A team of local educators, including a former principal, plan to open a private school called Adinvita in September.
Co-founders are Linda Subia, former principal at Buddy West Elementary School, and Amanda Ramirez, currently a fifth-grade teacher at Buddy West.
A fundraiser for the school is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. June 12 at the Rose Building, 415 N. Grant Ave.
Subia said it’s a fundraiser to help with start-up costs and technology.
A Mexican dinner will be served and there will be music and a short presentation about the school, Subia said. General admission tickets are $50 and can be found online at twitter.com/hashtag/adinvita and on the website at adinvita.org.
Subia said there are sponsorship tables available, as well.
She said the event is open to anyone in the community.
The school is expected to open Sept. 4 and a location has been selected, but is not yet nailed down. The school will be for prekindergarten 3 and 4 year olds and fourth through seventh grades. About 145 students are expected the first year.
“We feel Odessa’s biggest need right now is the secondary. We can’t start big right way, so we’re going to go ahead and starting with the fourth grade, fifth, sixth (and) seventh. Then every year after that, we’ll open the next consecutive grade level which will be eighth grade and then kinder and then ninth grade and then first grade until we reach prek until 12,” Subia said.
Subia, who has been in education for 15 years, three as a principal, said she wanted to create a school that would mesh a new generation of students with real-world experience by having them solve problems in the community and make it a better place.
“Our education system right now is really not up to par. That’s really everywhere. You see everything changing, except for education. … We can say we’re being innovative with technology, the smart boards and we’re doing real-world learning but we’re really not. We have a new generation, we have teachers that are millennials now. They’re fresh out of school. We have a new generation of kids, but yet we’re still trying to teach them the way we learned,” Subia said.
Considered a millennial herself, Ramirez said that has been her experience.
“And so I’ve seen how I’ve learned in school, then I’ve become a teacher and the learning hasn’t changed. The generations have changed,” but the school system hasn’t, Ramirez said.
Ramirez said she loves the idea of working at Adinvita.
“It’s like the perfect situation for our students, because like I said, I’ve gone from being the student to being the teacher. You can see how education hasn’t changed any since I was in school, but the kids are craving hands-on. They’re craving real-world problem solving. They’re just craving engagement … I really believe that they will get the engagement that they need and purpose. The kids want purpose for what they’re doing,” Ramirez added.
Subia said she has been working on Adinvita for about a year and now was the perfect time to start the school with the economy picking up and Ector County Independent School District facing difficulties.
“In this city we have so many resources. We have our big university; we have our community college; we have our Midland International Air and Space Port … and we have the big oilfield. Our kids could do so much with that,” Subia said.
“If we can mesh the new generation with the community, then with this design process we can bring our city up to urbanization and make it a city where our kids want to stay,” Subia said.
The school will also offer ways for businesses and nonprofits to participate in economic development and charity. The community could also provide challenges for the students to tackle, in part so youngsters can see how what they’re learning applies outside the classroom.
Students also will learn soft skills and global skills such as ways of solving poverty and keeping the environment clean.
“We’re not asking for money. We just want partnerships,” Subia said. “Our investment is the learning piece. …”
By the time students graduate from high school, Subia said they will have ties to the community and have a good idea of what they want to pursue for a career.
“Our whole goal is to keep our kids here within our city to grow it,” Subia said.
Subia said Adinvita is working on acquiring a building for the school.
“Our kids are going to have access to the downtown area, to all the professionals. We have to have city transportation, so we’ll go in groups on the city bus,” Subia said.
They will also use the Ector County Library as a resource.
Plans are to have eight teachers in the first year. Three are lined up and the website is ready for teachers to apply and student applications are available, as well. Subia said the teachers will be certified and the school will be accredited by TAAPS, the Texas Alliance of Accredited Private Schools.
“We’re hoping later on to be a model for the public school system and for the charter schools,” Subia said.
She added that she wants everyone to work as a team and help each other out.
“We can go build as many schools as we want to, but it’s really what you put inside it and the leadership, the kids, the parents and the teachers. It’s all a mindset, so we’re hoping to start small and then partner with maybe ECISD (and) Compass Academy (Charter School) to where we’re all working together (and) we’re a real community,” Subia said.