— By BRIAN SMITH
WILLOW PARK — Three former public school educators have gotten together and are working on a new school with a focus on more individualized education.
Legacy Leadership Academy is scheduled to open in August with the site to be announced in a few weeks as negotiations are winding down with a church in town, which organizer Leslie Clark declined to name. Clark, who is working with Jenny Garza and Amber Thomas on the project, said all three believed education is going down the wrong path and wanted to right the ship.
“We’ve all seen the need for more individualized instruction as a different approach to traditional education,” Clark said. “We consider traditional education to be nothing more than an assembly line process. We believe in embracing their individuality, and the talents that children innately have.”
According to a press release, children are being educated with a one size fits all “send it on down the line” process, which very few children actually do well in.
“There aren’t many children who do well when simply told to turn to page 10 in your workbooks,” Clark said. “Each child had their own individual needs, challenges and talents and we want to bring those out with a very small class size environment.”
Each of the three teachers brings something unique to the table. Clark has taught special ed, Thomas has worked with gifted and talented students and Garza has taught in the Fort Worth ISD. The three started as friends with a common interest and began to talk about what they felt were inadequacies in the public school system and how to fix them if they had the opportunity, which is how the school was born.
The school will be kept to 45 students ages 6-13 for the first year, Thomas said. If the need for expansion presents itself, other campuses could be opened, Clark said.
“We believe that the larger a school grows, the harder it is to keep up with the individual needs assessment all students have to have,” Garza said.
The teachers will also be administrators at the school, which will offer specialty classes such as art, drama, music and foreign language.
Part of the problem with public education presently is that teachers are being taken away from true teaching and are being disciplinarians or are being told to “teach the test.” Standardized testing will not be done at the school. Instead, individualized assessments will be done to
What also makes the school different is its ability to offer flexible scheduling for those who need more time with pursuing extracurricular interests, according to a press release.
While the school will be open to the public, the school will offer chapel but not be Christ-centered.
“In our mission statement, we tell parents we want to be able to teach the child God created,” Thomas said. “We want our students to be able to say the Pledge of Allegiance. We want to teach the child as a whole, not simply the piece of them that comes to school.”
A scholarship fund has been set up for students and parents that need the financial help. Private donations from businesses are being accepted presently. Enrollment for this fall is now open via the school’s website www.legacyleadershipacademy.org.
For information on the school or questions, call 817-304-5370.