ICYMI: Two Texas public charter schools receive early college high school designation

ICYMI: Two Texas public charter schools receive early college high school designation

TEA announced Monday, including New Frontiers-San Antonio and iSchool High-Woodlands

(Austin, Tex.) In Case You Missed It:  This week, the Texas Education Agency announced early college high school (ECHS) designations, including two public charter schools, New Frontiers Charter School and iSchool High at the Woodlands. The two designated campuses are in San Antonio, the Senator Frank Madla Early College High School (New Frontiers Charter partnered with Palo Alto College, Alamo Colleges system) and in the Houston-area, iSchool High at The Woodlands (Texas College Preparatory Academies partnered with Lone Star College).  

“TCSA is proud to have ECHS public charter schools ready to provide a rigorous and college-ready program for Texas students, especially students who may be the first in their family to attend and graduate from college,” said TCSA Executive Director David Dunn. “Charters are a proven public school option for parents and students in Texas who are looking for more choice, innovation and an individualized education.”

In addition, Paul and Jane Meyer Public High School, the secondary school of Rapoport Academy Public Charter Schools in Waco, Tex., is an Early College High School where charter students begin taking college-level courses in the 9th grade through a collaboration with Texas State Technical College (TSTC). Students can earn up to 60 transferable academic college hours while at Meyer High, or they can pursue any of the technical certificates or degrees available through TSTC–all at no cost to students or their families for tuition, books, and fees.

Excerpts from the TEA ECHS release:
Commissioner Williams announced final approval of 44 Early College High School (ECHS) designations for the 2014-2015 school year. With these designations, Texas will become home to 109 ECHS campuses across the state. Early college high schools are innovative high schools that allow students least likely to attend college an opportunity to earn a high school diploma and either an associate degree or at least 60 college credit hours toward a baccalaureate degree. A school district or charter must obtain an ECHS designation from TEA to allow high school students to enroll in more than two dual credit courses per semester and enroll in dual credit coursework with freshman or sophomore standing. Under this model, an ECHS provides dual credit at no cost to students; offers rigorous instruction and accelerated courses; provides academic and social support services to help students succeed; increases college readiness; and reduces barriers to college access.