The Promise of the Future Begins with Leadership Prep School
The Promise of the Future Begins with Leadership Prep School
If you want to prepare your children to be the leaders of tomorrow look no further than Leadership Prep School in Frisco. A free charter school in its 9th year serving our community, Leadership Prep offers personalized attention to their students and the flexibility to innovate and develop their leadership skills, problem-solving skills, and so much more.
The staff at Leadership Prep School is passionate about what they do and it shows in this episode of The Frisco Podcast.
SHOW NOTES:[00:58] This is what sets Leadership Prep apart
[07:42] LPS Enrollment
[08:32] Extracurricular activities at LPS (including sports)
[09:45] Opportunities for the public to get to know LPS
[11:15] Applying to Leadership Prep
[12:30] The future of LPS and their first graduating class
[14:28] Favorite things about working at LPS
LINKS & RESOURCES:
- Leadership Prep Website
- Leadership Prep on Lifestyle Frisco
- Leadership Prep on Twitter
- Leadership Prep on Facebook
Connect with Lifestyle Frisco on:
Welcome to The Frisco Podcast. This is Nicole Barron, editor in chief of Lifestyle Frisco. And today I have the privilege of sitting with representatives from Leadership Prep School in Frisco off Teel Parkway. There’s a lot of great things you need to learn and know about this fantastic charter school in Frisco. But first I want my guests to introduce themselves. Please. We’ll begin right here with our superintendent.
Please. Hi, my name is Stacy Alton. I’m the superintendent at Leadership Prep School.
Hi, my name is Audra Floyd. I’m the principal at the secondary campus.
And my name is Michelle Creamer, and I’m the elementary principal.
It is a pleasure to have you because I think I, I’m as I say, I’m assuming, but I’ve been, I’m a first go parent. I live very near the school and I know that many of my friends we drive past. I’m familiar because I work, you know, you all are clients of ours, but many of my friends drive past and they don’t understand the difference. What sets you all apart, why you exist, uh, what your goals are as a school for the students you serve. So let’s just start at the top. For anyone listening that isn’t familiar with Leadership Prep . Stacy, can you please share a little bit about the school?
Absolutely. Um, Leadership Prep is a public school. It is free. It’s open to all and offering opportunities for every student to be future ready. Uh, our focus is to offer personalized attention to our students and we have the freedom to continuously innovate and give students the hands on experience they need to become the thinkers and leaders of tomorrow with one of the most robust and fastest growing job markets in the country. We need the workers of tomorrow to be highly skilled and ready to rise to the challenge. Employers are asking for a workforce with leadership set skill sets and to prepare students to be future ready, they must have opportunities to lead today. So our mission at Leadership Prep School is to inspire students to learn, grow and lead for a lifetime. And I’ll let one of our principals talk a little bit about our leadership model and what sets us apart.
Good. Because I really would like to know all of that incredible messaging that you just delivered about leadership. That was what I got the most that I, that you seem to be emphasizing. I would love to know what that looks like day to day, both at the elementary and secondary level. I’m Andrea, anything you want to share about your experience and what you see day to day that sets you all apart? Yeah, absolutely. So at the secondary campus we are really focused on graduating all of our students into leadership. And what that means is that we have some strategic partnerships with Franklin Covey, Microsoft, a new tech network and code to the future that helps us to grow our students leadership, critical thinking and communication and collaboration skills. And they all get to learn from and hear from our partners from places like Toyota, a Nokia, Scottish Rite at and The Frisco Arts.
And we also get to have our students solve some real world problems. And they also get to serve in the community with, um, some amazing projects that they’ve done through project based learning. So project based learning, you, you gave some fantastic examples of how you all are partnering the community and programs that you have. What does a, give me an example, if you don’t mind, if a project based activity going on this year at the school, what would be something that a child would experience? Right now we have a student that is working with, um, she’s started in the, the first goal. Entrepreneurial leader or gang entrepreneurial programs. Yes. And so part of that partnering, uh, she needs a logo for her business. And so our, um, our graphic design company or, uh, classes are designing and have gone through, you know, multiple reiterations of, of what they might look like and people are voting and the community’s voting on which one they liked the best.
And so that’s one of the, we’ve gotten to do that for lots of different companies have brought that project to us. Um, they’re organizing a Ted talk right now where all of our students are going to be presenting it that, um, we do lots of planning for, uh, community outreach things that we do. Um, just to get out in the community and serve. It sounds like some of these activities could be resume items really, right. When they begin to apply for college, they have this actual hands on experience already in something that they might want to do in the future. Absolutely. That’s really amazing. Yeah. With, especially with the graphic design and the it, that’s really one of our goals is to get them ready to take, um, the industry based certifications and be able to have a, be able to step into a company and start working.
