• Happy Constitution Day!

    Posted by Advantage Academy on 9/21/2022 9:00:00 AM

    On Friday, September 16, Advantage Academy tuition-free charter school celebrated a very special day for students of American history. “Constitution Day” commemorates the birth of the United States government, when the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time on September 17, 1787 to sign the document they had created. It’s also an opportunity for Advantage Academy to celebrate our love for the United States of America and the blessings of freedom our Founding Fathers secured for us. 

     

    Picture of the Constitution

    The Importance of Principles

    “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” (President Ronald Reagan)

     

    At Advantage Academy, we are proud of our heritage as Americans, and our students study American history and civics through our rigorous social studies curriculum. We are intentional about examining and illuminating the founding principles of freedom and individual liberty in compelling ways to our students, to prompt the next generation to safeguard our republic for generations to come. This includes understanding why our Founders risked their lives for the right to govern themselves, and why they believed a Constitution was necessary. 

    Engaging All Learners

    The Constitution and other documents from our nation’s founding are easy for students to read in their original form. That’s why we spend time each year in all of our grades examining these documents more closely. Here’s a look at just some of the ways we commemorated Constitution Day this year:

     

    • Celebrate Freedom Week

    Every day during the week of September 12-16 we set aside time to examine one of the many special symbols of our country, including the Star Spangled Banner, the US Flag, the Liberty Bell, the Bald Eagle, and more. We also took a deeper look at some writings that all Advantage Academy Eagles are familiar with:

    • The Pledge of Allegiance

    Each day during Morning Announcements our Advantage Academy Eagles recite the Pledge of Allegiance. But what does this pledge mean to Americans? Last week, we set aside time in each AA classroom to examine the pledge line by line. 

    • The Preamble to the Constitution

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    We included Preamble words “tranquility”, “Blessings of Liberty” and “Posterity”  in our vocabulary curriculum, and our older Advantage Academy Eagles memorized the section. 

    • Schoolwide Projects

      • On Constitution Day, we had each grade group at every campus share a special project to commemorate the day, which will be displayed in our hallways and posted to social media - be sure to check them out! 

      • Oklahoma County District Judge Nikki Kirkpatrick spoke to all AA students about her job as a judge and what role the Constitution plays in her work. She was live on a Zoom call in all classrooms and took questions at the end of her presentation. You can see her presentation on our YouTube Channel.

      • And during our CAPSTONE period, the period at the beginning of each day for social and emotional learning, we showed a short video that outlined guidance for students on religious expression in public schools - a first amendment right that was secured by the Constitution. 

    At Advantage Academy, Constitution Day is a reminder of how much we value our American heritage and the lessons of history. 

     

    About Advantage Academy 

     

    Advantage Academy is a PreK-12 tuition-free public charter school serving students in Dallas, Grand Prairie, and Waxahachie. Advantage Academy prepares our students for bright futures in a safe, healthy and faith-friendly charter school environment. Learning is active, nurturing and individualized, and our commitment to family and community engagement thrives alongside our character development, servant leadership, and focus on personal responsibility. We’re reimagining education to encompass the truth in American history, the importance of civic virtue, and the holistic value of service. Join our PK-12 tuition-free public charter school, today! Enrolling now. 

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  • One School on Four Campuses

    Posted by Advantage Academy on 9/14/2022 9:00:00 AM

    Advantage Academy is a tuition-free charter school that enrolls over 1,000 PreK-12th grade students. That’s a lot of students - and we serve them through four campuses in the South Dallas area

    We are United

    Our campuses are unified in our mission to serve each student - mind, body and spirit. We use the 7 Pillars of Character and Leadership to help every student in every grade identify and develop their unique character and leadership strengths. Our schools are safe, healthy, nurturing and faith-friendly environments where all learners can thrive. And we partner closely with parents and caregivers to ensure student success throughout their time at AA - from free before and after school programs to our district-wide Parent University program, we are here to support families. 

    Our Locations

    Map with 4 AA campuses circled in blue

     

    Campus

    Address

    Year Opened

    Grades Served

    Principal

    Dallas

    4009 Joseph Hardin Drive Dallas, TX 75236

    1998

    Pre-K - 8

    Darketsha Williams

    Grand Prairie West

    955 Freetown Road Grand Prairie, TX 75051

    2011

    Pre-K - 8

    Jimmy Wright

    Grand Prairie East

    300 W. Pioneer Parkway Grand Prairie, Texas 75051

    2015

    9 - 12

    Jordan Williams

    Waxahachie

    701 US-287 Bypass Waxahachie, TX 75165

    2006

    PreK - 8

    Jennifer Keltner

     

     

    We are Unique

    Advantage Academy’s overall mission and vision was set by our founder and has never wavered. But when new families tour our campuses, they often ask what makes each AA school unique. To find out, we decided to go to the source - and ask staff on each campus to describe their schools. Here’s what they had to say:

    Grand Prairie West (Pre-K through 8th grade) 

    Eva Pinon, Administrative Assistant

    • What’s different about AA GPW compared to the other AA campuses? 

