"Through Net High Academy, Saydel High School has been able to expand our continuum of services in order to connect with students to earn a high school diploma. As a result of the efforts of Net High Academy, 5 students have earned a high school diploma that would not likely have achieved this accomplishment through our other programming options. These students are at the tip of our MTSS pyramid and Net High's ability to connect with our students, undoubtedly, has led to the success of individuals within Net High."
Principal, Saydel High School
"Not being able to complete high school is a scary feeling. Iowa NET High Academy gave me another option than just getting my G.E.D. My classes at INHA were based on careers that I am interested in, and made it easy to stay focused. The teachers are very patient and friendly; they were always there when I had questions. I am so glad others are able to feel the relief I did graduating with Iowa NET High Academy."
Iowa NET High Graduate
"Iowa NET High Academy has helped the Ames Community School District reach students that we were not able to reach in the traditional school setting. We needed to go beyond our school walls to help some students feel successful in their education process and that is where NET High Academy was able to help address a gap in our continuum of services. NET High staff took the time to figure out our students' passions and use that information to engage students in their coursework. Most importantly, NET High staff were flexible and worked around our students' needs and schedules."
Director of Student Services, Ames Community School District
"I just wanted to thank you again for everything you did to help me! DMACC is going great and my final grades for the first semester were straight As. I definitely couldn't have gotten here without you guys!"
Iowa NET High Graduate
"Through our partnership with Iowa NET High Academy, the Marshalltown school district has been able to help students who should be graduating but are significantly credit deficient earn high school credits and their diploma!”
Director of Special Services, Marshalltown CSD
"Today I was approved for Financial Aid for college and I hope to be attending UTI for auto mechanics. My plan right now is that each course teaches you two years of experience in one year. So my first-year plan is I’ll be doing auto mechanics and getting a license as a BMW Specialist. Year two I’m going to learn collision repair and get a Porsche License. Year three will be Motorcycle Mechanics. …It’s times like these that I’m glad I found Iowa NET High Academy and Cynthia Knight because I was so close to giving up on everything but my future looks bright."
Iowa NET High Graduate
Welcome to Iowa NET High Academy
Iowa NET High Academy (INHA) is an innovative education program that incorporates the Common Core Standards, project-based learning, and competency-based reporting into an individualized learning curriculum. Dr. Knight offers a free consultation to all school administrations and students to determine the best option on an individual basis. See the options below and click on the link to receive a free evaluation.
"Our program meets the needs of students and families who have found the traditional routes to obtaining a high school diploma nonviable. INHA matches at-risk students with Iowa licensed instructors to satisfy graduation requirements to earn their high school diploma. We also provide career counseling, college planning, trade school information, and job placement assistance."
Students remain enrolled in their local high school while working with INHA teachers. INHA reports monthly directly to the school district to ensure success. Curriculum is specifically tailored to meet each students learning needs while also satisfying graduation requirements. Specialized career counseling works with each student’s strengths and ambitions to help them plan for the future. INHA provides information on internships, apprenticeship programs, job placement assistance, and college preparation.
INHA are able to work with each teacher collaboratively and utilize a variety of learning tools. Personalized online learning, in person tutoring sessions, service learning activities, and a thoughtful incorporation of traditional and cutting edge techniques enables each student to master subjects and gain confidence. Students have the flexibility to take a full class schedule, or on a class by class basis.
Scholarships available through Don Jordahl Youth Enhancement Fund
Our goal is simple—create a brighter future for Iowa's young people through public-private partnerships. Banker's Trust, YMCA, United Way, and Iowa Workforce Development continue to support our mission as we develop more collaboration with apprenticeship programs, internship opportunities, and job training options. We believe we can help increase graduation rates and job readiness.
Why Our Program Matters
We change the trajectory of a dropout’s life. We meet them face to face in the life situation they are in: some are homeless, hungry and without hope. We develop a curriculum around their career goals and help them dream of a brighter future. Iowa NET High Academy provides a quality educational experience that requires students to meet the Iowa Common Core Standards, participate in their community through service learning activities, and ensure they are college and career ready when they leave our program.
What Is the Cost
There is a personal cost to dropping out of school—forfeiture of many collegiate and job opportunities. Additionally, "dropouts continue to have from about 5 to 8 times the risk of incarceration as graduates." The Costs of Dropping Out of School in Iowa: 2015 Update, James R. Veale (Iowa Department of Education, 2015). As the rate of dropouts increases, so does the incarceration rate. When considering the financial investment and the average time of each program, INHA is a practical and conservative use of state funds.
INHA currently partners with over eleven school districts to educate at-risk youth. By tailoring a specialized Iowa Common Core curriculum and providing one-on-one attention, we reach students who struggle in traditional public school. Our students often have special needs such as a language barrier, learning disabilities, behavioral issues, mental health challenges, or an insecure living situation.
