Peak Performance Kick-Off 2023 at SoFi Stadium

We had a spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime kickoff to our Peak Performance Program at our SoFi event! Hundreds of students from across Southern California arrived in style with their teams via charter bus, ran out of the Rams tunnel, participated in Athletic benchmark testing on the field with Zybek sports, and had several celebrity and athletic speakers, such as actor Noel G and former NFL player Spencer Tillman. It was a night to remember! Thank you, everyone, for your attendance and support in celebrating our amazing athletes!



Elite Honored as a 2023 California Distinguished School

Elite Academic Academy-Mountain Empire has earned the honor of becoming a California Distinguished School.

This honor is a prestigious two-year honor given to the state's top-performing schools using performance indicators specified on the California School Dashboard. This is only possible due to the innovative and collaborative efforts of our fantastic teaching staff, students, parents, classified staff, community partners, and the administrative team!

Shelby Murray - Homeschool Academy Students Ranks First Nationally in Horsemanship

Shelby Murray is one of our Homeschool Academy Students that just finished up her 10th grade school year. Like many of our students, she works hard in all areas of her life. Shelby has taken it one step further and become an absolute rockstar in the sport of Three day Eventing. She was recently ranked Number 1 in eventing at the Junior/training division by the United States Eventing Association, USEA. We had to learn more about Shelby's rise up the ranks and what keeps her motivated to do her best in her sport.

Shelby's mom, Julie, has loved horses her whole life. It seems that the love of horses and discovery of the sport came from her! They got involved with the US Pony Club when Shelby was 9 years old, and have been a part of the organization ever since. Through the Pony Club, learning to ride a horse is just one aspect that you're taught. Kids learn everything there is to know about a horse, from its hooves to its ears. They also learn how to properly care for a horse on their own.

"Children learn all aspects about a horse including it's genetic defaults, nutrition, diseases, anatomy.... The Pony Club fully encompasses the whole gamete of owning a horse" Julie said. "It starts with basic stuff, but now Shelby is one level from being at the top of the Pony Club’s horse management pinnacle A rating.".

Every rating that Shelby has surpassed has been earned. In the upper levels national raters come and test both her riding ability and horsemanship knowledge.

Shelby started out at the Fallbrook Pony Club, where future Tokyo 2021 Olympian Liz Halliday-Sharp got her start as well. Shelby's family has since started their own Pony Club, San River Downs, which they saw was needed for Shelby in order to progress further in the sport. "She has her own motor and I'm just helping to guide her engine" mom said.

On top of being nationally ranked in her sport, Shelby is an awesome student and also works part time as a working student at Swift Ridge Eventing. She has a great head on her shoulders and is thinking about her future. Shelby has a goal of becoming a dental hygienist so she can make a living for herself and continue with Equestrian as her hobby. She's also working on her gold award for girl scouts and is a part of the national charity league with 500 volunteer hours logged over the last four years.

We asked Shelby's mom how she took the news about being ranked Number 1 in her Junior/training division.

"She's super humble and just happy that she gets to ride. Her main horse Sonik was injured a year ago, he had to have surgery and just came back for a show one month ago. So every ride that she gets to ride with her horses is a gift to her. Another horse she rides is Reverie. This horse is not easy, but Shelby rose to the occasion and they're doing fabulous. It's unusual for anyone to get 4 first places in a row in eventing. She could have done much more showing and earning points for the leaderboard, but she didn't want to possibly injure the horse. She said it's not worth it and she wants what's best for the horse".

Check out this video compilation created by Shelby of her past riding competitions with her Horse, Reverie GWF.  

That is where her horsemanship knowledge comes into play. On top of riding her horse, Shelby is there every day feeding, wrapping, exercising, grooming the horse, completely taking care of it as it is her responsibility. She knows what it's like to take care of a sick horse and understands what over-activity can do to them, so she refrained from showing too much. Being a part of the Pony Club and continuing her education in horsemanship has taught her a lot more than just being a passenger on a horse.  It’s a delicate dance between horse and rider, the ultimate partnership in a very challenging sport.

