Premier High School of Midland Expands Grade Offerings to Include 6th-8th Grade

With parents frequently asking the school to offer an option for middle school, the Responsive Education Solutions® (ResponsiveEd®) charter school, Premier High School of Midland, will be extending its grade offerings to include sixth through 12th grade for the 2017-2018 school year.

Campus Director Tanya Bell and her husband Brad Bell, ResponsiveEd’s regional director, believe that by expanding the grade offerings it can better serve the needs of the community.  

“There is a lot of interest, in the local community, for an alternative to their local public school. Midland does not have many choices for families. After regularly hearing from parents about how they wish they had more choices, we are happy to be able to start meeting that need,” says Mrs. Bell.

In the fall, Lucy Thames will have two sons attending the school. Her 11th grader needs the personalized pace that allows him to take extra time on concepts he struggles with, and he found it at Premier. For her eighth grader, Premier is an opportunity for him to get ahead so he can attend an early college high school. She is thankful for the ability to have one school meet the different needs of her children.

“Midland really needs more choices, particularly in middle school. If you have a gifted child or one who has learning challenges, the public schools can’t always meet your needs. I have been very impressed with the attention that the principal and staff have focused on making sure my son is successful. They really have gone the extra mile,” said Thames.

For Cynthia Scheider, the inclusion of middle school grades will make picking up and dropping off her grandchildren much easier. Currently, she has to rush from one school to the other to drop off and collect her sixth grade granddaughter and sophomore grandson.  

Regional Director Brad Bell hopes that providing a choice and a different kind of environment will help keep kids from falling into the credit recovery category.

“Premier’s curriculum and program are unique. Students work independently through ResponsiveEd knowledge units, which requires them to show mastery through unit exams. When they have questions, they receive one-on-one assistance from a teacher. There will be some direct instruction in middle school, but we will still retain the smaller environment and individual attention to each student. With this support behind our students, the intent is to avoid knowledge gaps and the risk of falling behind,” said Mr. Bell.

In the Premier High School model, students work on their own Knowledge Units® for each of their subjects. They are not tied to the pace of other students. They can take time to work through difficult concepts and move on when they have mastered a concept. After they complete a unit they are tested for mastery.

With students working independently, they are engaged in their course work and not distracted by their peers. Upon mastery of a grade level, they can move on to the next grade level without waiting until the next school year.

With the smaller size of the school, a personalized environment is the first focus of Mrs. Bell. She wants to know each student.

“Building relationships with those kids is essential. Having rules without relationships is like a dictatorship, but relationships without rules is chaos. You have to have that balance,” said Mrs. Bell.

The school is accepting applications for the 2017-2018 school year. For information call 432-682-0384 or visit at 4320 W. Illinois St., Ste. A, in Midland.

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Bridget Weisenburger

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