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New charter school in Wesley Chapel uses special technology to work around COVID-19 pandemic

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — Innovation Preparatory Academy is a new charter school in Wesley Chapel.

“We work to build personal wellness for our children and staff physically, emotionally, mentally, while building their academic success,” said principal Sara Capwell.

InPrep is a tuition-free K-8 charter school that just opened August 24.

“All of our students have art, music, PE, Spanish, health and STEM. We really want to build the well-rounded student in an environment that truly builds them,” said Capwell.

The school now has heightened health and security measures, and implement a new learning model to adapt to COVID-19.

Students have several options — they can attend in-person classes, go fully online with special technology that mimics a classroom atmosphere, or a mix of both.

“It was already planned to have the higher-level technology involved, to have the collaborative space the way it is,” said Capwell.

InPrep uses interactive mobile technology using smart 360-degree cameras and microphones in classrooms that create a live feed for students who are learning from home so they can work directly with teachers and collaborate with classmates.

Right now, they have about 300 students on campus and about 100 working online.

“Knowing that we’re taking them back to normal. We’re the vehicle for that, knowing that we’re making that difference. I’m going to probably tear up here. It just has really impacted our staff as well as myself,” said Capwell.

School officials say they’re working to adapt for the students and their families.

“Always thinking ahead as much as possible and always being flexible and continuing that problem-solving experience that we’re telling kids that we want them to engage in,” said Capwell.

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