We have formed an exploratory committee to determine the feasibility of establishing a classical charter school in Northeastern Oklahoma. Today we traveled to Bentonville, Arkansas to visit Northwest Arkansas Classical Academy (NWACA), a Barney Charter School Initiative affiliated school that was opened in 2013 by Texas-based ResponsiveEd. We selected NWACA because it was the closest BCSI school, but also considered visiting Founders Classical Academy of Lewisville which was among the very first BCSI-affiliated schools in the country. There are numerous Founders Classical Academy locations throughout Texas but we felt like a leisurely day trip to Bentonville was more doable.
After brunch at the Buttered Biscuit, we met with NWACA Headmaster, Mrs. Susan Provenza, toured the NWACA campus, observed several classes, and asked many questions along the way. Quite by accident, today was NWACA’s lottery day and we were impressed to learn that they had over 600 students vying for seats for next year. Running the numbers on the way home, we estimated that if scaled up to Tulsa’s larger size there are 3,200 potential students in Tulsa.
We were energized by the visit, but also a bit overwhelmed by the size of the task ahead should we elect to proceed. We will be meeting next week to assess the committee’s appetite for moving forward and charting a course if we elect to do so.