( ENSPIRE She Did That ) Under Guidance of Cynthia Trigg, Evolution Academy Charter School Innovates to Allow Students to Excel
ENSPIRE Contributor: Keegan Kerns
It’s no secret that American public schools have a problem with losing students, and this can be seen particularly clearly with Texas, where over one-fifth of all students fail to graduate high school as of 2018. Though this is a slight decrease from the year before, it shows the signs of a system desperately in need of change, and Evolution Academy Charter School seeks to be that agent of change.
Originally founded in 2002, Evolution Academy offers one-on-one attention with a mix of traditional and computer-based instruction, which has obviously become incredibly essential to teaching with the recent pandemic. In addition, the school, which has three campuses, offers flexible school day schedules, where students can enroll in four-hour morning or afternoon sessions, again helping to cultivate a unique and innovative approach to educating youth. This is essential as the school serves as a dropout recovery center for at-risk youth grades 9th through 12th so that Evolution Academy has managed to innovate to fit its students’ needs and graduate over 3000 students to date is incredibly important and impressive.
While just the number of students that Evolution Academy has helped graduate is already impressive, the school opens up many more doors for its students, as explained concisely by its slogan, “A High School With a Higher Calling.” First of all, Evolution Academy has opened itself up to students across the state of Texas with three campuses in Richardson, Beaumont, and Houston, with additional online programs being available anywhere. Importantly, however, Evolution Academy doesn’t just try to pump up numbers to look successful but truly tries to prepare its students for the next steps in life to maximize each student’s success.
The extensive facilities located across the different campuses exemplified this. At the main campus in Richardson alone, there is a science lab, fitness center, wellness program, piano lab, culinary arts program, a full-service cafeteria that can be essential for students dealing with poverty, and a state-of-the-art music studio where students can write and produce music. Something truly encouraged students to be themselves and pursue the things they enjoy so that they can excel. What is also essential is that Evolution Academy offers multiple careers and technical education courses that can prepare students for certificates in professional fields, allowing students to graduate from high school and then have professional opportunities right at their fingertips. These connections across industries and dedication to their students’ futures make Evolution Academy so successful; whatever the path is that the student wants to take, Evolution Academy is there to help make that goal more of a reality.
Cynthia A. Trigg, the CEO, and founder of Evolution Academy have aided the initiative. With a long and respected career as an educator, Ms. Trigg understands what is essential to maximizing students’ success and creating a positive school environment for a broad array of students. With Evolution Academy, where 95 percent of students have come from backgrounds where they were at risk of dropping out of school, this means running both a tight ship that gets students to graduate, yet allows the spectacular staff of the Academy to approach teaching with their own unique style and encourages the students themselves to flourish in their own special way. This balance is hard to keep, but it’s clear with the significantly decreased drop-out rate at Evolution Academy that Ms. Trigg is making a difference in many people’s lives.
Overall, the work of Evolution Academy and Cynthia Trigg is phenomenal. Though it receives certain special funding, more and more schools should look at the many innovative techniques to increase graduation rates across the nation. Whether it’s formatted such as flexible day schedules, online learning, or even simple and essential items such as bus passes provided by the school, so students don’t have to worry about transportation, there are so many small lessons and takeaways that other schools can use in their own pursuit of better graduation rates. Even tying in with larger community programs or other institutions, such as community colleges or trade schools, can be a great way to reward students for graduating while preparing them for long-term careers. It’s fantastic to see one school constantly pursue solutions to the symptoms associated with dropping out, and hopefully, it can extend to more and more schools nationwide.
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