    AA GPW has amazing facilities, and just as it's beautiful on the outside, it is amazing on the inside - from our staff to our scholars. Our climate and culture with staff and parents is what I believe makes GPW stand out from the other AA campuses. 

     

    • What’s the vibe at AA GPW? 

    I would say our vibe at GPW is family-friendly and very teamwork-oriented. 

     

    • What’s your favorite thing about AA GPW?  

    Honestly, I don't have one favorite thing about AA GPW because I love everything about it. I love how we all work together to give our best to our scholars including our parents. You can tell we all have one goal which is to see our scholars succeed in everything they do. 

    Waxahachie (Pre-K through 8th grade) 

    Yvonne Wall, Administrative Assistant

    • What’s different about AA Wax compared to the other AA campuses? 

    AA Wax has a much smaller enrollment and staff.  Small in number but big in heart!

     

    • What’s the vibe at AA Wax? 

    AA Wax is located in a small town where everyone is friendly and very caring. It shows through the communication between staff, students and parents on a daily basis. The parents are always willing to help and be supportive of our school. We are not just a school; we are a family of many cultures.

     

    • What’s your favorite thing about AA Wax? 

    The location of being in a small community and the relation between staff, parents and students. The principal is very sweet and caring. The staff is very professional, yet fun to work with.  

    Grand Prairie East (9th-12th grades)

    Margarita Lopez, Administrative Assistant

    • What’s different about AA GPE compared to the other AA campuses? 

    Everyday all teachers work hard to push their students to be successful. We are growing relationships with the students and the parents to help them get motivated and to work hard everyday. GPE is also focused on using more technology on a daily basis. Our Principal is always open to listen to new ideas and to listen to what teachers, students and parents need. 

     

    • What’s the vibe at AA GPE?

     I feel like our vibe this year is “Don’t Quit, No Student is Left Behind” - be a family and listen to students, teachers and staff. 

     

    • What’s your favorite thing about AA GPE? 

    My favorite thing about GPE is that we have a Principal that is focused on the students and their needs. We have staff that are open to the many new things that are brought up every day. Our focus on students this year is making a great impact all around the district and people are noticing.

    Dallas (Pre-K through 8th grade) 

    Carolina Reyes, Administrative Assistant

    • What’s different about AA Dallas compared to the other AA campuses? 

    At AA Dallas we are family oriented - from the students to the teachers and even with the parents. 

     

    • What’s the vibe at AA Dallas?  

    “Perseverance”! 

     

    • What’s your favorite thing about AA Dallas? 

    My favorite thing about AA Dallas is that no matter the situation, someone will always be here with open arms ready to help.

     

    At Advantage Academy, each one of our four campuses is finding unique ways to build champions with a future and a hope. Find out more and enroll today!

     

    About Advantage Academy  

    Advantage Academy is a PreK-12 tuition-free public charter school serving students in Dallas, Grand Prairie, and Waxahachie. Advantage Academy prepares our students for bright futures in a safe, healthy and faith-friendly charter school environment. Learning is active, nurturing and individualized, and our commitment to family and community engagement thrives alongside our character development, servant leadership, and focus on personal responsibility. We’re reimagining education to encompass the truth in American history, the importance of civic virtue, and the holistic value of service. Join our PK-12 tuition-free public charter school, today! Enrolling now.

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  • Your New School Could Be Here!

    Posted by Advantage Academy on 8/24/2022 9:00:00 AM

    Are you considering leaving a school district that your child has attended for many years? Did your child enroll in a new school this fall that doesn’t quite “fit” the way you were expecting it to? Are you moving into the area after the school year has started? Whatever the circumstances of your new school search, Advantage Academy’s tuition-free Pre-K-12 charter school just may be the perfect place for your learner to thrive! Here are some tips to help you navigate switching schools.

    AA Teacher with 4 students with certificates

    Consider the Timing

    It’s never easy to “time” a school change to fit into the academic or social calendar of a school. But if you are hoping to minimize disruptions for your child, you may want to consider switching as early in the school year as possible. Schools progress through academic materials at different rates, and moving early in the school year will enable your child to jump in without feeling ahead or behind their peers. An early transfer can also make it easier for your child to make friends before peer groups are established within the first few months of a school year. 

