Tucked away in the hills of San Marcos is the campus of Ki Charter Academy (Ki) which serves students at the San Marcos Treatment Center, the largest residential treatment center (RTC) for children in Texas.

Last week, Ki’s Superintendent Jerry Lager and Director of Operations Chris Allison welcomed some of the Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) team for a campus visit.

Approximately 200 students reside at San Marcos Treatment Center at any given time. While the RTC addresses treatment needs, Ki provides an education to the students. This charter school is the first of its kind in the nation to offer students STEM curriculum and access to a state of the art science/technology lab at a RTC. Ki is receiving recognition for their innovative methods to learning and even was featured as the cover story for the PITSCO Network.

Often times, students are placed at RTC as a last resort and have already been removed from their respective public school, disciplinary school, and inpatient or outpatient care. Seeing as the student population is extremely transient and dynamic, Ki has put systems in place to adequately measure student academic progress no matter their length of stay. Ki conducts Curriculum Based Measurement testing on each student when they arrive at Ki charter and upon exit. This helps track their demonstrated growth and grade level growth. This charter school uses a multi-model curriculum delivery with the full integration of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning strategies and aids to fully engage students.

Every teacher is certified in their content and grade level, as well as certified in special education. As part of its team, Ki seeks U.S. veterans through agencies such as Troops to Teachers, whose skillset includes discipline, structure and the ability to work with diverse populations to impact learning.

TCSA thanks Lager and Allison for having us at the Ki campus and providing a glimpse of the care and joy evident in their hard-working teachers and students.