LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — What does a school do when parents are too busy or simply can't help their kids with homework?
That is one of the barriers teachers are working to overcome at Futuro Academy.
"Where there is a challenge, there is always an opportunity and solution," Ignacio Prado, Executive Director of Futuro Academy said.
Prado is the lead founder of the charter school at the corner of Lamb Boulevard and Washington Avenue. He said he started the school because he saw parents on the east side of Las Vegas demanding more from schools.
"Realizing the demand is there on the East side of Las Vegas for families that are hungry for an option for education that will open doors," Prado said.
The school is designed to eventually serve kindergarten through 8th grade but is slowly building to the goal.
Starting last year with kindergarten and first grade, adding second grade this year is allowing Prado and the teachers to instill the culture of excellence early.
"Every student that walks through our doors will get pushed," Prado said.
While the school is still growing, teachers say they are enjoying how involved everyone is in the education process.
"Every parent-teacher conference I've had, every family event we've had it has had maximum participation," Sylvia Espinoza said.
That kind of involvement takes effort on the teachers part, especially because Futuro Academy is in an area with a large population of English language learners.
"Certainly on the East side one thing is having, for example, bilingual people who can do community events, take questions, bilingual social media," Prado said. "Okay, we have a language barrier. Maybe the parent will not be able to practice reading English with them at home because they don't speak that language. The school just has to design a structure that promotes the same thing.
That's something the extended school day helps with. As teachers like Espinoza look for innovative ways to push the students, then share the ideas with the biggest impact.
"Things that I work on in the classroom, I automatically get to share it with the person next door," Espinoza said.
As teachers are setting expectations for what each student can do at the end of the year, the school is helping parents measure progress in a more tactile way.
This as the walls of the school are filled with writing prompts for each student from the beginning of the school year, mid-year and eventually just before graduation.
Prado says that helps parents see where their efforts at home are leading to results in the classroom, leading to more learning all around.
"Part of that is their families beginning to understand how educational systems work," Prado said.
While all of the students are at least a decade away from college at this point, the teachers are introducing the idea in the kindergarten classrooms along with working on one of the biggest building blocks to student success.
"My kids need to learn how to be confident and how to be independent especially when they are this young," Espinoza said.
While the school will eventually serve K-8, it only offers up to 2nd grade at this point. Futuro Academy will add 3rd Grade classes next year.
Parents interested can fill out applications year round.