    What to Look For

    Changing schools is a big decision. As you consider new schools, here are some questions you may want to ask - and some answers from Advantage Academy. 

     

    • What kind of education does your school offer?

    At Advantage Academy, we not only want our students to believe in themselves, but we want to guide our students to develop a hope for their lives and a sense of purpose for their future. Our teachers and staff consider our students family, recognizing each one by name. Our 7 Pillars of Character and Leadership helps every student identify and develop their unique character and leadership strengths. We are committed to creating a safe, healthy, nurturing and faith-friendly environment where all learners can thrive. 

     

    • Do you help prepare high school students to be college and career-ready?

    Secondary students at Advantage Academy can access college, career and military readiness, CTE and dual credit courses, and career & tech programs, as well as a community service graduation requirement that encourages meaningful self-reflection. Our graduates go out into the world ready to start college, the military, or a vocation with the confidence and knowledge to succeed.

     

    • How do you engage with families to support student success?

    We believe that the partnerships we create with our families and caregivers are incredibly impactful on the academic and personal development of our students, helping them become better learners and citizens.  AA families are encouraged to get involved in their child's education, through opportunities for connection via homework assignments, family engagement game nights, Parent University, and more.

     

    • Do you offer before or after school care?

    Our “Soaring Eagles” Before and After School Program offers enrichment programs and academic support for PreK-8th grade students outside of the school day. This program is currently available at our Waxahachie, Grand Prairie West, and Dallas campuses. Beginning at 6:30am and continuing until 6:00pm, Soaring Eagles is a free and healthy alternative for busy families. For our High School students, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas offers after school care and free transportation is provided. And all students can access our free breakfast and lunch program before-school and in-school every day - no application necessary.  

     

    • Do you offer support for learners of differing abilities?

    Whether it’s free tutoring help with a math problem or ongoing in-classroom or pull-out academic support throughout the school year, we offer a range of programs for students of all learning abilities. We offer individualized pathways to support student learning, including free online tutoring instruction; assessment and support for students on 504 plans and IEPs; ELL instruction for our English language learners; and a variety of Gifted and Talented programming for high-performing students. 

     

    • What kinds of sports and extracurricular activities are available?

    Our athletic program offers opportunities for students of all skill levels to try out the sports that interest them, even if they’ve never played before. Current athletic programs include flag football, basketball, softball, volleyball, baseball, tennis and track. Each campus offers different before and after-school extracurriculars, including Chess Club, Gardening Club, Choir Club, Caterpillars to Butterfly Club, Theater, Art and Music. High School students can also participate in the National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, DECA, and Rotary International. 

     

    There are so many things to consider when transferring to a new school, but we are here to help. If you would like to visit one of our four campuses, contact us - we’ll be happy to set up a tour and answer any questions you may have. Hope to hear from you very soon!

     

    About Advantage Academy 

     

    Advantage Academy is a Pre-K-12 tuition-free public charter school serving students in Dallas, Grand Prairie, and Waxahachie. Advantage Academy prepares our students for bright futures in a safe, healthy and faith-friendly charter school environment. Learning is active, nurturing and individualized, and our commitment to family and community engagement thrives alongside our character development, servant leadership, and focus on personal responsibility. We’re reimagining education to encompass the truth in American history, the importance of civic virtue, and the holistic value of service. Join our Pre-K-12 tuition-free public charter school, today! Enrolling now.

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  • Welcome Back Eagles!

    Posted by Advantage Academy on 8/16/2022 7:00:00 AM

    School starts Wednesday, August 17, and we are so excited to welcome new and returning students back to Advantage Academy for the 2022-2023 school year! If you’re a new student at our PreK-12 tuition-free charter school, be sure to check out some of these resources to help you navigate your new community. If you’re a returning student, you’ll find that we’ve made improvements to our school over the summer - some are highlighted below. And for ALL of our students: get ready for a great year! We can hardly wait to see you! 

    AA Teacher peeks out her classroom door waiting for students

    Back to school info

    • Before and After Care

    Did you know that Advantage Academy offers free before and after school care for Pre-K through 8th grade students at our Waxahachie, Grand Prairie West, and Dallas campuses? Our before school program opens at 6:30am until the start of the school day. Our after school program runs from the end of the school day until 6:00pm and includes free tutoring and enrichment programs like cooking, cosmetology, fine arts, STEM, sports and more. Both before and after school programs kick off on Tuesday, September 6. To register, simply fill out the following: 

    Before school registration form

    After school registration form

     

    • Uniforms

    All Elementary, Middle School, and Secondary Advantage Academy students are required to wear a uniform to school. You can purchase uniforms at your child’s school, or online via our website. Check our uniform page for more information.

