Mastering math can be a tall order for many students.

For volleyball player Ishaan Thandi, that was one tall order for the 6’1″ teen attacked head-on and triumphed, with assist by Niteo Hybrid Schooling.

Ishaan has played with the Mississauga-based Pakmen Volleyball Club since he was in Grade 7. Averaging marks in the 90s, the 17-year-old Mississauga Secondary School student also regularly achieved high marks on the courts, with two provincial championships, one national championship, and the Canada Cup last summer, playing with Team Ontario.

Ishaan’s class schedule, however, did not always jive with practice. As his volleyball obligations increased he often found himself missing class for training and tournaments. Come Grade 10, he realized he needed to commit more time to his math studies.

“I didn’t really like learning math in school,” said Ishaan. “It wasn’t a good pathway for me in terms of learning math.” 

He turned to Niteo, a hybrid schooling model that partners with Virtual High School to teach courses one-on-one in the subjects in which students need support, while they attend their regular school for the rest of their classes.

Niteo offered Ishaan an individualized approach for Grade 10 math that could work around his often intense volleyball schedule. This winning formula spiked success.

“I did awesome. I got a mark in the 90s…I was so happy,” Ishaan said. “My teacher was a big part of that success. He was awesome. He made things easy to understand. It was quite different than learning in school because he was able to teach it in a way that made sense to me.”

In his old math class, Ishaan said, the teacher might simply throw a bunch of math equations on a white board for students to copy and practise. With Niteo, Ishaan’s teacher worked at his pace, tailoring lessons to his learning style—breezing through easier units, taking time with more difficult ones.

“For me, having the one-on-one experience makes a big difference,” said Ishaan. “When I worked with my teacher, I knew his full, undivided attention was on me to make me a better student.”

And an even bigger plus? While Ishaan was on the road with his team, his teacher was able to arrange classes online, keeping him on-track with his goals. Other days, he had class at home or at the library near school.

Aside from math, Ishaan used Niteo for help in biology, working with a tutor once a week.

“It was great, my tutor was very thorough and explained things in a way I could understand. He was really bright so I was impressed by how smart he was. Not only did he teach me what I needed to know, he also got me excited about biology.”

With Niteo, Ishaan was able to complete his Grade 11 math course while he was still in Grade 10, and fast-tracked Grade 11 and Grade 12 to complete high school an entire year early. Now, he can focus on volleyball before university.

He sees physiotherapy or sports medicine in his future.

Michael Train, founder of Niteo


Note: For more information on how Virtual High School can help your school or organization serve your students, please visit our Partnerships page.