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Responsive Education Solutions Approved to Open Three Schools in Arkansas
State Board of Education awards three charters for Bentonville, Little Rock, and Pine Bluff schools
LEWISVILLE, Texas — November 2, 2012 — Responsive Education Solutions (ResponsiveEd), Texas’ largest public charter school holder, announced the organization has been approved by the Arkansas State Board of Education to open three charter schools in Arkansas by August 2013. ResponsiveEd will open Northwest Arkansas Classical Academy in Bentonville, Premier High School in Little Rock, and a Quest Middle School in Pine Bluff.
“Strong public demand for a high quality education is a key reason the Arkansas State Board approved our applications,” said Charles Cook, CEO of ResponsiveEd. “We have worked hard for the last nine months educating local communities about the benefits of our schools. Our people have gathered thousands of signatures as well as letters of support from local parents, businesses, and elected officials. We are enormously grateful for the community support in Bentonville, Little Rock, and Pine Bluff.”
ResponsiveEd received a Walton Family Foundation grant to fund the planning and preparation for the past nine months to open Arkansas schools.
ResponsiveEd submitted a letter of intent followed by an application detailing academic, operational, and financial plans. Proposals then underwent a thorough analysis that included external and internal reviews. Public hearings were held to allow members of the community to share their perspectives on each proposed school. Presentations were then made to the Board of Education and approved.
The Arkansas State Board of Education received letters supporting ResponsiveEd’s applications from Walmart; Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock; U.S. Congressman Steve Womack; four members of the Arkansas House of Representatives; Mayors of Bentonville and Pine Bluff; and numerous business and community members.
ResponsiveEd is all about options in education. Strongly tied to the communities they serve, the mission of the schools is to provide hope for students through an encouraging, innovative environment where they are academically successful and develop into lifetime learners.
Northwest Arkansas Classical Academy in Bentonville
Northwest Arkansas Classical Academy will be a classical, college preparatory, liberal arts and sciences school that will serve grades K – 8 initially, then add a grade each subsequent year until the school is K – 12. It will adopt a rigorous, knowledge-rich curriculum, inclusive of the great works, that will enable students of all abilities regardless of race, gender, heritage or socio-economic status to succeed to their highest ability.
“I believe it is important that parents have the opportunity to place their children in an environment they believe is best suited for their academic training,” wrote U.S. Rep. Womack. “Northwest Arkansas Classical Academy would provide an additional option unique to the area in its educational philosophy. I respectfully ask that their application be provided all full and fair consideration.”
Premier High School in Little Rock
A growing number of students today are not responding to conventional methods of education. The statistics in Arkansas are staggering: 28 percent of high school students will not graduate according to Editorial Projects in Education Research Center.
Premier believes that every student has the capacity to succeed, and we provide the opportunity for that success.
Some students need a new opportunity while others seek an individualized educational approach that is not offered by traditional schools. Whether a student has fallen behind or simply wants to get ahead, program is designed to ensure that all students learn and succeed.
“You have my wholehearted support in your pursuit of this venture,” wrote Fitz Hill, President of Arkansas Baptist College. “[We] look forward to the beginning of a new chapter of growing students and our community.”
Quest Middle School in Pine Bluff
Quest Middle Schools uses Core Knowledge curriculum to ensure that middle school students have a solid foundation above traditional curriculum. Literacy, logic and the humanities are important elements for all students to succeed in later years.
“As parents and community citizens, we understand our obligation to provide the best educational opportunities for every child,” wrote Marty Casteel, Executive Vice President of Simmons First National Bank in Pine Bluff. “We remain committed supporters of the traditional public school systems but recognize and appreciate that charter schools can play a key role in improving the educational opportunities for all segments of the community. ResponsiveEd has a history of effectively delivering academic programs and would complement our traditional public school academic offerings and enhance opportunities available to our children.”
With a vision for the future, ResponsiveEd will continue to respond to the needs of our communities. We will continue to be innovative in our thinking, progressive in our practice, and passionate in our belief that every student has the ability to learn. Utilizing the best technology has to offer, the creativity our educators possess, and the resources provided to us, we will press on with the important task at hand–to educate Arkansas students and provide opportunity and hope.