Our highly qualified teachers personalize the curriculum for each student. We address the academic, social, and emotional needs of the students we serve.
When we become your partner, your district adopts our curriculum as a piece of your continuum of services. We meet with your students, we provide technology and internet access, we foster their community ties and leaderships skills, and we report it all back to you.
"One of my most memorable moments with Iowa Net High was working with a student that could not attend the regular classroom setting due to harassment and bullying. It was very rewarding to see that she was motivated to finish high school and do well with her classes. She was a very talented artist that produced some excellent works in my art class. I was impressed that she wanted to work through the hardships that she had experienced in school and still earn her diploma. It was an amazing feeling to see her walk across the stage to get her diploma knowing that Iowa Net High helped her with her journey."
"Maria Garcia was one of my first students when I started to teach with Iowa NET High Academy. She worked very hard and often choose creative projects that took more thought and energy to meet the requirements of her English class rather than simple standard assignments. I am proud to say that she graduated from Marshalltown High School soon after I finished working with her."
"One of the assignments in the general science course is to create a Rube Goldberg device that converts energy multiple times. The student is to design, build and explain the device and the energy conversions. Josh took such tremendous pride in this project and shot a video of the device in progress. I watched the video multiple times; not because it was such an exemplary project (although it was very good) but because it was so fun to watch Josh and feel his excitement at "conquering" the project. He has been a star."
"Gavin is my best success story so far. He came to me functioning at about 3rd or 4th grade level in most subjects. He was 16 years old at the time. He had been told by his special education teacher that on a 1 to 10 scale of intelligence, he was a ZERO. I worked with Gavin for about 18 months and at the end of that time he was doing beginning algebra and calculus. Not bad for a kid who was told he was too dumb to walk and chew gum at the same time."
"I love being a teacher at Iowa Net High Academy. Because we are focused on personalized learning, I am fortunate to get to see students demonstrating their growth in amazing ways. One of my favorite stories is a student who struggled to complete a Government class for months. After I learned that he was a musician, I updated one of his projects to include a multi-media element. He wrote, recorded, mixed, and uploaded his song and I was blown away. His lyrics and reflection showed me what he had taken away from the class and I was grateful to be apart of it."
Iowa Net High Academy - Founder/Executive Director
Recognized as one of Iowa's most progressive leaders of intervention strategies in education, Dr. Cynthia Knight brings an outstanding set of credentials to Iowa Net High Academy. Dr. Knight received her BA from University of Iowa and her Doctorate from Capella University She has addressed the National Association of Secondary School Principals, Iowa Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the Iowa Association of Alternative Education. Dr Knight has served as college professor for Viterbo University and Upper Iowa University and Iowa State University. Prior to launching Iowa Net High Academy, Knight served for seven years in the Iowa Department of Education where she structured programs in special education, math, science, social studies, language arts/reading. She was co-chair of the state's Instructional Decision Making initiative, served on the co-teaching task force, behavior supports task force, Every Student Counts and Every Learner Inquires teams. Prior to the Iowa Department of Education, Dr. Knight taught in small and large school districts in Iowa and Texas.
Concerned with the need to identify and provide innovative techniques to dropouts or students who have exhausted the school’s educational offerings, Dr. Knight opened Iowa Net High Academy in 2011. As the founder, and Executive Director of the academy, Knight has developed strategies and techniques that identify individual learning styles, and then prescribes an optimal cognitive learning path for each individual. Utilizing personalized online learning techniques, local partnerships, and service learning, 84 % of Iowa Net High Academy's students have earned their high school diplomas. Every graduate is employed or going to college.
In addition to Iowa Net High Academy, Knight serves as Mayor of her hometown, Union, Iowa. Service to her community and to those who need a little help is her passion.
Iowa Net High Academy - Administrative Assistant
Lori is the record keeping liaison between the student, teachers and the Director. She keeps confidential records and helps generate reports for the school districts.
Having been in post secondary education since 1989, she has had the position of Instructor, Director and Owner in Cosmetology Schools. With this past experience, she is well versed in record keeping for state reporting.
"I love to see success. INHA is an important vehicle for at-risk students to use to become successful citizens. What better work is there than to help others? This work is so fulfilling."
Currently teaching: English, Drama, Speech, Journalism, TAG
I have been a teacher for fifteen years. I started working at INHA because I wanted to help students who hadn’t had a fair shake in a traditional school setting. I continue working here because I love the freedom to explore the connections students make between their interests and goals and the skills they need to be successful. When I am not actively working, I am sewing, reading, binge watching British murder mysteries, and running from one practice or lesson to another as the personal chauffeur to my five lovely kiddos!