     

    • Stay in Touch

    When you register for school, you will be automatically subscribed to our monthly newsletter. If you need to update your contact information, be sure to email, call or visit the campus registrar with your new address so you’ll keep receiving the latest information on what’s happening on our campuses, including events, sign-ups, parent resources, and more. Our online calendar is also a helpful tool to bookmark and visit during the school year. And our Parent Packet portal covers everything you need to know for the upcoming school year - including school supply lists!

    Updates and Improvements

    • A Return to “Normal”

    We hope that one of the biggest changes for students coming back to school this year is simply a return to feeling normal. After a long pandemic, our students and families will be welcomed on campus for classes, extracurricular activities, sports and clubs - so many of which were “on hold” over the past two years. Our Eagles family is stronger together! 

     

    • New Principals

    We are welcoming two new Principals this fall: Principal Keltner at our Waxahachie campus and Principal Williams at our Grand Prairie East High School. They will both make great additions to our administrative staff, and we are excited to have their leadership!

     

    • School Safety

    This summer we trained all faculty and staff to ensure that Advantage Academy is a safe, healthy, nurturing and faith-friendly environment. In her recent blog, Superintendent MacDonald outlined some new strategies that will ensure that our students are held to high expectations of behavior and academic success.  This includes new policies around cell phones, as they are a huge distraction in the learning environment. We are also rolling out a new student behavior and school/classroom management system to ensure a SAFE physical and emotional learning environment. It will help identify unmotivated students,  improve instruction, and keep order and safety in the classroom and in all areas of our school environment.  

     

    • Parent Support

    We prioritize building positive relationships with our families, and this year we are rolling out new programs that will increase family engagement and student success. This month we are hosting back-to-school bashes at all of our campuses and parent orientations on August 15 to welcome families and go over student expectations. We will also be utilizing a new parent training program called Raising Highly Capable Kids, which builds stronger families by empowering parents with the confidence, tools and skills they need to raise healthy, caring and responsible children to become healthy, caring and responsible adults. 

     

    • Free Mental Health Resources

    We support mental health and wellness for all of our students. Through our partnership with Dialogue by Dialcare, middle and high school students can virtually connect with licensed professional counselors for FREE! Dialogue counselors work with conditions such as depression, stress, anxiety, relationships, grief, eating disorders, addiction and more. Students have access to talk to licensed professional counselors by phone or video seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Check out our website for more information and to access this no-cost service.

     

    It's not too late to enroll! Interested in learning more about how Advantage Academy can help prepare your student for success? Contact us and enroll today! 

     

     

    About Advantage Academy 

     

    Advantage Academy is a PreK-12 tuition-free public charter school serving students in Dallas, Grand Prairie, and Waxahachie. Advantage Academy prepares our students for bright futures in a safe, healthy and faith-friendly charter school environment. Learning is active, nurturing and individualized, and our commitment to family and community engagement thrives alongside our character development, servant leadership, and focus on personal responsibility. We’re reimagining education to encompass the truth in American history, the importance of civic virtue, and the holistic value of service. Join our PreK-12 tuition-free public charter school, today! Enrolling now. 

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  • Faith and Family are Welcome Here!

    Posted by Advantage Academy on 8/10/2022 9:00:00 AM

    Since our founding in 1998, Advantage Academy has never wavered from our mission of being a tuition-free charter school, building champions with a future and a hope. We do this by focusing on character and leadership, social and emotional learning, family engagement, and a faith-friendly environment. 

    That’s right: “Faith and Family-friendly” programs have been part of our mission since we opened our doors. They really are cornerstones of our school - providing the partnership and inspiration we need to build tomorrow’s leaders. 

    AA student with easter basket full of eggs

    Families Come First

    There are so many reasons why we consider families our most important partners in student success. Research shows that engaged families are critical to improving student academic success, and can positively impact behavior, attendance, and even self-esteem. We support families with programs both inside and outside of our classrooms.

     

    This year we will be introducing a new parent training tool called Raising Highly Capable Kids - a research-based interactive program that builds stronger families by empowering parents with the skills they need to raise healthy, caring and responsible children.

     

    Each month we host Parent University, a monthly Zoom meeting between parents and Advantage Academy administrators that keeps parents updated on school events and activities, and provides a forum for parents’ voices to be heard. 

     

    The Power of Why is an interactive curriculum that provides parents with weekly topics to discuss at home, helping students and their families develop a deep understanding of their family values and worldviews. 