There are some Homeschool Programs that do not recognize Equestrian as a sport, which is why Shelby found a good fit with Elite.

She is able to get an unmatched education through Elite and Mr. Shirley and through the US Pony Club. The flexibility of Elite's program allows her to fit her riding and horse-training responsibilities in when she needs. It also allows her to teach younger kids in the Pony Club about riding and horsemanship.

"She'd love to help anybody who has any questions. She teaches horsemanship as part of the upper horsemanship rating responsibility and she also does it for the love of it" mom says.

Shelby is always looking for the next step, which is why she recently started looking into the different aspects of eventing. Eventing is described as the equestrian triathlon and is extremely rigorous. There are three phases: dressage, cross country, and show jumping. Shelby is looking into shadowing  cross country course designers/builders and learn more about that phase, which is the most dangerous. But her background in this sport has prepared her for taking this next step.

We have no doubt she will succeed in this event, just like she has in everything else. Shelby, thank you for choosing to Be Elite and representing our school so well!

If anyone is interested in joining the Elite Equestrian Team or would like to learn more from Shelby herself, please email our Community Coordinator, Kiley Allen [email protected]

Emily Rowley

Elite's 2020 Graduating Class Valedictorian - Emily Rowley

Emily Rowley

Our 2020 Graduating Class is nothing short of fantastic. They have all worked very hard and it has been a joy to see them grow and work towards their goals. Elite Academic Academy (EAA) has chosen Emily Rowley, a senior from our Homeschool Program, as our Valedictorian for the Class of 2020. Jenny Soulias, her teacher, explains why Emily exemplifies what it means to be "Elite" and is the perfect choice for Valedictorian:

Emily has a heart of gold. She is a kind, warm person who is simply a joy to be around. Academically, her eagerness to learn is exhibited in everything she does, and her work is impressive. She perseveres through challenging times and looks at everything as an opportunity to grow. It was wonderful having Emily as part of the Elite family! 

Emily will be attending UC Berkeley this fall and majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She was honored to accept the position as Valedictorian, just one more accomplishment before she heads off to college.

My favorite thing about Elite has been working with my teachers to create a class schedule and even custom classes that are specific to my interests. I've been able to take a lot of classes in computer science, deep learning and math that have helped me achieve my goals and prepared me for my major at Cal. My teachers have always been super supportive of my goals, and their encouragement has been invaluable in my high school journey.

We know this is just the beginning for you Emily, and we cannot wait to see everything that you accomplish in the future! Congratulations Emily and to the entire 2020 EAA graduating class.

UCR College

Explore Colleges Virtually

By Salvador Becerra, School Counselor

UCR CollegeThere is no time like the present to start exploring academic programs that colleges/universities have to offer. Do you want to attend a school next to the beach? Do you want to attend a school with over 30,000 students on campus? Or would you rather attend a smaller college/university where you can receive a more personal approach to your education? All these questions are important as it can help you select the college/university that is right for you. 

Here are 5 helpful tips in finding the college that is right for you

  1. Develop a short list of schools you would like to attend.
  2. Rank your priorities in what you are looking for in a college.
  3. Does the college/university offer your academic program?
  4. Focus on your endgame, consider which college will help you reach your goals.
  5. Investigate college/universities connections with future employers

With colleges/universities being closed to the general public, there are other ways of exploring your options. YouVisit provides you access to over 600 campuses across the united states. Each of the virtual campus tours will provide you with an immersive college tour experience. You can explore each institution through 360 experience or by using VR device to get a more realistic experience. Check it out and start exploring today. 

you got this

How To Help Your Child Manage Anxiety

Post by Sal Becerra, Elite Academic Academy Counselor

It is natural for anxiety to rise during pandemic events and Elite Academic Academy is taking every measure to ensure the safety of all of our students is kept a priority. In working with our families and the greater community, Elite would like to provide all of our stakeholders with some helpful tips on managing anxiety during times of crisis. 

Be open with it

Talking about fears and concerns can help reduce anxiety from building up. It also allows the individual to identify what is making him/her anxious. 

