Inspire School of Arts & Sciences

Chico, CA   |  http://www.inspirechico.org/

Mission

Inspire is a collaboration between teachers, parents, students and community members, dedicated to creating a school that empowers students to explore and discover their personal talents and passions. It is our goal that Inspire students graduate with a vision of their future, motivating them to succeed in post secondary education and in their future careers. Our faculty and staff bring years of experience in creating and implementing successful educational programs that provide students with smaller, more personalized learning environments. We know that students learn best when they see connections between disciplines, classroom instruction, their own personal passions and skills, and their academic and career futures.

Ruling year info

2017

Principal Officer

Becky Brown

Main address

335 W Sacramento Ave

Chico, CA 95926 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

82-0643502

NTEE code info

Charter Schools (B29)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Inspire School of Arts & Sciences’ culture is a departure from traditional high schools. Their vision is to create a transformative high school experience, to provide a catalyst for students to become original thinkers and problem solvers, and to produce global citizens capable of contributing to a better world. Inspire has provided students with the unique opportunity to explore and intensively learn in the areas of theatre, music, dance, visual arts, digital media arts, engineering, and science--unlike any other high school in the North State. This award-winning high school commits to preparing the greatest number of students possible within a small school environment for a successful transition to college, work, and life experiences that reflect a lifelong love of learning, a fearless approach to risk-taking, a healthy work ethic, and a passionate commitment to service. However, offering cutting edge education in the arts and sciences is expensive and is not covered by state funds.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Career Technical Education (CTE) Pathways

At Inspire School of Arts and Sciences, students have the opportunity to explore and deepen their passions in different career and technical education (CTE) pathways. Most students at Inspire complete a pathway before graduation. Each pathway offers hands-on learning experiences in their career or technical education area of interest. These experiences include but are not limited to SkilsUSA, theatre productions, college visits, career speakers, workplace tours, industry mentors, festival competitions, and internships.

Inspire offers the following majors:

Design, Visual, and Media Arts
Production and Managerial Arts
Performing Arts
Engineering and Architecture

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Within each pathway, students have the opportunity to declare a major. Majors are specialized achievements that a small number of pathway completers obtain. The major offers the opportunity to pursue an even deeper level of excellence in a student’s area of interest. The major culminates with a final capstone senior project.

Inspire offers the following majors:
Art
Dance
Digital Media Arts
Engineering
Humanities
Instrumental Music
Musical Theatre
Recording Arts
Science
Theatre Performance
Technical Theatre

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

U.S. News & World Report - Best High School, Silver Medal 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of high school seniors who graduate from high school on time

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Breaking this down by percent: 2019-2020 - 95.2%, 2018-2019 - 97.9%, 2017-2018 - 100%, 2016-2017 - 97.6%

Number of teachers retained after 12 months

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of students enrolled in career and technical education (CTE) pathways

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Career Technical Education (CTE) Pathways

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Breaking this down by percent: 2018-2019 - 91.73%, 2017-2018 - 36.56%, 2016-2017 - 21.74%

Number of students in honors/AP classes

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Broken down by percentage: 2018-2019 - 28.2%, 2017-2018 - 30.4%, 2016-2017 - 27.4%

Percent of students who openly identify as trans students

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

LGBTQ people

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Inspire School of Arts & Sciences aims to be a safe and compassionate school for the LGBTQ+ community. The percentages reflect how comfortable the students feel revealing their identity.

Number of teachers involved in school-wide decisions about student learning

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

100% of Inspire School of Arts & Sciences teachers are involved in school-wide decisions about student learning.

Percent of students served who are socio-economically disadvantaged

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Socio-economically disadvantaged is a combination of the count of all students who are on free or reduced lunch and/or have a parent who did not graduate from high school.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Inspire School of Arts & Sciences set out to provide an environment that was innovative and inspiring for students in the California North State with the following general goals:

1. Provide intensive learning in a small school environment that is tuition free.

2. Offer a variety of majors and career pathways to provide a diverse education.

3. Provide a home-like feeling at school that encourages being a do-er, taking risks, and thinking outside-the-box.

4. Provide education that extends past books and focuses on human-centered learning; encourage being creative, competitive and compassionate.

Inspire School of Arts & Sciences is committed to giving each individual student a specialized learning environment. The school caps the enrollment at 460 while employing 28 teachers, 2 full-time counselors, and 10 support staff. Inspire has a ratio of 210:1 students to counselor, one of the smallest in California (with an average of 663:1).