     

    We also partner with families to help pair them with resources in our community - from access to DialCare’s free mental health counseling, to needs-based services through the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, to tips and resources for parenting support. We understand that challenges can be unique to each Eagle family, and are here to help. 

    Our Faith is Our Strength

    Advantage Academy believes that every person consists of body, mind and spirit. Our goal is to educate the “whole child” – which means nurturing all three of these components. Each AA Eagle knows that they are uniquely created for a special purpose, and are valued. 

     

    Our faith-friendly environment welcomes and engages students’ deeply-held beliefs - regardless of religious background. We strive to provide an inclusive culture of respect and acceptance to all individuals, no matter their beliefs. We help students connect their personal lives to their learning – encouraging each student to develop a deep understanding of their own family values.  We recognize January 16th as National Religious Freedom Day – an annual celebration of our Constitutional right to hold our own beliefs. We also offer an optional Bible elective for students who choose to learn more about Christian History. 

     

    At Advantage Academy, “Faith and Family-friendly” programs support a foundation for student success, empowering our students to be leaders in their school and community, to discover their gifts, and to utilize their skills to be the healthy and purposeful citizens that they were created to be. Find out more and enroll today!

     

    About Advantage Academy 

     

    Advantage Academy is a PreK-12 tuition-free public charter school serving students in Dallas, Grand Prairie, and Waxahachie. Advantage Academy prepares our students for bright futures in a safe, healthy and faith-friendly charter school environment. Learning is active, nurturing and individualized, and our commitment to family and community engagement thrives alongside our character development,

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  • Meet Our New Grand Prairie East Principal!

    Posted by Advantage Academy on 8/3/2022 9:00:00 AM

    Advantage Academy Grand Prairie East Principal Jordan Williams

    This fall Advantage Academy is thrilled to be welcoming a new Principal at our Grand Prairie East High School - one of four campuses serving our tuition-free public charter school. Principal Jordan Williams brings a passion for education, applying a servant-leader lens to his new role at Grand Prairie East. To get to know him better, we asked Principal Williams some questions about himself. Here’s what he had to say!

    When did you know you wanted to be an educator?

    Though I wouldn't admit it to myself at the time, I likely knew during my freshman year of college that being an educator was my calling. Immediately after high school, I created a Speech & Debate consulting business that provided support to local area high school students. Over the years, I found myself working with students across the country, and, after helping students to find their voice and being a spark that helped to propel them on their best path, I couldn't imagine being a part of any other career field. 

    Who was your favorite teacher and why? 

    I have been blessed to have some of the most amazing teachers pour into my growth. Three incredible teachers stand out the most: Mrs. Thomas, my freshman English teacher who taught me about adventure and chivalry; Mr. Cure, my high school theater teacher who taught me about dedication and passion; and my mom - my 1st, 3rd, and 5th grade teacher who taught me more than I could ever list. I usually groan when I tell people that my mother was my teacher for 3 different years in elementary school, especially considering that she never taught either of my two brothers who are close in age. Many people think it says a lot about me that she chose to change grade levels so she could continue to keep a close eye on me (and they would be partially true), but I think it says so much more about her: my mother is the most selfless, giving, servant-leader that I know, and I believe she was sacrificing herself to save her colleagues. :)

    How does Advantage Academy's mission and vision align with your personal values? 

    Advantage Academy's focus on tending to the whole student so they possess strength of character and can become leaders in their communities was a beacon as I looked for positions of continued leadership that aligned with my personal values. As educators, we are not solely charged with instilling academic strengths in our students because we know social, emotional, and academic learning are not mutually exclusive. A good society is built on the strength of the schoolhouse.

    What do you love most about your role? 

    Many use "love languages" in the workplace, and the way I show love/appreciation is through acts of service. As a campus leader, every day I get to be servant-first and ensure that other's highest priority needs are being met. Michael Greenleaf describes the test of servant leaders as: "Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?“ 

    What else would you like us to know about YOU? 

    It's true that behind every great man is an even greater woman. My wife is the bedrock of our family and, as a former high school assistant principal, is a constant supporter of the work of educators. Together, we have three wonderful children (ages 8 months to 14 years). We love traveling to explore exciting places, trying new food, and spending time as a family.

     

    Welcome Principal Williams! Interested in learning more about how Advantage Academy can help prepare your student for success? Contact us and enroll today! 

