GR firm launches new virtual school

GRAND RAPIDS—Officials of the for-profit online education provider iEducation Group announced the launch of Fusion Global Academy, a private online school offering live, one-to-one teaching to students in grades 6-12.

“There is a world of difference between virtual instruction and online learning, as parents around the world have seen firsthand over the past several months,” said Peter Ruppert, iEducation Group CEO. “Through Fusion Global Academy, students and teachers interact in real-time throughout every class to ensure children get the most out of their class sessions and interactions with their teachers.”

The national health crisis forced the hands of most academic institutions to transition from teaching students in traditional brick and mortar classrooms to moving classes online. As parents compare notes on their children’s academic experiences, the reviews have been mixed. Student experiences are vastly different, with varying levels of engagement. It is the level of student engagement that truly separates virtual instruction—where a live teacher provides instruction in real time to allow for discussion, clarification and pivoting to meet the student’s needs—from online learning, which uses web-based tools to simply post resources and assignments online for students to navigate independently. Students at Fusion Global Academy learn one-to-one with each of their teachers throughout the day, whereas many online schools may handle up to 30 students per online class.

Fusion Global Academy is open to students nationwide and internationally who would like to graduate with a U.S. diploma. When Fusion students are in a class or tutoring session, a teacher is always present, working individually with the student for the entire class session.

Fusion Global Academy will be led by Darby Carr, president of virtual learning at Fusion Global Academy, who has more than 20 years of leadership and management experience in education and technology-based learning. He served as the chief administration officer and principal for a charter school in Philadelphia before working with K12, an online public school, for 10 years. In her time with K12, Carr helped launch and operate online schools and led curriculum development. Most recently, Carr served as the president of Laurel Springs online private schools, where student enrollment grew significantly and retention rates improved by 125 percent.

“Our education model is focused on three things: love, motivate and teach,” said Carr. “We first establish strong relationships with our students, then personalize their entire educational experience according to their strengths, goals, interests and learning style. Their learning is uniquely designed just for them.”

Another unique feature at Fusion Global Academy is the school’s Virtual Homework Café, where students complete coursework during the school day with additional oversight and support, as needed, from teachers. This leaves ample time after school for hobbies, passions, such as sports or music, and family.

The school offers 250 accredited courses, with options to learn full-time, part-time, or to support home schooling, with customized scheduling, virtual clubs, and virtual field trips.

To learn more about Fusion Global Academy visit

The iEducation Group offers instruction through more than 75 campuses in 16 states and Washington D.C., as well as a private online school offering live, individualized virtual instruction to students in grades 6-12. It is the parent organization of Fusion Academy, Fusion Global Academy, Futures Academy and Barnstable Academy. Founded in 1992 in Solana Beach, Calif., and formerly known as Fusion Education Group, iEducation is majority owned by Leeds Equity Partners LLC, a New York City investment firm concentrated in the “knowledge sector” of education, training, information services and software. The firm was founded by Jeffrey T. Leeds and Robert A. Bernstein in 1993 and has raised and managed more than $1.5 billion of capital across six funds.


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