” And, I said well lets see if there something like that out there and they happened to be starting just last year, so tried it out. We did put him in virtual school because he wasn’t going to be able to make the schedule and that’s how I got my education really with virtual school.
So we use the sports at eleve8 as a motivation for the athletes, they want to get out on the that field, they want to have more training time, they also want to have a 3.5 GPA or higher, so that Division I coach is going to make them the offer that they have been dreaming of about.
Ken: What drew you to both as an employed and as a parent to Elev8?
Lisa Paolo: Sometimes school is a little bit of baby-sitting and I don’t really necessarily need baby sitting for my children, I want them to really learn. So, for them to learn intense academics and also gain a skill at the same time is a incredible opportunity for an child.
Opportunity is the key word, if you have a child who excels at a sport and you want them to be able to pursue that, but also academics, Elev8 sports institute in Delray Beach, it’s on Linton. The number is 1-800-970-5896 or you can go on online elev8sportsinstitute.com and that’s all you get all the information.
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