And I bet it’s fun. And I want to get to you Michelle, about this because I’m guessing, especially at the elementary level, it’s really fun to get hands on and do projects with other kiddos and not just be head down at a desk, working independently all the time. So what does it look like at the elementary level of Michelle? Absolutely fun learning should be fun and if they’re not having fun, then they’re going to hate school. And that’s not the goal. And so I like to see that elementary is the foundation. And a lot of times people think that you can’t teach these skills until they’re older. And it’s like I see kindergartners learning how to use those seven habits cause we focus on the seven habits of highly effective people. And you’ll hear little five-year-olds talking about synergizing and wow. And you watch them do that.
And it’s, it’s fantastic because they don’t realize. And I have adults come in and they’re like, I wish I had learned about when I was five years old. How do I work in a group? How do I make my voice heard? But how do I listen to others? And how do we then come up with the best alternative? Um, so it creates this really engaging, innovative environment for them where they feel empowered in their own learning and it’s not sit and get and just give us what we tell you you should know. Right? But it really is children empowered in their own learning. And, and it’s fun for cause. My teachers, we want to have fun every day we, we went into education because we’re passionate about these children growing up to make a difference in the world. So we want to have fun to you and it’s great to watch their little light bulbs go on.
I bet it is. And, and I also recognize that there’s incredible soft skills development going on here, personal development skills that are perhaps not as prevalent as they used to be. You know, because we’re also wired and we’re in our devices and we’re working independently on our devices. And so the fact that the leadership skills are being taught are not just taught, but hands on being implemented every day. Opportunities to shine, opportunities to step up and lead a project or work in a team. That’s incredible to me because I see it in my own kids already, you know, that they’re not necessarily being, that’s not being cultivated as much as I wish it was. Stacy, what would you add about what sets you all apart? Because yes, Frisco has an incredible school district, but this is a different method. Another approach.
Absolutely. And I think part of that is that, um, there’s not a one size fits all for every child. So it’s really making sure that we’re focused focusing on each and every individual child and their individual needs. And, um, we have an environment in place at our school that allows for that to happen. Really knowing the kids, getting to know the kids, having that smaller feel, even though we have a pretty good sized school at this point, but really focusing, um, our staff and our administration on what does each and every child need and how do we fill that need. What is your enrollment at this point? Um, we’re at almost 1300 students currently, so that’s K through 12. Um, and then of course over two campuses we’ve got the elementary campus and then we’ve got the middle school and high school in one building on one campus currently.
Okay. Okay. That’s far more than I have. Yeah.
Right. Right. And so, yes, I think that, you know, those are some of the key things that we really, um, hear from our families and hear from our students is that they really feel like they are known, um, that they are cared for and that they are getting what they need.[inaudible] yeah. That one on one, like knowing each child exactly where they’re headed and what their goals are. And that’s really incredible. Okay. So one of the, some of the, just sort of, I hate to use the word silly, but questions that I know other moms might ask or wonder about when comparing your school to when we’ve always known with just the general public school system. Do you all have a mascot? Do you have extra curriculars? Like is it, is it similar to our public school system and the ISD?
Yes, in many ways, yes. We have a mascot. We actually have two. We have a boy and a girl, mr [inaudible]
lions right there, the lions. That’s fun. Do you have an academic I’m in a sports program. Have, yes, we
have a sports program, um, pretty robust for as small as we are. Uh, we do have, uh, volleyball and soccer and baseball and flag football and golf team and cross country and softball and you know, yeah. So for, and cheer of course. Um, so yes, for as small as we are, we do offer as much as we possibly can. Um, and again, it’s, it’s about the whole child and those extracurriculars are very important. Uh, we have a band, uh, choir theater department. The theater department is amazing. Um, and then, um, of course we have visual arts and, um, yeah, digital arts, digital arts
of course. Oh yes, I’m sure. So when do you all, is your campus open for things such as a theater, you know, production or a concert and music concert? You know, are there opportunities for the public to come in and support those things and get to know your campus a little bit? Absolutely. We always, we do have a Google calendar that is shared on the website that has all the things, there’s, uh, all the band and all of the, uh, like we have a leadership exhibition coming up in March that we love to have everybody come in and see every single student at the secondary campus, fifth through 12th grade, um, shows off. So they, they are showing off something that they are super proud of, um, that they’ve either made an a project or they’re super talented and cheer or they’re super talented in theater.
So they all have the opportunity to really show and show off, not only whatever it is that they’re showing off, but also their soft skills of presenting and communicating and being able to look somebody in the eye and shake their hands and speak clearly. That’s so important. I just can’t, I mean that’s, that’s where I keep going in my head with how, what an incredible job you’re doing is those skills that you’re helping kids to develop that they otherwise might not please. Yes. Michelle, we also do open houses for parents who are interested in a perspective of, um, applications. Um, so we have those coming up in January as well. But yes, we love to have the families who want to get to know us. We have a carnival, we have all kinds of fun events where, yeah, it’s coming to the sporting events, getting to know us, getting to know our families, um, because they are our best marketing in my opinion because they can tell you what you want to know.