     

    About Advantage Academy  

    Advantage Academy is a PreK-12 tuition-free public charter school serving students in Dallas, Grand Prairie, and Waxahachie. Advantage Academy prepares our students for bright futures in a safe, healthy and faith-friendly charter school environment. Learning is active, nurturing and individualized, and our commitment to family and community engagement thrives alongside our character development, servant leadership, and focus on personal responsibility. We’re reimagining education to encompass the truth in American history, the importance of civic virtue, and the holistic value of service. Join our PreK-12 tuition-free public charter school, today! Enrolling now.

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  • Waxahachie Welcomes Our New Principal!

    Posted by Advantage Academy on 7/28/2022 9:00:00 AM

    Advantage Academy Waxhachie Principal Keltner

     

    This fall Advantage Academy will be welcoming a new Principal at our Waxahachie campus - one of four campuses serving our tuition-free public charter school. Principal Jennifer Keltner has many years of experience in the field of education, as a teacher and most recently as an Assistant Principal in the Mesquite Independent School District. To get to know her better, we asked Principal Keltner some questions about herself. Here’s what she had to say!

    When did you know you wanted to be an educator?

    I knew I wanted to be an educator the afternoon I came home from my first day of Kindergarten. From that moment on, I was that child who used old workbooks and my Little Golden Books to "teach" my stuffed animals, and later my two siblings (I am the oldest of 3). 

    Who was your favorite teacher and why? 

    I have so many that come to mind! My favorite elementary teacher was probably Mrs. Sally Hammond, because she encouraged me to come out of my shell, maybe a little too much! My favorite middle school teacher was Ms. Beverly Sanders - she encouraged me to be proud of my work and not qualify it before I presented, and that taught me to have confidence in my work. My favorite high school teacher is the hardest to pick. I owe a lot to Mrs. Joann Cross - she knew how much I was struggling with Geometry and worked to make sure I understood it by the time I finished the course - which is amazing, because I was LOST! 

    How does Advantage Academy's mission and vision align with your personal values? 

    I have always believed that education is the key to not only individual success, but to our success as a nation, and that belief  is represented in the mission of Advantage Academy.  Also, I value meeting the needs of the whole child and teaching them how to live and thrive in our world, all while teaching the value of service and responsibility to self and others. These are not only the makings of great citizens, but they are what we need in order to grow and thrive as a nation. 

    What do you love most about your role? 

    I think the thing I love the most are the relationships that I am able to develop with all of the members of the school community. The relationships with families, students, and school staff that I am blessed to be able to form in the administrator role are unbelievable. It may sound cheesy, but I see the connections I get to make with everyone in the school community as life-giving and encouraging. As much time in this role that is spent teaching and growing others, the truth is that they help me grow, as well. 

    What else would you like us to know about YOU? 

    I have the most amazing and supportive husband, Eric. We have been married for almost 20 years, but together for almost 25, and he never backs down from anything I ask him to do in support of the campus I serve. I also have two wonderful children, Billy and Daphne, and they are always working to cheer me on, offer me advice, and be an extra set of hands when I need them at school. I love to spend time with my amazing family, and lately that has meant a lot of baseball tournaments (with my son) and dance competitions (with my daughter). When we are not attending these events, we find ways to be outside as a family, hiking or biking a local trail, camping, playing on the beach in Galveston, or skiing in Colorado. 

    Interested in learning more about how Advantage Academy can help prepare your student for success? Contact us and enroll today! 

    About Advantage Academy 

    Advantage Academy is a PreK-12 tuition-free public charter school serving students in Dallas, Grand Prairie, and Waxahachie. Advantage Academy prepares our students for bright futures in a safe, healthy and faith-friendly charter school environment. Learning is active, nurturing and individualized, and our commitment to family and community engagement thrives alongside our character development, servant leadership, and focus on personal responsibility. We’re reimagining education to encompass the truth in American history, the importance of civic virtue, and the holistic value of service. Join our PK-12 tuition-free public charter school, today! Enrolling now.

    Comments (-1)
  • Advantage Academy - Always Planning, Growing, and Improving

    Posted by Advantage Academy on 7/20/2022 9:00:00 AM

    “We want families to know that we are all in this together.  We value our students and our families and welcome opportunities for school/family partnerships!” (Dr. Angela McDonald, Superintendent, Advantage Academy tuition-free charter schools)

    This week we sat down with Advantage Academy Superintendent Angela McDonald to talk about the exciting improvements that will be waiting for our students when they return this fall. 

    Advantage Academy Superintendent Angela McDonald

    Our motto at Advantage Academy is “building champions with a future and a hope.”  But to me, this is much more than a motto. This statement actually guides our beliefs and our actions.  We believe our students should see themselves as champions and believe that they have a purposeful future.  As we set our eyes and vision on achieving this, we assessed the culture and climate of our schools and inside every classroom, and sought ideas for improvements. The result is two programs that we will be strategically implementing this year.  

