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Premier High School-North Little Rock, which is scheduled to open to ninth-through-12th-grade students in August, has announced its location and campus director.

Damon Teas will be the director of the high school, which is planned for what is now a warehouse at 2401 N. Poplar St. in North Little Rock.

The selected location for the independently operated, publicly funded open-enrollment charter school is in the shadow of North Little Rock High at 24th and Main streets. The charter school also will be within walking distance of the North Little Rock School District's administration building at 2700 N. Poplar St.

Parent information sessions and student enrollment opportunities for the charter school are scheduled for this month, said Billy Randolph, spokesman for the school's sponsoring organization, Responsive Education Solutions.

The parent sessions are set for 6-7 p.m. Tuesday and 6-7 p.m. May 20 at the Laman Library, 2801 Orange St.

Teas, the school's director, most recently worked in the Guy-Perkins School District as athletic director but also has been a coach, teacher and principal in the district for more than 10 years. He is a graduate of Mayflower High and holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Central Arkansas. Teas also has worked in the McRae and Two Rivers (Yell County) school districts and at the private Episcopal Collegiate School in Little Rock.

Premier High School-North Little Rock will be one of 38 Premier schools operated by Responsive Education Solutions of Texas. Thirty-six are in Texas and two in Arkansas. A high school opened on the Arkansas Baptist College campus in Little Rock in 2013.

The schools are designed to serve students from all walks of life, Randolph said, but are particularly for students who prefer a small high school environment or want flexibility in scheduling to accommodate the work and family demands that some students have in addition to the need to obtain a high school diploma.

Premier schools can help students who want to graduate early, who are behind in acquiring high school graduation credits or who are beyond the traditional high school ages.

Since 1999, about 14,000 students have graduated from Premier high schools, some of whom would not have otherwise completed high school, Randolph said.

Teas said the new campus could be a resource for students at traditional schools who have fallen behind their classmates in gaining credits toward graduation. He suggested that students could enroll at Premier and then return to their home high schools for graduation.

"We just want to be an asset," Teas said.

"We're not trying to take anybody's kids," he said about other high schools. "We are trying to help kids."

More information is available at the school's new website: https://premierhighschools.com/northlittlerock.

Teas can be reached at dteas@responsiveed.com and (501) 398-7341.

Students can also enroll in person at the Little Rock campus at 1621 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Responsive Education Solutions is leasing the North Little Rock space, which amounts to about 15,000 square feet, Randolph said.

North Little Rock School District Superintendent Bobby Acklin said Wednesday that he was aware of the plans for the independently operated charter school and that the charter school leaders had visited with him and the district's School Board.

"They are an educational institution, and we're willing to work with any education institution," Acklin said. "I'll say it like this: We have to do our thing. We have competition -- just like a business. You have got to do some things that cause parents to want to come to your school district. It is just the way it is."

Metro on 05/02/2019

Print Headline: Soon-to-open charter school in North Little Rock chooses site, leader

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