In February of 2016 as a ministry we stared a middle school called Colegio Ignite. Colegio Ignite is unlike its traditional counterparts. This is the first middle school within our community, which means access for many who would others wise not be able to attend school for an education beyond that of the 6th grade.
Our middle school consists of 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. The course work is actually done on a computer – so the computer is the teacher. We then have a facilitator who watches over the class, answers questions, prepares exams and reports back to the governing organization. The fact that the computer is the “teacher” it also means that students don’t need to spend extra on purchasing their own textbooks for classes nor more extra school materials. They only need something to write with and a notebook! Having a classroom with computers also makes it easier to have the students enrolled in any one of the three grades that our program offers. Using the computers is also a class in it’s self! It helps the students to grow in their knowledge of computer usage, makes students more self sufficient , go at their own pace each day and helps them grow in their confidence as a student.
Our schedule is also different from a traditional school. The program that we use, only needs about 10 hours a week to cover all of the materials. That means that the school only runs 4 days a week (Tuesday-Friday). Class is normally only 3 hours a day with a shorter period on Fridays. We are equipped to have a morning block or afternoon block of 32 students each. This makes it possible for those students that are maybe older than your typical teenager or for those who have a job, have kids or are needed to help in the family store or around the house.
The school also only focuses on 3 topics at a time each trimester. This helps the student to have a more enriched, focused time on each topic and not spread out over the normal 11 topics each day/week in a normal school.
In conjunction to the educational aspect of what is school we also run camps and sleepovers with students, give devotionals and offer counseling for students. We also see that each student participates in our vitamin and de-parasite programs and receive wellness check-ups 3 times a year.