    Safety First

    First, we are training all faculty members and staff to ensure we create a safe, healthy, nurturing and faith-friendly environment. We realize that this does not happen by chance or accident, but can only come through purposeful training, goal-setting and implementation.  Our staff are putting in consistent work on a plan that all of us embrace, giving our students the best opportunity for success. 

    We are living in a time where more and more students come to school with personal challenges, especially after these last few years of the pandemic. To respond, we are implementing strategies that will ensure that students are held to high expectations of behavior and academic success. We will be targeting academic as well as non-academic expectations and processes. This includes a strong focus on removing distractions from learning, such as cell phones.  Cell phone usage has become such a huge distraction in the learning environment. We are implementing much stronger policies and processes for dealing with this.  It’s not to be uncaring to students, but again, to remove the distractions that are negatively affecting student learning. In fact, we are doing this because we care about their learning. 

    Our new student behavior and school/classroom management system will ensure a SAFE physical and emotional learning environment - something that is critically important in all public schools. It will help identify unmotivated students,  improve instruction, and keep order and safety in the classroom and in all areas of our school environment.  

    Parents as Partners

    It is important for families to know and understand our new expectations and changes for the coming school year.  Advantage Academy has always prioritized our partnerships with parents and families in supporting our Eagles. We want to continue to build positive relationships with our families that will increase student success and build a stronger and more purposeful learning environment.  

    In August, we will be hosting back-to-school bashes at all of our campuses, and inviting local businesses to provide support to our families.  We will also be offering parent orientations to welcome families and go over student expectations. To help our staff and parents learn together to understand the best way to help their children, we spent this summer training administrators, teachers and parents on a new parent training program called Raising Highly Capable Kids.  This program was developed to build stronger families by empowering parents with the confidence, tools and skills they need to raise healthy, caring and responsible children to become healthy, caring and responsible adults - and we are excited to start using it! Raising Highly Capable Kids is research-based and teaches 40 developmental assets to help parents learn how to identify the developmental building blocks that help their children to become happy, successful and strong individuals. 

    AA is continually working to improve our school and build a culture of empowerment for students, families and teachers. Find out more and enroll today!

     

    About Advantage Academy 

    Advantage Academy is a PreK-12 tuition-free public charter school serving students in Dallas, Grand Prairie, and Waxahachie. Advantage Academy prepares our students for bright futures in a safe, healthy and faith-friendly charter school environment. Learning is active, nurturing and individualized, and our commitment to family and community engagement thrives alongside our character development, servant leadership, and focus on personal responsibility. We’re reimagining education to encompass the truth in American history, the importance of civic virtue, and the holistic value of service. Join our PK-12 tuition-free public charter school, today! Enrolling now.

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  • PreKindergarten Matters!

    Posted by Advantage Academy on 7/13/2022 9:00:00 AM

    Pre-K is an important step in elementary education. A high quality Pre-K program can prepare your child for success in Kindergarten, and research shows that gains made during these early years can persist into elementary grades and beyond. Here are just a few reasons why it’s so important to find the right Pre-K for your child - and how Advantage Academy Preschool may be the perfect fit for your family!

    Advantage Academy PreK girl student holds up artwork

    Pre-K Teaches How to Learn

    Young children learn by playing. A quality Pre-K program will provide a positive, playful learning environment that engages children and builds a positive association with learning. AA Preschool is a warm, welcoming environment that values all learners and their families.

    Pre-K Boosts Literacy

    The alphabet songs and rhymes that students learn in preschool are fun, but they also introduce children to letter concepts and sounds. AA preschoolers also enjoy listening to books, acting out stories, and asking questions about what they are learning. 

    Pre-K Introduces Math

    AA preschoolers spend time playing matching, sorting and counting games, which introduce an understanding of numbers and grouping. These are skills that will be built upon as math concepts are introduced in future years.

    Pre-K Builds Responsibility

    From line leaders to hand washing, AA preschoolers participate in activities that encourage responsibility and independence. We also build community through opportunities to help out in the classroom - like setting up an activity or snack, putting toys away, or simply changing the date on a classroom calendar. 

    Pre-K Encourages Creativity

    Our preschool teachers are trained to help children develop their ideas and thoughts, encouraging them to ask questions and be curious about the world around them. We explore nature, create artwork, and spend time imagining together. What a wonderful way to learn!

    AA Free Pre-K

    Advantage Academy offers Pre-K 4 programs at our Dallas, Waxahachie and Grand Prairie West campuses, and some families may qualify for free Pre-K! Click here to see if you meet the criteria for free preschool - and for more information about our fee structure. 