I teach English and have been teaching for 21 years. I left the regular classroom some years ago and began working in a real estate/crop insurance office, but I missed connecting with kids through education. So, working with the students at NET High has been a great opportunity for me. Not surprisingly, I enjoy reading for fun! I love going to my kids’ activities and enjoy spending time with my friends.
At Iowa Net High Academy, I develop curricula for subjects related to mathematics, and I help oversee student progress. Along with teaching at Net High, I also facilitate student learning in mathematics at Dowling Catholic High School as a teacher of subjects from Pre-Algebra to AP Calculus. I have been working with students since graduated college in 2013. As of May 2017, I will be ready to lead schools with my Education Leadership Master's Degree. I teach for Net High because I believe in a democratic learning system, and this school helps students achieve that. In my free time, I enjoy learning about education, coaching football and track, building things, and singing.
After a long career in industry, I made a career change and became a middle school science teacher. At Net High, I teach general science and forensics and during the day I teach at Meredith Middle School in Des Moines. I love working with the Net High Students, partly because my son never really fit into a public school setting and he had a tough go of it. An opportunity like Net High would have been a great thing for him. I am unashamedly a raging science geek and love to turn over rocks to see what is under them.
Hi! I chose to teach at Net High because I truly believe in the value and potential of each student. I love teaching social studies because understanding ourselves, others, and society is crucial to creating more peaceful spaces and places. In addition to Net High, I have also taught Spanish and English as a Foreign Language in Des Moines, Minneapolis, and a handful of countries. Wandering, traveling, and general exploring are my favorite activities. I also have profound love for coffee, the environment, and social gatherings that involve good food.
I have been teaching high school PE for the past 23 years at Marshalltown High School, Marshalltown, Iowa. I started working INHA because every student should have every opportunity to learn. Physical education is “new” to the online world but it may be the way of the future so developing PE through INHA could be positive practice in my profession. I enjoy gardening, spending time with family and being active.
I have been a Social Studies teacher for nine years. I have taught Government, AP Government, Economics, Psychology, World History and US History. I wanted to teach with INHA because I believe that the best education is a meaningful one. INHA allows teachers and students to create a personalized learning experience that will stick with the student for a lifetime. I love learning about history and education. When I am not teaching, I spend a lot of time with my wife and two children, reading or watching sports.
My name is Cale Roe and I teach social science with Iowa Net High Academy. I started out teaching Law & Sociology in the Chicago Public Schools. I have also taught for many years at Urbandale High School. I enjoy working with young people to help them succeed and earn credits. I believe strongly in personalized learning and giving students a voice and choice in how they learn.
My name is Sharon Seaton and I teach science for Iowa Net High Academy. I live in Wyoming and teach via Google Classroom. I have had the wonderful opportunity to create classes for Net High that are not usually taught in a traditional science curriculum. Classes such as Herpetology, Marine Science, Zoology and Genetics. The freedom to create classes for students really has provided students with the opportunity to let them pursue their interests and passions. It has been a wonderful journey so far and Iook forward to many more amazing opportunities.
Teaching is a second career for me. I worked in the business sector early in my career and began teaching 15 year ago after returning to school. I teach Career Development at INHA and develop other curricula for business courses. My full time job is at Dowling Catholic High School where I teach various business courses, career exploration courses, as well as Spanish. I teach at INHA because I believe every student deserves the chance to learn in their own way to accomplish their education goals. In my spare time I pursue various outdoor sports, travel when I can and enjoy spending time with family and friends.
My name is Catherine Leipold. I will be assisting students with mathematics at INHA. I have been teaching since graduating from UNI in 1988. My teaching experience is varied. Before becoming a teacher of mathematics, I taught exercise classes and continue to enjoy an active lifestyle. I have experience teaching in the public high school and collegiate systems as well as being a homeschool parent and working with at-risk youth in an educational setting.
I am currently teaching in the mathematics department at the Waterloo Community Schools. I believe students should be encouraged to take ownership of their education and learn that being disciplined in their actions leads to time freedom. With freedom comes opportunities to make wise choices that encourage the leader in each of us.
Dr. Matt O’Loughlin
My name is Matt O’Loughlin and I will be teaching English. I am currently a special education teacher at West Delaware Middle School in Manchester, Iowa. I have taught for 6 years and I have served as a building principal and superintendent for 16 years. I am excited to teach for INHA because I want to assure that all students are receiving a quality and rigorous education that will prepare them for their future.
Youth Enhancement Fund
Working with the Private sector to increase educational opportunities for Iowa's At-Risk Youth.
Want more information on how to get your high school diploma or how we can partner with you for your student success?