EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – High schools around the borderland are back in class and some students are learning in a non-traditional way at Premier High School.
Premier is a charter school with two campuses in El Paso. It allows some students who either dropped out or fell behind to catch up. For others, it gives them the chance to graduate early and get a head start on college.
Not everyone thrives in the traditional classroom setting. That’s why Premier High School let’s student work at their own pace. Allowing many to graduate early.
“I like that its a self-based school. Its’ basically on yourself, if you want to graduate early your going to graduate early,” said Franco Portillo a senior at Premier who is graduating a semester early.
Students who work and study at the same time are still able to stay on track. Yamile Elzalde, another Premier senior who graduating a semester early, is a prime example of students who study and work at the same time.
“They have the flexible schedule so if I have to go to work at 2 p.m., I leave at noon,” Elzalde said.
Parents say it allows students to be involved in more extracurricular activities and gives those who struggled or fell behind in traditional school the chance to recover their credits.
“She ran into some different issues in public school … they weren’t leading toward academic success,” said Angelina Gandara a parent of a Premier High School Student. “This really gave her the liberty to do her athletics and do her academics. And to my surprise she didn’t only catch up she’s surpassed the goals.”
The program doesn’t currently offer any sports but officials say they are working to create a basketball team within the next few years.
“Hopefully we can even have a little scrimmage against other high schools,” said Osvaldo Morales the Campus Director of the East Side Premier campus.
Premier High School is tuition-free and has campuses all around Texas. More than 15,000 students have graduated from the school over the past 20 years. Also, the school says it continues to grow every year.