    AA Free Before and After School Care

    Looking for more child care beyond the Pre-K schedule? AA offers free before and after school care. Before school care begins at 6:30am and includes free breakfast; after school care ends at 6:00pm and includes a free meal and enrichment activities. 

    AA Preschool is preparing our youngest learners for success in Kindergarten and beyond. Find out more and enroll today!

     

    About Advantage Academy 

     Advantage Academy is a PreK-12 tuition-free public charter school serving students in Dallas, Grand Prairie, and Waxahachie. Advantage Academy prepares our students for bright futures in a safe, healthy and faith-friendly charter school environment. Learning is active, nurturing and individualized, and our commitment to family and community engagement thrives alongside our character development, servant leadership, and focus on personal responsibility. We’re reimagining education to encompass the truth in American history, the importance of civic virtue, and the holistic value of service. Join our PK-12 tuition-free public charter school, today! Enrolling now. 

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  • Mentoring Changes Lives

    Posted by Advantage Academy on 7/6/2022 9:00:00 AM

    Advantage Academy was founded as a tuition-free charter school with a mission to nurture each student - mind, body and spirit. Our teachers and staff care so much about our students, and we engage with families to support their success. 

    But the Advantage Academy family doesn’t end there. Each year, community members who support our mission volunteer their time as mentors through our Mentor Cares program. We rely on their help to support our high school students who are struggling, and the lives of our students as well as these volunteers are often changed in the process. 

    What is Mentors Care?

    AA’s Mentors Care program connects high school students with caring adults who mentor them in meeting their graduation goals and preparing for purposeful lives. 

    Who can participate? 

    Mentors Care is open to all AA students in grades 9-12. 

    How does it work? 

    Adult mentors meet one-on-one with our students for one hour every week during the entire school year. Mentors are caring volunteers from our local community who are able to serve as an extra layer of support for our students. Students often meet with their mentors during lunch, but they can also access the Mentor Classroom and meet during non-core classes if that’s more convenient. Typically our mentor partners stay together until graduation. 

    Advantage Academy Graduation Class

    Mentors help our students in lots of different ways. For students who are at risk of not graduating, our mentors support their academic goals and often get them on track to graduating on time with the rest of their class. For students who may be struggling at home, socially or emotionally, mentors are a caring and supportive adult who can listen and connect them to resources that can make a difference. We also have a Mentor Coordinator on site who can jump in and provide emergency support, resources for food, clothing or housing, or just lend a friendly ear on a really hard day. 

    Do you have any success stories? 

    We sure do! Every year our mentors and students share wonderful stories that illustrate the impact that this program has on their lives. Recent highlights include: 

    • A mentor who provided a struggling student with access to much-needed clothing and bedding during the winter months.
    • A failing student who was inspired to follow his dreams and received his diploma with the rest of his classmates.
    • A student who went from not caring about school and lashing out in anger at her classmates to serving as a role-model and winning 4 awards in recognition of her hard work. 
    • A mentor who reported the joy she felt when she watched her partner student receive his diploma. It was a success shared by his family, counselor, teachers and community - all of whom had pulled together to support his hard work and academic goal.

    How do I sign up? 

    Students must be referred to our Mentors Care program. If you or your student would like to learn more, you can talk to the school nurse, counselor or any teacher and they will fill out a brief referral form for our Mentor Coordinator to review. After she receives the form, then she will contact you personally to see if this program is right for you. We would love to hear from you - reach out with an email to crystal.gaither@advantageacademy.org. 

    Can I help? 

    Yes! Mentors Care is always looking for caring adults to serve as mentors to our students. If you or your employer is looking for a way to give back to our community, please contact our Mentor Coordinator today. The commitment is simple: 1 student, 1 hour, 1 day a week. You’ll need to submit two references and pass our school background check, then we’ll provide training and resources to support you in your role. Fill out an application form and return it to us today - we’ll get you matched with a student for the 2022-2023 school year! 

     

    About Advantage Academy 

    Advantage Academy is a PK-12 tuition-free public charter school serving students in Dallas, Grand Prairie, and Waxahachie. Advantage Academy prepares our students for bright futures in a safe, healthy and faith-friendly charter school environment. Learning is active, nurturing and individualized, and our commitment to family and community engagement thrives alongside our character development, servant leadership, and focus on personal responsibility. We’re reimagining education to encompass the truth in American history, the importance of civic virtue, and the holistic value of service. Join our PK-12 tuition-free public charter school, today! Enrolling now.

    Comments (-1)