Yeah. Well how does one apply and what does that timeline for four possibly be coming enrolled? So it is an online application, so it’s just on our website and it’s available from the first Monday of February till the third Friday of February every year. So this year that happens to open up on February 3rd. Um, and so we take all applications for those three weeks and if we receive more applications and then we have spaces available, um, then we go into a lottery so that the state wants us to have that availability to be there for every child. So it’s a random computerized drawing from the applications that generates who is offered spaces also, uh, the list for the wait list. And once you’re enrolled, are you guaranteed enrollment in subsequent years? Okay. Your space is your space until you give it up and your siblings actually are given priority, which is nice. So if we have open spaces, siblings of current students do get priority for those. That is nice. Okay. Well that’s interesting. Another question,
application stays online year-round, so you can always apply at any time of the year. If we have spaces available in a grade, then you can go ahead and apply and get right in. If there’s a wait list then you just go to the bottom of the wait list. But that application is up and going all year long.
Okay. Fun. Was there anything you want to share about the future at LPS? Do you all have plans for growth or is that a premature question? Well, one, it’s a milestone year.
This is our first graduating class this year, so that is very huge. Um, we, we, we are in our ninth year of operations that we’ve been in for school for nine years now. We love our community, we love our community partnerships. Um, but this, this is the year that we have our very first seniors, our very first graduating class. It is very nice to see all of these students that are, um, starting to get those college acceptance letters and starting to make plans for the future and what they’re doing next. Um, but beyond that, yes. Um, we, you know, we are at capacity at this current time. Um, we really, 1300 1400 students is really about all that we can feasibly housed in our current locations. Um, and we still are leasing space out of a church for our elementary campus. So there is always that opportunity as Frisco continues to grow, um, and our wait list continue to grow that we may want to look at expanding into an additional campus to be able to serve our students.
Okay. I see you’re in a beautiful area. You know, your, your building is beautiful first I have to say, but South of main street teal. Um, yes, just a beautiful space and a great area. Easy to get in and out of and um, yeah. Well that’s good. That’s really interesting. As I said, you know, I know Paris, I’m sure you do as well that have just curiosity about why a charter school and what’s different and why would I want to do it, you know? And so I appreciate all that you’ve shared about the project based learning and the leadership lessons. I think that’s really what does set you apart is the emphasis there. Anything you want to add that I didn’t think of? Because I want you to have your, I mean, what is your favorite thing about working at LPs? I’m just gonna throw you, put you on the spot and I’m going to ask you that question.
It’s, it’s my family. It is, this is not my job. This is really my passion. And having been able to be there from the very beginning and watch us grow and watch these students grow from the time they started with us until now graduating. And then my current elementary students thinking about their, it’s, I feel like what I do matters and who doesn’t want that? And that’s what I want for them. I want them to feel empowered to make a future for themselves and for the rest of our community where they really make a difference. That’s awesome. Anything you want to add Audra? Oh, my favorite thing is definitely along the same lines as they are the kids and the, and the staff. We’re all just a big family and so it’s so much fun to get to see them every day and high five them every day and get to celebrate babies and weddings and all of that stuff with my staff.
And, uh, just watching them grow this first graduating class, they were, a lot of them were fourth-graders, you know, we’ve added since then, but several of them started with us in fourth grade. And so I’ve, I’ve already told everybody that there’s going to have to be somebody else announcing names cause graduations day because you know them for so long, you’re not just in a school for a few years and then move on. It’s the whole journey and I think it’s exciting. You were saying Stacy, about the milestone year and the first set of graduates and how cool is it going to be when you have those testimonies of college life and how they were prepared and the colleges they got into. As you said, that’s all starting to happen right now and it’s going to be so exciting when you have those stories to share about how successful they are out in the real world coming out of Leadership Prep .
We can’t wait. I bet that was, well we’ll just have to have you back to talk about that. Maybe we can invite some of them back like Oh my gosh, yes, exactly. Well, so I want to, um, share that you all invested in a business page on our website. so @lifestylefrisco.com just type in Leadership Prep . We have lots of great content about y’all. You mentioned that exposition night exhibition, excuse me. Goodness. Um, and we, I know we have an article about that, lots about the project based learning. If people want to learn more about your philosophy at the school, we’ve got tons of content and interview with yourself. Stacy on our side, I know, um, where a couple of, they find you online. Who wants to, any of you can please chime in with that and absolutely. It’s www.lpsfrisco.com. Perfect. That’s easy. And you’re on social media. Absolutely. Yes. I can find you there. Facebook, Instagram, awesome. Twitter, Twitter, all of it. Okay, perfect. Well, I appreciate so much you sharing all of this fun stuff because I, you know, I think people just need to understand who you are and what you’re doing in our community, the role that you’re playing. Lots of good partnerships that you mentioned. Thank you so much. Thank you. We appreciate it. Thank you.