Founders Academy charter school offers K-8 alternative
The new charter school named Founders Academy opened this year. The school, located on East 1st Street and North Custer Road, in Prosper, serves children from Kindergarten through 8th grade. The school is available to all students in these grades, although some of the classes are filled at this time.
“We are excited to be here,” Principal Heather Brown said. “We are part of the bigger system of Responsive Education Solutions, which is the larger charter management system. We love being in this community in Prosper. This location is just beautiful and we love the view here at our school.”
Parent and teacher cooperation and communication is important in this school philosophy.
“We are partners with the parents because they are the first educators,” Brown said. “We work to build a parent community. Even over the summer the parents came together to create a community before school even started.”
“We are a Classical Education model, which means we rely on what is tried and true,” Brown said. “We rely on classical literature, art, music and that is what we base our education around. So, for example, if the children are reading King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table they will learn about medieval art in art and music, they will learn about those scientists and that type of thinking in science class. We work hard to tie in all the education together so they get a big picture education throughout the day. This gives the children a depth of understanding.
Founders Academy also focuses on virtues as part of the curriculum.
“We learn virtue,” fifth grader Hailey said. “It is a little more strict on the rules, more than other schools. What I like is that people are not permitted to bully. When they bully it goes against the virtues that we learn.”
“I had a hard time in my last school,” Hailey said. “This school makes sure that the kids have met each other and that we are all working to be a good community. I think that the kids that join our school will have the help they need to be part of our school. The teachers are really nice and make sure that the students are following all of the virtues.”
“We feel that education without some sort of virtue is bankrupt because you do not know how to apply it,” Brown said. “Knowledge and education is a powerful thing, but you need to have a character and moral fortitude to do the right thing. We set the expectation that we have a culture of virtue. We intentionally pick stories that show these children with literature.”
“I really like that they talk about virtues in the classroom,” eighth grade student Gabi said. “”Everything we read about is positive and encouraging. My parents and I feel like I really thrive in an environment where people push me to be the best version of me I can be. I really like that we are taught to live life that demonstrates virtue.”
Founders is academically focused.
“We have more reading and homework,” Hailey said. “We are learning to not save our work for the last minute and to work hard while we are in class. If we have a hard time in class we can ask a friend or a teacher if we need help.”
“One big difference here is that there is not there is not a focus on technology,” Gabi said. “We do our reading and work out of books rather than on Chromebooks and computers. Children are not allowed to use their phones during the school day at all. I think it helps us stay focused on why we are there.”
Because the school is only serving Kindergarten through eighth grade now, the students in eighth grade now will be the first students who eventually graduate from the school.
“There are only thirteen students in my class now,” Gabi said. “I am excited to be part of the first graduating class. I get to put my mark on the school. It gives me a chance to demonstrate leadership, which I love.”
Founders Academy still has seats available in some grades. More information about the school and enrollment can be found on the school website.