Take Breaks

Take a break from watching, reading and listening to news stories. Dedicating personal time to pandemic events can be very upsetting. Allow yourself to disconnect from upsetting situations. Take time to read a book, play family games, listen to music, journal or create art. 

Practice Self-Care

There are several different ways to focus on self-care, many of which involve making time to get enough sleep, prioritizing healthy meals, ensuring a balance of leisure time in your schedule, and making time for friends. A simple but often overlooked form of self-care is having a self-pampering experience on a regular basis in your own home. Here some ways to practice self-care:

  • Meditation improves a wide range of willpower skills, including attention, focus, stress management, impulse control, self-awareness, and reduce anxiety.
  • Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
  • Getting enough sleep recharges your brain and improves your focus, concentration, and mood reducing anxiety levels.
  • Eating Healthy has many benefits. Sugar is associated with depression and anxiety. Emerging science shows gut health plays a role in anxiety. Eating healthy foods is a great way to practice self-care, important in CBT. Taking active steps to eat a nutritious diet can increase motivation

Let it simply be a part of you that you manage daily

It’s truly OK to be anxious or to have anxiety. We all feel that from time to time. If your child is someone who frequently experiences high levels of anxiety, just treat it as something you have to manage daily.

Personalized support from teachers, counselors, and advisors

We know that anxiety can be very overwhelming to a student. Our teachers and staff are ready to provide the support necessary to help reduce anxiety levels in our students. Students can ask questions through email, phone calls and instant messaging. If they need extra support, our staff can hold a 1-1 online session. Feel free to contact our school counselor at 866-354-8302 Ext. 711 or by email at [email protected]

Please note: this article is not a medical diagnosis, nor are the tips provided above a cure. If you feel your child is experiencing signs or symptoms of anxiety, seek the help of a medical professional.

Benefits of Online High School or Homeschooling for Student Athletes

Sports and online school or homeschool might as strange a combo as a grilled apple cheese sandwich.

And yet somehow, that sandwich is actually a great combo.

There are a few online schools that offer special programs for student athletes. And it just so happens that Elite is one of those online and homeschools.

In many ways, online school is actually a better option for many competitive student athletes.

How Can a Student Play Sports and Attend School Online?

When your child participates in a time-demanding extracurricular activity of any type, that’s where online school has greater benefits.

Club sports, traveling teams, competitive leagues, they are all extremely time demanding. Depending on how competitive, your child probably spends several additional hours practicing daily. When on top of all that, they’re expected to be in a school building for seven hours a day, balancing life can be overwhelming.

Online high school allows students to work around their schedule. Your child could wake up extra early to exercise, do coursework, go to team practice and come back to study. Or they could wake up early and do schoolwork then spend the rest of your day in practice. Either way, online school works with your schedule.

For the College-Bound Athlete

Online and homeschool are in no way a hindrance to becoming a college athlete. You will need to make sure the school is NCAA approved. That is the only way you can be guaranteed to earn a college athletic scholarship.

Elite offers online and homeschool that’s pending NCAA approval. Come this fall, students will be able to attend high school and earn a college athletic scholarship.

About Elite’s Athletic Academy

The Elite Athletic Academy (EAA) offers homeschool, virtual and blended students a truly unique opportunity to customize their education while developing their athletic abilities.

In partnership with the nationally acclaimed Stars and Stripes program, this model provides student athletes of all levels the unique opportunity to benchmark, individualize and elevate their athletic development.

Most programs start up this Fall 2018, but there are a number of athletic summer programs occurring throughout Southern California as well! Check them out here.

Five School Morning Routines You Could Do Without

Getting your teen through high school is no easy task. That’s a given.

When you have to combine that with early, frantic mornings, high school can be brutal.

We’re not saying that the mornings will ever be glamorous. And we’re certainly not saying that there’s a magical place where all your cares can melt away (thanks to that California sun).

But sometimes the traditional route through high school just isn’t best for your student, especially if ‘morning person’ isn’t a descriptor you’d attribute to your family.

Online and homeschooling certainly have their benefits. For now, let’s focus on those mornings:

1. Every morning, day after day, you sit waiting

Nothing slows down a kid like having a place to be. It started on from early childhood, and it doesn’t get any better with age.

