Laura Galindo. Ed. D., is the Founder and Executive Director of Schelastic Academy. She is a degreed and certified educator and administrator in the state of Texas. She has been in education for over 28 years and holds a BA in Social Psychology as well as a Master’s and Doctorate degree in Educational Administration. She has four beautiful children and a loving husband who, aside from God, always come first in her life. Education is her passion and she has always been an avid learner and educator. She founded Schelastic and built it to provide the diverse educational opportunities she wanted for her own children.
Here is her personal message to you:
Thanks for visiting my personal about page! I’m so happy I get to share the heart behind Schelastic Academy. I have four children of my own, and each one is so smart and so different, one being creative and another more analytic. Some would categorize them as right brain or left brain, and I also have a couple that is right in between! Because of this, Schelastic was created out of my longing to have a place where each one could feel adequate at every level of their learning. When we were in a traditional schooling environment, my creative child “hated” math and was completely discouraged when learning it. Learning math had to be a creative process so I had to be just as creative with her in order to walk her through the math that was required. It made me sad that she didn’t like math because that was my favorite subject. But, we made it, or rather she made it! I can’t say she “loves” math now, but she grew through the required Algebra and Algebra 2 as a problem solver. Still, I wanted to create a school environment that was flexible for all students. After all, if my daughter was struggling with her confidence level in math because she is more creatively inclined, then there had to be other students feeling just as defeated. This is why we created a school that is flexible (elastic);
School + Elastic (flexible environment) = Schelastic!
It is a schooling system fitted for the child and their learning process, not the other way around! I’m a product of traditional public schooling so I have nothing bad to say about its possibilities. But when you go to a traditional school setting, public or private, sometimes you’re put into a box you just don’t fit into, or I sometimes call it a cookie-cutter system, where every child has to go through the same type of classroom experience, and I felt like that was an injustice to our children.
I wanted to create an environment that was small and helpful and not overbearing or over-controlling, but peaceful and nurturing, like a greenhouse for students. I’ve heard that said at one time though I can’t remember where, it makes a lot of sense to me! It made a lot of sense to create a space where they could behave the way they are going to have to behave in a working environment. They have to find their intrinsic motivation, their independent learning type. They have to become creative problem-solvers and come up with solutions to all of the obstacles they’re going to face in life. Why not start now in the classroom where they become independent learners and manage their education within a nurturing greenhouse type of environment?
This is why Schelastic is a self-paced learning environment. This includes our in-person elementary and middle school self-paced online courses all the way through our in-person or self-paced online high school. It is a place where students can embrace who they are, whether they’re right-brained or left-brained. We work with students to accomplish their academic goals, but we also nurture them to step out of their comfort zones and grow daily in self-confidence. When my daughter was going through math, she felt embarrassed that she didn’t understand it all, she felt like she couldn’t ask questions. Sadly, she felt dumb, and that is not a good learning experience to progress in. She needed a place where she could make mistakes and do what we call here “failing-forward”, where it is okay to make mistakes. We are going to make mistakes for the rest of our lives! We just need an environment where we can learn how to handle getting up, brushing off, and moving forward, and that is an important part of overcoming obstacles and thriving in life.
I think that one of the biggest things that people tell me when they come here is, “Now we can learn in peace.” They have a sense of relief that there are no outside pressures to deal with and they can start focusing on accomplishing their goals and building themselves up. With smaller student/ teacher ratios and multi-level classrooms, students may even have the same grade level but are not always on the same learning path because of the individualized plans we have for each student. Students are taught to stop comparing themselves to others and instead compare themselves to who they were yesterday because we should all be on a journey of improvement, enjoying the learning process, and really embracing being a life-long learner; that is what we want to see in our students. Another important aspect of our system is that Schelastic is a Bible-based environment. The curriculum is not Biblically integrated, but our schooling environment strongly encourages students to follow a path of self-discovery through the Bible. We have chosen a strong curriculum nationally aligned with a student’s needs for future goals but that is flexible enough for modifications for student’s specific needs in all core and supplemental subjects as well as bible study options that give students control of what type of content they need to search out within the Bible. It is important to me to show students that in life there is going to be a lot of opportunity for failure and success, and we have to handle both appropriately.
