August 2021



C hoosing a school is one of the biggest decisions you make for your child. A very reasonable fear many parents have is the transition a child makes from the gentle world of home to a large, busy schooling environment. Fortunately, we are blessed in Texarkana with wonderful options, making this transition easier. A smaller campus is a good option for some families because they are often more conducive to individual care while still achieving excellent academic outcomes. When a child has access to a smaller school environment, some find that in education, bigger is not always better! Small campuses can play a vital part in helping to ensure that no child slips through the cracks. The low student to teacher ratios mean teachers have extra time to invest in a child’s learning program in order to assure it is pitched at a more tailored and flexible level that remains challenging but also provides a feeling of safety and support. That is the sweet spot in education. That is where the magic happens. When a parent drops their child off in front of the school each day, they put their trust in its teachers and administrators, praying they will see and appreciate all the special attributes that make their child special. Students’ social, medical and emotional needs may be known more personally by the staff of a smaller campus and the quirky little characteristics that make

each child unique become genuinely appreciated as those relationships grow. Belonging to a smaller, more close-knit community is often important to building a child’s resilience and may add a protective layer against mental health issues and bullying. When kids have a feeling of belonging, they can truly exhale and relax, and get on to the business of learning and thriving. Fewer students mean fewer voices, allowing students more chances to speak up in class and express their opinions and beliefs—even the shy ones. One spectacular small-campus option in Texarkana is Red Lick Independent School District, home of the Mustangs. Their mission is to provide students with an enthusiastic and exceptional learning experience, to embrace the diversity of the students’ learning abilities, to inspire optimism in all students so they may realize their full potential, to be proactive in providing teachers with current technology and training, and to be relentless in the pursuit of these principles for the benefit of their students. With only 516 kindergarten through eighth grade students on two campuses, Red Lick is small in number, but the extraordinary staff and hardworking students dream big and push hard for excellence in their education. This excellence is proven when you look at some of their alumni. Connor Brooks, who is now a senior at Texas A&M College Station, started school at Red Lick when he was in kindergarten


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