This article is sponsored by Leadership Prep School.
Today in Frisco, students walked into classrooms at Leadership Prep School. Other LPS students began their remote-learning curriculum.
Two months ago, LPS parents and guardians were offered the opportunity to choose the way their children will learn for the 2020-21 school year — either on-campus or online instruction. The plan allows households to choose what works best for them, as well as the flexibility to change their selection if needed.
As a charter school, Leadership Prep can operate with freedoms from many of the regulations that apply to traditional public schools. Furthermore, they have the ability to make decisions quickly and act on them quickly.
The 2020-21 school year has officially begun, and LPS is poised and ready to guide their students online, in-person, synchronously, or asynchronously. Here’s how it works:
Parents who chose online learning did so with the understanding that it requires the involvement of support from caring adults at home and within the online classroom environment.
The virtual, asynchronous learners, who may need to work at a different time of day, have the benefit of a curriculum designed and implemented by highly qualified teachers while being able to make it fit with their family’s needs.
Katie Berry is an LPS parent whose 2nd and 4th graders are starting remotely today. They chose LPS for its focus on leadership skills and STEM, among its other strengths. They chose remote learning this year to reduce the possibility of exposure to the teachers and to the kids whose parents are essential workers outside of the home. She explains,
I feel like that’s the least I can do as a parent who is able to stay at home. I’m proud that our school chose the hybrid model and I want them to be successful!
The fall online program has numerous differences from eLearning in the spring, including both synchronous and asynchronous learning, based on feedback received from parents, students, and teachers.
Synchronous learning is two-way, real-time, live instruction between teachers and students through the computer or other electronic devices.
Asynchronous learning is a curricular experience where students engage in the learning materials on their own time, interacting intermittently with the teacher via the computer or other electronic devices.
It’s anything but a one-size-fits-all model because each parent has unique circumstances to take into consideration. For example, another Leadership Prep School parent of a Kindergartener and a 4th grader told us they chose remote learning because one of their children is high-risk with underlying health conditions.
Learning remotely won’t change the core reason LPS is a fit for her family, however. She says the teachers genuinely have a heart to help students grow as a whole person — her child is not only being taught content but also, how to be a good person.
Students who excel in a classroom environment and benefit from in-person engagement may find better success with on-campus instruction.
Leadership Prep School is ready, willing, and able to meet the needs of students through face-to-face instruction and has taken steps to do it safely. (Details of LPS’ enhanced safety protocols can be found on their COVID-19 Resources page.)
About 35% of elementary students will be learning at LPS in person. At the secondary level, the percentage is about 50/50 in-person and remote. Class sizes have gone down considerably because of the option to learn from home or on campus. Where a typical class might have 25 students, this year they’re closer to 12 or 15 per class.
If a family chooses to enroll for in-person learning, and for any reason needs to change their selection, they can modify their plan during the semester. However, if a student is changing from remote to in-person, the change will fall at the 9-week grading period to allow time for the school to arrange the schedule changes.
Shanda Trees teaches sixth-grade Humanities (English, Language Arts, and Reading) at LPS, and is teaching both in-person students, as well as virtual. Last spring, she noticed that remote learning didn’t work for all children. She shared,
Kids are not one size fits all, so having a choice in your child’s learning is important. It’s how we will ensure that all students are successful.
She’s fully supportive of LPS providing a choice for each student, recognizing that in-person might not be the right choice for every household. Her own children will be starting the year in-person. She shared,
I chose in-person learning for my children for several reasons. First, because I’ll be teaching back in the classroom and my kids are all ten and under. Leaving them home with minimal supervision while my husband is working from home is not what’s best for them.
One Leadership Prep parent told us they chose in-person learning for their second grader because at the elementary level the students benefit greatly from hands-on learning and group learning. They felt that full-time virtual learning is challenging at their child’s age, and required a lot of attention when navigating the online platforms.
Because LPS is a smaller campus, they’re confident in the school’s ability to keep everyone safe while providing the best source of learning. One Leadership Prep parent shared,
We love LPS because they really focus on how the students develop as a person. LPS gives students the tools to become the best version of themselves. We love the curriculum and Project Based Learning. We have gotten to know some wonderful people and feel privileged to be a part of the LPS family. Michelle Creamer has been a phenomenal Principal and leader.
Alissa Rice teaches 9th-12th grade at LPS and will be teaching in person. She feels it’s best for students to get back into a routine and to see their peers. Plus, she misses seeing them every day. Some of her upper-class students have jobs, so they chose asynchronous, remote learning. Ms. Rice says she will be intentional about connecting with those students to make sure their needs are met. Rice explains,
One of the reasons that I love LPS is that we are a school of choice. We listened to our families and chose what was best for all students. All families took their individual students into consideration and made their choice. It’s about the students.
About Leadership Prep School
Leadership Prep School is a charter school that serves students who live within the geographic boundaries of Allen ISD, Aubrey ISD, Celina ISD, Denton ISD, Frisco ISD, Lewisville ISD, Little Elm ISD, McKinney ISD, Plano ISD, and Prosper ISD.
A charter school is a nonsectarian public school of choice that operates with freedoms from many of the regulations that apply to traditional public schools.
As a public-school option, Leadership Prep provides a free-tuition school, with open enrollment. LPS enrollment for the 2020-21 school year is currently full, with waitlists in every grade. Open enrollment begins in February.