In the 2015-16 school year, ResponsiveEd provided seven different school models. We visited with Michael Terry, ResponsiveEd’s Vice-President of Communications, to learn what programs ResponsiveEd provides and why they provide so many.
Q. Why does ResponsiveEd provide so many different school programs?
A. Children have different educational needs and goals. We believe that every family should be able to choose where their children go to school. Some parents we talk to want a classical school experience defined by tried and true methods (Founders Classical Academy). Others want small classes and individualized instruction (Vista, Quest and ResponsiveEd Classical Academies). Some parents want their children to finish up to two years of college before graduating high school or want robust STEM experiences (iSchool). Still others need their students to catch up on their high school credits (Premier). Then there are thousands of families who want the flexibility of online schoolwork (TXVA). At ResponsiveEd, we are committed to helping as many families as we can find the right kind of educational setting for their children.
Q. How many programs does ResponsiveEd provide? How many districts?
A. We currently offer seven distinct types of schools in two districts. Founders Classical Academies, ResponsiveEd Classical Academies, Quest Middle Schools, iSchool High, the Foundation School for Autism, and TXVA (grades 3-8) are in the Texas College Preparatory Academies district. Premier High Schools and TXVA (grades 9-12) are in our Premier Alternative Accountability district.
Q. How does ResponsiveEd decide which school program to launch in particular communities?
A. Great question. Often our decisions are based on direct requests from the community. We frequently hear from parent groups who tell us they are looking for a school that fits one of our models. Sometimes, we will look at the schools in an area and recognize a need and reach out to parents groups proactively. Either way, we will always seek feedback from local parents before deciding whether to start a school or what type of school it should be.
ResponsiveEd will also launch schools in areas where other charter programs may be facing a closure or are struggling to stay open. We come alongside those schools to see if we can help them stay open or relaunch the program as a ResponsiveEd school so those children will continue to have an option in their community that best fits their needs.
Q. Are there other charter schools that provide as many programs or is ResponsiveEd unique in its variety?
A. ResponsiveEd is unique in terms of the number of programs we offer. Operating schools is challenging work, and most charter networks prefer to focus on one model. We believe that communities should have a range of choices, which is why we also try to offer several different schools in each of our regions.
Q. Does ResponsiveEd have any plans to start new models or remove any current models?
A. We love to innovate, so when we hear from a community that they want something different, we are all ears. This August, we will open a number of new schools. Some will follow our established programs; others may look a little different. Either way, we are eager to introduce the schools to the local communities this spring and summer.