The school offers majors in: art, dance, digital media arts, engineering, humanities, instrumental music, musical theatre, recording arts, science, theatre performance, and technical theatre. They also offer hands-on learning experiences in their career or technical education area of interest in:
- Design, Visual, and Media Arts
- Production and Managerial Arts
- Performing Arts
- Engineering and Architecture

The Inspire teachers are hired based on their expertise in their field and their passion for teaching creating a unique group that are deeply invested in the students learning experience. In addition, Inspire offers advisories that meet with the same students four times a week with the same teacher to provide a family-like environment. The advisors help students reflect on their academic progress, explore future options, and communicate needs and goals to parents, admin, and teachers. Students learn to recognize and respect each other’s differences and celebrate shared experiences. Advisories create a place to share information about school issues and events, including conversations around continual improvement of the school. Staying with the same group all four years of high school, student and advisor form deep bonds that often last after graduation.

By providing an education and environment that engages students and having teachers that are passionate about their classes and the students, the students complete their high school education at an incredible rate - 98% graduation rate despite an almost 50% poverty level rate.

Inspire School of Arts & Sciences has accomplished what they set out to do 10 years ago - offer an award-winning, state-of-the art education model. They have scores in English and Science that are higher than any other in the county. They received the Silver Award from the Best High School by the U.S. News & World Report. Inspire has been honored with the California Gold Ribbon because of showing improved student outcomes and education quality. The school was recognized by the California Exemplary Arts Education Program which is based on a broad cross-section of educational delivery models in a minimum of three of the following: Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts. Inspire offers all five. They continually win awards by SkillsUSA in media arts, as well as, in science fields. It is safe to say that this program is a model for other schools across the nation.

However, Inspire School of Arts & Sciences has been providing this education within the limited walls of mostly aging, dilapidated portable classrooms with ceilings that leak and are in need of constant repairs.

“Since its inception in 2010, Inspire School of Arts and Sciences has committed to cutting-edge education, recognizing that when young people are given an environment and the tools to be creators, innovators, inventors, artists, performers and critical thinkers, they will do astounding things. Inspire students have been bringing their art, gifts, and talents to our community for ten years now from the confines of approximately twenty-five portable buildings. I can only begin to imagine what they will do in a facility that fosters collaboration, imagination and the joy of learning.” – Eric Nilsson, Founding Principal

Since the beginning, Inspire has had a vision for moving to a new site. They learned that they were eligible for Prop 51 funds from the state of California, which provides matching funds up to $10 million if they can garner $10 million in contributions of their own. However, the 2018 Camp Fire that devastated the community burned a quarter of the Inspire student’s homes and increased the poverty level of Inspire families, quickly redirecting the staff’s efforts to meeting the fundamental needs of families. Then, in the same month that the Inspire Foundation was launching their first capital campaign to build their new school, the COVID-19 global pandemic caused the closure of thousands of local businesses, leading to another tragedy that has had serious impacts on the North State economy.

Now, Inspire has just a year and a half to raise $10 million in order to receive the matching funds from the state to build their new school, and we need your help in this effort. You can be part of making this vision a reality and building a lasting legacy for the arts and sciences in this rural area of Northern California.

Through surviving the 2018 Camp Fire that devastated the community, and figuring out how to adjust the budget with a potential 20% cut in education from the COVID-19 pandemic, Inspire School of Arts & Sciences will continue to offer the students the progressive educational experience and family-like environment they sought out to accomplish 10 years ago.

- Striving for excellence. Inspire has the #1 ranking in English Language Acquisition (ELA) and Science state test scores for Chico, CA area schools, with the highest rate of high school graduates.

- Transcending traditional learning. Inspire offers over 80 electives and 12 majors to its students, creating an award-winning educational experience that prepares young leaders to expand and achieve their dreams.

- Producing world-class performances. Patrons often walk away from Inspire productions in awe that this level of talent has come from high school students. “I have been attending Broadway Shows in New York for 30 years and after watching Oklahoma by Inspire, I now know where I can see performances of that caliber.” - Connie, Butte County resident

- Creating hands-on experiences. Inspire School of Arts & Sciences offers the most diverse range of engineering courses of any school in the North State. Students work in teams to design and test solutions, they’re empowered to develop in-demand, transportable skills like collaboration, critical thinking, and communication.

- Pushing boundaries. Science students are encouraged to think outside the box leading students to explore how to create a system to recycle all the plastic on campus into usable items, work with a scientist on the east coast to develop a powder to regenerate limbs, and building a suitcase sized solar battery that was delivered to villagers in Tanzania to provide light and joy during a dark African night.

Now we need to raise the millions for the campus needed for the thousands of students to pass through this transformative learning environment to become the trail blazers that will change the world.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently,

Financials

Inspire School of Arts & Sciences
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Inspire School of Arts & Sciences

Board of directors
as of 8/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Eric Nilsson

Inspire School of Arts & Sciences Founding Principal

Term: 2020 -

Kam Bull

Butte College

Kate McCarthy

CSU,Chico

Catherine Sullivan

CSU, Chico

Ron Pope

Chico Unified School District

Brian Boyer

Chico High (retired educator)

Joanna Dunlap

University of Colorado Denver

Patricia Macias

Museum of Northern California Art

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/18/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data