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A Message From Our Founders

Thank you for your interest in Infinity Academy! 

 

If you are here, you probably already have an understanding of the importance of why we created this small, but “mighty” school. You recognize why we seek to support the unique needs of our students and send them into the world embracing their potential, feeling important, having goals, and having the skills and confidence to contribute to our community. 

 

Our three daughters have been in both public and private schools, and we have a great respect for Springfield’s educational opportunities. However, we feel there is a gap in educational services for kids who want strong academics, but have unique needs, such as working at a slower pace and more one-on-one assistance.  

 

Our daughter, Jaqi, struggled with the social and sensory environment in middle school, and felt very misunderstood by her peers and some of her teachers. Her self-esteem was taking daily hits at a time that is challenging for all kids, but for her, school had become intolerable. She was emotionally overwhelmed and did not have the skills she needed to succeed in a traditional middle school environment. You truly do not know what someone can achieve until you put them in an environment that meets their needs. 

 

We made the difficult decision to pull her out of public school and homeschool her to give her a much-needed respite and “hit the reset” on her education. She progressed well in a quieter, work-at-your-own-pace structure. We were able to spend time each day working on underlying cognitive skills that weren’t developed well early on, but impact her thinking and learning. Most importantly, we used this safe space to build character traits like resilience and self-reliance. 

 

However, she was still missing out on the social interaction and identity development that comes with having a school family. Jaqi said, “Sometimes I want to go to a normal high school, but I get a planet-sized stomach ache just thinking about the crowds and noise and interruptions.” We decided to do something about it and start a new private school to offer another option for kids like Jaqi. 

 

We investigated existing schools which serve a similar population such as the Temple Grandin School in Boulder, Colorado and Orion Academy in San Francisco. Research also shows that tech-based learning works well for students with attention issues and a need for repetition. We we wanted to offer the possibility for these students to earn a high school diploma and selected the award-winning programs of Acellus Academy. The Acellus teachers are the “official” teachers of our students and Infinity teachers are on the other end supporting the students in meeting their course requirements. This way, we could find teachers whose strengths are more in providing day-to-day guidance and support rather than academics. 

 

We also wanted to have an eclectic, research-based arts and social curriculum with yoga, martial arts, cognitive skills training, an eclectic arts program, guided by student interests, and authentic supports for executive functioning and social communication. Possibly the strongest piece we could offer for students in this age group is active career exploration and apprenticeship programs with local businesses, and their assistance with transitions to the workforce and higher education.

 

Jaqi, who graduated in 2020 from Infinity, said, “I’d say that students should take a risk with this school, try something new. Even if they aren’t autistic but have some other special need, this school might work for them.” 

 

Every person is important and has an impact in the world, and our ultimate goal is to prepare our students to embrace the infinite possibilities that await them. 

 

Dr. Brenda Bradshaw, President of the Board of Directors

Dr. Brad Bradshaw, Co-founder

Jacqueline Bradshaw, Co-founder and 2020 Graduate

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