In the center of Flower Mound’s Parker Square, a new charter school has opened its doors to help prepare high school students from across North Texas for careers in digital arts, business marketing, and fashion merchandising in a college-like campus setting.
With local schools approaching capacity and parents more focused than ever on ensuring their students are receiving a high-quality education, many parents are seeking new educational options for their children.
Parents of high school students are focused on the increasing amount of money spent on a college education and if they will recoup the high cost of tuition, especially since a college degree no longer guarantees a job.
iSchool High is a tuition-free, public charter school that recently opened in the former Health and Athletic Center building at 500 Parker Square. The 52,000 square foot facility received a substantial makeover complete with state-of-the-art classrooms.
The goal of education is to teach students to think for themselves and to be prepared for a lifetime of learning. At iSchool High, students are encouraged and mentored to conduct research on their own from the many sources of information available today.
Director Aaron Wimberley said that students are taking advantage of the latest technology available.
“Our editing tools utilize iMac computers loaded with Adobe Master Suite,” he said. “Students film with Canon HD cameras, audio is mixed in a professional sound booth and edited digitally like the professionals our students aspire to be.”
Students gain hands-on experience in the industry training rooms learning technology, digital production, merchandising, marketing goods and services, and principles of fashion design, while gaining knowledge in the world of retail and ultimately management and entrepreneurial skills.
iSchool High’s career-minded students are prepared for success in their future or current business endeavors according to Loammi Caros, Director of Pathways for iSchool High of Flower Mound.
“Students can get the best of both worlds – a solid experience and preparation in the core academic subjects and an in-depth knowledge specialized in certain fields of study,” she said. “Both of these will prepare students for college and careers after college.”
Students may work individually or in groups and are encouraged to collaborate. Unit tests by subject are completed individually and help is always available from experienced instructors.
By design, the small classes help students receive individual attention via a low student-teacher ratio. Positive character traits are cultivated through the “Character First” curriculum and Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
Students’ knowledge and abilities are fostered to allow them to use their entrepreneurial skills as soon as possible. According to Caros, many current students already implement the skills and knowledge from their Pathway classes by operating their own businesses.
Students also have the opportunity to network with local professionals while establishing a business presence for themselves in the community.
“I enjoy the audio engineering courses offered at iSchool High of Flower Mound because it gives me real world preparation for my career,” said Avery Cain, a current student at iSchool High.
Regardless of the student’s field of study, all students interested in college benefit from iSchool High’s partnership with the North Central Texas College (NCTC) Flower Mound campus, also located in Parker Square.
Eligible iSchool High students take dual-credit courses, earning up to 18-hours of college credit, while still in high school. Some seniors leave iSchool High at midday to attend classes at NCTC.
The addition of iSchool High this fall and NCTC in 2011 have breathed new life into the struggling shopping center.
“It’s great to have iSchool High in Parker Square. This is the beginning of the long term evolution of what Parker Square is going to be,” said Flower Mound Mayor Tom Hayden.
“Ultimately, Parker Square is moving towards more of a business, professional, educational setting with a few restaurants mixed in there.”
iSchool High of Flower Mound provides high standards, personal attention, career preparation, and college readiness to fill the needs of concerned parents and students.
Students may enroll year-round and the school is open to students living in any school district. For more information and a school tour contact the campus at 972-899-2521.