Fusion Academy Reviews | Glassdoor

Fusion Academy Reviews

Updated April 10, 2019
257 reviews

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3.2
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Fusion Academy President Peter Ruppert
Peter Ruppert
128 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "I have great students, and they are thriving with the one-on-one approach to learning" (in 47 reviews)

  • "I feel like I can make a difference in the lives of these kids because of the teaching model that they use" (in 11 reviews)

Cons
  • "What teaching load would be considered full-time status (for benefit eligibility)" (in 28 reviews)

  • "Low pay, tendency to micromanagement" (in 16 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (7)

    "Teacher/Mentor"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher/Mentor in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Teacher/Mentor in Palo Alto, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Fusion Academy full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Freedom to focus on each individual student, whether teaching or mentoring. The mentoring piece is as important as academics. The school space is warm and inviting, like a college campus. We are a WASC accredited college prep with amazing success to turn lives around.

    Cons

    We are finally being heard about compensation and our salaries/benefits have increased.

    Advice to Management

    Thanks for listening to your teachers and improving salary/benefits.

    Fusion Academy Response

    Dec 21, 2018 – Chief Operating Officer

    Thank you for your feedback. We are always striving to improve, and certainly value the contribution of our tremendous teachers and administrators. Jeff Poole, COO, jpoole@fusionacademy.com


  2. "Great environment, but not without drawbacks"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher/Mentor in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Teacher/Mentor in New York, NY

    I worked at Fusion Academy part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Fusion is, in many ways, a wonderful place to work - you have a lot of freedom as a teacher, classroom management isn't an issue, and the coworkers and administration are wonderful, caring people.

    Cons

    That being said, there are a couple downsides. Teachers are paid by the hour rather than salaried, which can cause problems making rent in the summertime. Furthermore, teacher compensation is too low, especially if you're in a high cost of living area like SF or NYC. Schedules can be grueling - teaching from 8:30 am straight to 6:30 pm isn't uncommon. There's also an excessive amount of paperwork, which is made even more difficult to do due to superannuated tech.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Interesting"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Music Teacher in Rockville, MD
    Current Employee - Music Teacher in Rockville, MD
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Fusion Academy full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The ability to customize my lessons- to be flexible in my teaching style. Can witness the student's growth almost instantaneously.

    Cons

    Teaching a class almost every second of the time spent at Fusion. Planning time is required on "non-teaching" hours. In order to make a decent income, need to teach at least 6-7 hours per day. Homework Cafe can be a bit out of control at times.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Teacher cog in a business wheel"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    We help the kids. Coworkers are willing to be a community. A lot of freedom to meet each kid where they’re at. National says the right things.

    Cons

    Redundant paperwork. Leadership/admin are about the business. Despite that, teacher pay is low and hours fluctuate too much. Last no way to address issues of incompetent/bully admin.

    Advice to Management

    Be grateful for what teachers do. Treat us like we’re on the team.


  5. Helpful (3)

    "TERRIBLE Place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director of Student Development in Haverford, PA
    Former Employee - Director of Student Development in Haverford, PA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Fusion Academy full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    They buy you A LOT of lunch.

    Cons

    Terrible hours, unsupportive administration, corporate culture is all about maximizing profits and not about helping the families. It was the most soul crushing work experience of my life.

    Advice to Management

    Stop rushing to open as many campuses as you possibly can and focus on training your staff. Do NOT open a campus without hiring an administrative assistant FULL TIME. Stop hemorrhaging money on events, decor, and meals.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Inefficient system management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher/Mentor in Mission Viejo, CA
    Former Employee - Teacher/Mentor in Mission Viejo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Fusion Academy part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Meaningful Work, flexible hours possible

    Cons

    Low pay, tendency to micromanagement

    Advice to Management

    Do not expect employees to complete projects without paying them for the time.


  7. Helpful (9)

    "I Would Be Happy to See Fusion Go Out of Business"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher/Mentor
    Former Employee - Teacher/Mentor
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Fusion Academy full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Smart and passionate teachers. Most of them.

    Cons

    The whole model is absurd. Do not send your kids here, do not work here. The head of school where I worked had absolutely no experience in education and was obsessed with money. But hey it's a for profit school. Which means only rich people are going to get an education here. It's at least $40,000 a year to send your kid here and they pay full time teachers almost nothing for the amount of work they do. Read the fast company article. People are trying to unionize which is great, but really this place should be shut down. Disgusting to charge that much for an education and offer no financial aid. They do give 3(!!) Scholarships in total across the 40 something schools and display the 3 kids across social media like they are some great philanthropists. If they cared about the kids at all they would not do that to them.

