One of the greatest aspects of working for TCSA is that I get to visit charter schools across the great state of Texas. I love touring schools, seeing children flourish and being inspired by passionate educational entrepreneurs. Last week, David Dunn and I spent three days in North Texas visiting  seven schools, each with something special to share.  From Dropout Recovery to an arts-focused curriculum to IB courses for students K-12, charters are truly offering a variety of high-quality educational choices to students in North Texas.

We were welcomed to Dallas with a tour of Winfree Academy, where we met soon-to-graduate seniors and learned of their plans for their futures, including the armed forces and photography.  Afterwards, we toured La Academia de Estrellas’s beautiful new facility on Keist Road.

In Fort Worth, we toured High Point Academy, a charter we worked closely with during their application and planning phase. Walking the grounds with Lori and Katie was so inspiring: to see their vision come to life was an affirmation that charter leaders have unwavering grit and make dreams come true for so many families (and educators!). Our next stop at Texas School of the Arts was just like stepping into a museum – but more fun! Children’s art is displayed around the campus, 3rd graders gave us chills during their choir class, and watching Kindergarteners work on their splits was simply adorable.

We sat down with Craig Sims, the Superintendent of Arlington Classics Academy to discuss the Performance Framework and learn about the good work the school is doing for nearly 1300 students in Arlington. At Universal Academy, we caught the end-of-day activities (including new bus transportation) and learned about their strong college prep curriculum and plans to expand throughout North and East Texas.

Our final stop was Imagine International in McKinney. Julia Brady, a founding member and now Assistant Superintendent, walked us through the campus and the IB curriculum. Imagine’s IB program spans from K-12 and they are getting ready to celebrate their first class of graduating seniors!

Thank you to all the leaders, students and faculty for hosting David and I last week. We came back to Austin more inspired than ever!