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Hillsborough County Charter School Focuses on a Vision ‘Where Education Meets Life’


Hillsborough County Charter School Focuses on a Vision ‘Where Education Meets Life’

Temple Terrace, Fla., Jan. 19, 2023 –– Focus Academy Executive Director, Josephine Isenbergh, announced today that the Public Charter Middle School, High School, and Transition Program launched their new website and vision that champions the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) school’s vision ‘Where Education Meets Life’.

According to Isenbergh, Focus Academy’s Programs offer a modified ESE curriculum and unique therapeutic support for students with cognitive and/or developmental disabilities in grades 6-12 and beyond, through age 22. The Focus Academy Transition Program for students who have completed grade 12 provides employability and life skills to further prepare students for adult life.

“The ‘beyond part’ is what we really wanted to let everyone know about. Through our Transition Program, we provide many resources that enable students with cognitive and developmental challenges to grow beyond limitations to live independent, purposeful, and enriched lives. And our Transition Program is just beginning to really flourish,” Isenbergh added.

Earlier this year, Focus Academy announced the offering of its new Middle School program with a focus on an intensive reading curriculum. The program allows ESE students to have additional opportunities to learn in an environment tailored to their specific needs and has granted families a new opportunity to prepare their children for academic success.

Focus Academy Principal, Elisabeth Kraft-Radka, said, “We envision a public middle and high school in which all students with cognitive and/or developmental disabilities have the same opportunities and support as their peers to embrace a strong education for their future. Focus Academy is a safe place for students to enhance the quality of their lives by experiencing a unique environment with strong social-emotional and therapeutic support. This integration of classroom curriculum and direct support creates the place Where Education Meets Life.”

According to Kraft-Radka, the High School program offered at Focus Academy provides differentiated, individualized instruction while providing a full high school experience to its students. The curriculum at Focus Academy is structured with the primary goals of academic achievement and social success. The next step in preparing our students for success after they complete their educational careers is participation in the Focus Academy Transition Program. The Transition Program’s focus is to prepare each student for the most independent and satisfying adult life possible.

Transition Program student Jose R. currently participates in Community Based Training (CBT) at Focus Café. He is excited to report that at the Café, he works at the cash register, counts money, and makes food and drinks such as churros, corn dogs, and coffee. He especially enjoys interacting with customers. Jose states that his CBT work at the Café “was really hard at first, but it’s getting easier as I keep working at it.” Jose says that he “feels very happy” to be working at the Café and hopes to get a job doing this kind of work in the future.

Focus Academy’s Executive Director of Programs Loretta Gallo-Lopez said, “Focus Café has been a huge asset to the Focus Academy Transition Program. Located inside the Temple Terrace Family Recreation Complex, the Café is a fully functioning non-profit business. Focus Café is fully staffed by Focus Academy Transition Program students (ages 18-22), who learn valuable skills and gain valuable work experience. “We love seeing our students’ success when they take the next step in their lives after their time at Focus Academy. Preparing our students for the most independent adult life possible is truly one of the greatest achievements”

To learn more about Focus Academy’s Middle School, High School, or Transition Program, please visit or call 813-443-5558 for an in-person tour.


Media Contact:

Agency of Record: HCP Associates, Inc.
Eric Polins, Senior Comm. Specialist
Office: 813-318-0565 Ext. 104
Mobile: 813-503-6386

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