    They also fired the only WOC they ever hired at my campus because she was 'loud' hmmm....

    The kids get 2 to 3 hours of class a day and spend the rest of the day looking at their phones on the couch or laying on a bean bag... Absolutely no structure.

    Also the model only makes sense for a small percentage of the population (kids w autism, specific learning disabilities) but most of them would probably benefit from a small classroom environment.

    I really don't understand why people send their kids to this school. I taught there full time for 4 years. I enjoyed my time at the beginning as a 23 year old getting into alternative education, but I have never been down with the cost , and it's getting out of control with the expansion. Investors interested in getting schools in every city so they are putting pay raises and benefits increases on hold. And full time means an hourly rate and pretty good benefits but no guarantee of hours and almost no hours over the summer. The encourage you to go on unemployment over the summer. Let that sink in.

    At the end of my time there we were getting emails from people working in other states saying why they are quitting and explaining why the model is racist. Place is a mess...

    Advice to Management

    Nothing , you guys will (and should ) go out of business.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "A Business Not A School"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lead Teacher in Burlington, MA
    Former Employee - Lead Teacher in Burlington, MA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Fusion Academy part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I like the idea of teaching one on one. I think the structured curriculums could be good for young teachers.

    Cons

    I could not get straight answers, from the interview, during training, and after I decided to leave, about:
    - What teaching load would be considered full-time status (for benefit eligibility)
    - Information about teacher support regarding students with special learning needs (for challenged/gifted/non-traditional students, which the school says it is ideal for)
    - How many students were enrolled at the school opening, or how many would be enrolled eventually

    It felt like joining a start up, not a school.

    Advice to Management

    Spending time and cash to develop a core faculty team BEFORE opening a new location would go a long way. Not a week before opening, more like a month or more.

    Teachers dedicated to their vocation want to feel like they are supported by their colleagues and administration. On-boarding and training should be careful, not rushed, and paid time, on-site, with Human Resources in person.

    Fusion Academy Response

    Mar 20, 2019 – Director

    Thank you for your feedback. We are always grateful to hear about employees experiences so that we can continue to improve. I am sorry to hear that your experience was not as positive as we would... More


  9. Helpful (6)

    "Wish the pay was better and that the school wasn't run so much like a business"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher
    Former Employee - Teacher
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Fusion Academy part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    -The kids are great (except when they're not)
    -Work environment is welcoming
    -No micro management
    -Encouraged to do things differently
    -Upper management tries to make things fun for everyone
    -Making a difference and impacting children's lives!

    Cons

    -Ridiculous expectations for hourly wage
    -The paid amount of planning hours never covers the time and energy you need to invest for making a successful course
    -Seemed like I was always waiting on necessary course supplies
    -You're either promised full-time hours and never get them or your day is booked solid from 7:30-5:30. No way to predict
    -The bookkeeping for each student is super tedious
    -The retention rate for teachers is SUPER low. Students would ask me if I was coming back next year because they've had so many different teachers

    If you're fresh out of college and this is your first job, go for it. However, if you're trying to support a family and value your time and want to be compensated for it, consider other options first.

    Advice to Management

    Pay teachers more, then they'll stay.

    Also there should be better security, like a metal detector at the front door. There have been problematic kids who make others students and teachers feel uncomfortable at times (until they're kicked out). Safety should never be taken lightly.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Bleeding you dry with a smile!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Teacher in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Teacher in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Fusion Academy full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The connections with the kids. They really come to love you and you them (at least for me) and you do reach kids who desperately need educational help.

    Cons

    -The money made is pennies. The main office is in Grand Rapids, Michigan and they feel as though teachers can get the same out of their wages in Washington DC, New York City as they can in Grand Rapids.
    -It's an hourly wage and then Summer rolls around and there are barely any kids to teach! Advice from Corporate: Go on welfare until September!
    -They treat kids as $$$, not as children, so you may have a student with a major disability and needs to be in an SPE program sitting in your class!

    Advice to Management

    Pay your teachers what you think they're worth and they will work to that standard.

    Fusion Academy Response

    Feb 1, 2019 – District Vice President

    2.1.19 Thank you for your feedback. At Fusion we are committed to continuous improvement and have made many updates to the compensation and benefit plans for our employees. We continue each year... More