They may have all the energy in the world, they may be the fastest runner in their school. But when they have to get out the door in the morning, it’s a whole other world.

And so you sit, morning after morning, just waiting.

2. Slowly they emerge, with the famous eye roll

Waking up at the crack of dawn is tough for all ages, we admit it. But a little less attitude would be great, considering all you’re trying to do is help your teen not get in trouble for being late again, right?

3. You resort to the final warning call

That final warning call. It’s the ammo you save only for when absolutely necessary.

Because you’re a great parent, you believe in keeping your cool. But sometimes, that “I mean business” face is the only thing that gets your teen moving in those miserable, early mornings.

4. Finally, they pick up the pace and make it to the car

The toughest part is over. You’re finally able to drive to school.

Although, we won’t get into dealing with parent pickup….

5. When it’s all over, you look a little something like this

Another daily battle won and done. Whether you head home or straight to work after carpool, the feeling of getting your teen to school is the same.

Sound familiar? You might want to consider online or homeschool

You might be a morning person and don’t mind rushing around the minute you wake. If so, kudos to you, and we mean that.

But if this is sounding a little too relatable, you might want to look into online or homeschool. Your child can still earn a great education without you having to suffer through frantic mornings.

Both scenarios have quality teachers and guidance counselors readily available to support your family. Unique to Elite is an award-winning digital curriculum that’s fully aligned. With both homeschool and online school, you are in charge of your schedule. If you’d still like to wake up early, you certainly can. You’ll just get to enjoy some peace before starting school for the day.

You can learn more about Elite’s Virtual Academy (online school) here. For homeschooling, head here.

How to Continue Homeschooling When The Curriculum Gets Too Complex

As a homeschool parent, you know all too well the importance of being involved in your child’s education.

Knowing what they’re learning, how they’re learning and their academic strengths or struggles is a huge advantage as a homeschool parent. And if we had to guess, that’s something you’re not readily giving up.

But eventually–unless you’re exceptionally intelligent and if so, kudos–the curriculum may get too complex for you. Or you may be great at helping your child with, say, English, but not science or math.

How do you provide your child with a well-rounded education while still retaining control over their learning?

It’s a problem our students and parents once faced. That’s why we started Elite’s Homeschool Academy.

Taking Charge of Your Student’s Homeschooling With Award-Winning Curriculum

You know your child best. So it would make sense that you be the primary provider of your student’s instruction.

That does not change with Elite. We provide the engine, but you are the driver.

That ‘engine’ comes with personalized learning plans that you’ll work with an educator to develop. It also includes an aligned, solid curriculum and support from Elite Educators.

Should you decide to enroll in Elite’s homeschool academy, you’ll have a consultation to develop goals and plans. You’ll then have curriculum options to review and select, with the choice for a digital, award-winning curriculum for 6–12th grade students.

All TK–12 curriculum is rigorous, A–G aligned and WASC approved while pending NCAA accreditation. You can learn more about our online curriculum here.

As a homeschool parent with Elite, you’ll have flexibility, choice and the support of an Elite Educator to ensure your child’s homeschool journey is successful.

Greater Support to Your Homeschooling: Elite’s Role

With all homeschool students, our role is to encourage, support and guide their educational journey.

Each student is assigned a credentialed educator, who will:


  • Be the primary contact for information, updates and policies
  • Create an individualized learning plan with the parent/guardian
  • Have the option to oversee student progress
  • Meet in person every for an academic consultation
About the Academic Consultation

The academic consultation occurs in person every 20 days and involves the Elite Educator, parent/guardian and student. Its purpose is to evaluate the progress made within that 20-day period and if it’s in line with the educational plan. Meetings are 45–60 minutes per student.

The Support You Need to Help Your Student Succeed

Spending more time with your child and being fully involved in their education are both great things.

You shouldn’t have to lose out on those because the curriculum gets too complex.

With Elite’s Homeschool Academy, you can continue as the primary instructional provider for your child while enjoying support, coupled with an awesome curriculum.

We are now enrolling for summer and the 2018-19 school year. To learn more, click on the button below.