Two Texas educators hope to create a private online high school for New Mexico teens that combines Bible study with self-paced learning of basic education standards.
Joseph Gallegos, a New Mexico native who designed the New Mexico Trinity Preparation Program, based in Midland, Texas, said the “Christian” school meets common basic standards used by schools. New Mexico public.
Students will also participate in Bible studies.
“Our approach is that we believe that students should be able to learn at their own pace, regardless of the time of day, and that we focus the program on what they can learn through audio, oral reading from the patient , writing, all different modalities, ”Gallegos said in a recent interview.
He and his co-founder Lisa Chappell started similar online schools in Texas.
“I’ve always wanted to do something in return for my state and the people of my state,” Gallegos said when asked why the couple chose to open a school for children in New Mexico.
Earlier last week, three students had started the registration process for New Mexico Trinity Prep, which plans to kick off its 2021-22 school year on September 1.
The first 100 students to enroll will receive a 50% reduction in tuition fees, which costs $ 199 per month. Students also pay a one-time fee of $ 299. Currently, the school, which is run by a for-profit company, does not offer financial assistance, Gallegos said.
Gallegos, who served as a school district superintendent in Texas, grew up in Fort Sumner and received his master’s degree from Eastern New Mexico University. In the mid-2000s, he founded Orion Online Learning Inc., which operates an online elementary, middle and high school in Texas. Orion also operates the New Mexico Trinity Prep.
He said he had known Chappell – a former reporter who started K-12 Texas Success Academy online – for over a decade.
Texas Success Academy, which opened in 2011, and Orion both advertise Christian beliefs and have graduation rates above 90%.
Gallegos and Chappell considered opening a public charter school in New Mexico, but wanted to open sooner than the charter approval process would allow, Gallegos said. In the future, they would consider moving forward with a charter application for a non-Christian school in an area of dire need, he added.
With the exception of its use of the Rosetta Stone curriculum in language classes, Trinity Prep offers a curriculum with original content, Gallegos said. Rather than the standardized tests used in public schools in New Mexico, the founders plan to administer the Stanford 10 assessment at the end of the year for students in each grade level.
According to the school’s website, the data from the tests will inform accreditors of Trinity Prep’s progress and help guide the design of the program.
The school seeks accreditation through the Association of Christian Teachers and Schools, one of the state-approved accreditation bodies for private schools.
While Trinity Prep students will progress through the program at their own pace, they will also meet weekly online with teachers to monitor their progress.
Along with high school students, Trinity Prep aims to recruit adults who have not yet graduated from high school.
The school also hopes to partner with Albuquerque Public Schools and other school districts and educational institutions in New Mexico to help prevent high school students from dropping out.
“One of the benefits of digital school, I guess, is partnering with school systems to help reduce their dropout rate, where students can come and see us and we can help them,” Gallegos said. .