The International Leadership of Texas College Station campus is preparing for the start of its second school year with the addition of high school freshmen to its hallways.
The high school students enrolled at the free public charter school will be housed in two classrooms on the current ILTexas campus at 3610 Longmire Drive, which opened for the 2018-2019 school year.
Principal Heather McMahan said the school has added two high school teachers who teach two subjects each.
“We have one who is certified in high school social studies and English and has taught both. ... And then our biology and algebra teacher has taught both, is certified in both, getting his Ph.D. from A&M,” she said.
A sports interest form was sent to the ninth-graders to determine what sports the school will offer at the high school level. Middle school students have the option to compete in baseball, softball, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, cross country, track and field, flag football and volleyball.
McMahan said she was curious how it would work having pre-kindergarten through ninth-grade students on one campus, but said she has heard excitement from parents about the high schoolers staying on the main campus during the 2019-2020 school year.
McMahan said she expects just more than 1,400 students in the school across all grade levels, with about 400 students on the wait list through seventh grade.
To make sure the ninth-grade students could be contained to two classrooms, she said, the school had to cap enrollment for the grade at 45 to 50 students. The school also had to halt-eighth grade applications, also because of the school’s space limitation.
The limited space stems from an unexpected number of applications during the school’s first year, McMahan said, noting administrators did not anticipate the campus reaching capacity for several years.
During the summer, McMahan and other administrators were looking for space, such as churches and community centers, they could rent for the ninth-graders. That hunt will continue for next year when the campus will have a sophomore class.
Then, she said, the school will begin looking for a location for a high school campus.
ILTexas’ College Station campus will have its Meet the Teacher event Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The school year begins Thursday.
The campus WatchDOGs program will kick off Sept. 5, and the annual health fair is set for Sept. 7. This year’s health fair will include a 5K run along with community and health booths.
The feeling as the start of the second school year approaches is different than last year, McMahan said.
“When you plan and when you’re prepared, then when the surprises come, it’s a lot easier to roll with them,” she said. “Now we can say we’ve done that already; we know what to expect. We’ve been through a full year. That, I think, is the most exciting part for everybody.”