WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – There is a new independent school opening in Wichita. Some call it an alternative to public and private education.
The founder of “Freedom Preparatory” told KSN that they have already enrolled about 60 students for the next school year and plan to have between 100 and 150 students for the inaugural school year. Candace Fish, who is currently a public school teacher in Wichita, said the pandemic was her confirmation that Kansas families needed an alternative.
“It’s not about being against public schools. It’s about the fact that not all kids learn that way,” Fish said. “We have a lot of dyslexic students who come to us because the program they’re used to doesn’t meet their needs. I kind of felt like I could do it in a different way, to meet the needs of a different group of kids who I think fall through the cracks.
After years of teaching in public and private schools, Fish starts a new independent Christian school on the west side of Wichita near Central and I-235. At the time of our interview, Fish did not specify exactly where the interim campus will be located because the land transaction has not been finalized. Freedom Preparatory plans to open in August with a home school program, Christian education, co-educational classrooms and a four-day school week.
“Fridays are full of enrichment activities, not just more time in class, kids aren’t going to sit at desks all day. They will be allowed to move. They are going to be very active in their education,” Fish said. These Fridays include what some call “adult classes,” like balancing checkbooks, learning how to change a tire, learning how to change oil, and applying for loans.
This comes at a time when our country is facing a national teacher shortage. A recent Emporia State University survey, in which they asked about 20,000 students, found that about one in six teachers said they were “more” or “very likely” to leave school. public education. It also found that around one in seven teachers said they planned to retire in the next three years.
“They may be frustrated with the schools they’re in, and they want to see something different, they want the kids to love learning again, and that’s what I feel like we have. kind of lost over the years is that kids don’t like to learn,” Fish said, explaining how some teachers who taught in public and private institutions decided to join his new school.
“We just really said from the start that we wanted it to be an affordable option for families. To do this, our teachers accept pay cuts. It’s exactly what we do because we’re passionate about it,” added Fish.
The school has yet to announce tuition fees. However, on Sunday, April 24, 2022, principals plan to hold an inaugural school year briefing at Cross Road Church, located at 2319 S. Maize Road.