Schelastic embraces students needing a non-traditional school system as if they were our own, and we focus on equipping them for the real world with all types of engaging, hands-on, programs such as creative problem-solving and financial education, entrepreneurship, college, trade school, or career path prep. We love to play with technology and learn new things by executing ideas that come straight from the students. This is one of our biggest pros with the students we teach. They love that we encourage hands-on learning and give them the opportunity to do projects when they have a little bit of test anxiety. Students can show us the knowledge they have acquired through lessons with special projects other than just taking a test. Why? Because we know that when they go out into the real world, they’re going to be asked to present solutions and ideas, and we want to make them ready for that. How many tests have you been asked to take at work? Most people answer none or maybe one. Through creative problem solving you build up more than test-taking skills so teaching with the intent to pass a test is just useless. We also know they’re going to need these skills in our ever-increasing world of entrepreneurship so we are sure to educate and prepare our students with creative options for the path that they want to go on and how to use business skills to not depend on working for others alone. We love it, it’s one of our favorite things. And my daughter, the one that didn’t like algebra, is now an entrepreneur and author, she has written two books. My son is also executing his ideas by helping here at the school with our video creation and editing. My husband is also an entrepreneur, so we are an entrepreneur family at this point. I still have two more children that need to graduate and I’m excited to see what God will do in their lives, but along the way, I really love seeing what God’s already doing in our students’ lives.
We pray over our students, we have devotional time, and we do some social-emotional learning on how to handle our everyday emotions. With the uprise of anxiety and depression in students I think that with just a little bit of guidance, students can handle the feelings of anxiety and depression that come over all of us at some point. With just a little boost of confidence, students can learn that they are not alone in these emotions and are in fact strong over-comers that can handle things that come across their path.
I also relate a lot, not just from the educational side of being an educator, but from the parental side of having four children in a private school. I’ve experienced having up to three children in a private school at once and I know the expense. As a matter of fact, I think the average price of private schooling in Arlington, Texas is $15,750 a year, ranging from $11,000-$26,000 a year for great traditional systems and university model systems.
Teachers in large schools can barely meet demand, which I know from experience. I also know that with so many students it is difficult to pinpoint every student’s emotional needs. But with Schelastic’s non-traditional, self-paced, multiple-option participation system, we wanted to offer a diverse investment point for all grade levels and pride ourselves on being lower than everybody around us in pricing. One of the things that we’ve tried to do is make Christian private schools just as flexible for parents as it is for students as well as accessible to anyone that may be a good fit for Schelastic. We have created an a la carte system where you can come take one class because you’re homeschooling and you need some one-class type support, you need to retake a course or want to advance or go to school part-time for health or family logistics reasons which is what some people call a hybrid, and then we have a full-time non-traditional private school option. Each of those has its own level of academics and it is important to me that everybody can afford private schooling because I know that some students really, really need that individualized attention and plan.
Aside from students/parents that agree a smaller learning environment for their academic goals is preferable, we have students come to Schelastic because of bullying in other schools. I was bullied as a young person, and I remember how hard it was to deal with the lack of confidence that came with it. If I had a place like Schelastic where I could bring it down to just a few people instead of hundreds of people around me, I believe my anxiety level would have lowered and it maybe would have allowed me the opportunity to really process my emotions in order to overcome them. As an adult, I realized that I still had hang-ups from those memories and had to discover how to heal from those unknown triggers. I don’t want children that come through my door to feel that way, if they’ve been bullied somewhere else, they find solace here, and they have a season of rest with fewer students that they can exercise collaboration and renewed friendships. Creating a nurturing environment that is not overwhelming, nor too small is very conducive to remediating any weaknesses or accelerating the learning process in order to graduate early. When parents/students come to Schelastic Academy and are trying to overcome a specific type of educational obstacle, I can’t help myself; my calling is to enable these parents to help their children/teens overcome those obstacles.
My students are everything to me and I truly treat them as if they’re my own while they attend our private school. Sometimes that includes a little bit of tough love, but most of the time it’s a nurturing process, helping them achieve their academic goals and sometimes healing on the inside. Students have attended Schelastic Academy for its self-paced program during difficult times. Some were overcoming deaths in the family or an illness within themselves or a family member. Rather than have them fail a course and even the whole year or allow them to move on without learning anything we give them the opportunity to take the time they need to process their classes and do their work at a slower pace where it’s no overwhelming. I have had students who were recuperating from bullying, some with special needs or circumstances and if they are a good fit, we work with all of them.
To summarize, I just wanted you to know why I do what I do and a little bit about how we do what we do. You are so welcome to come and visit us if you’re in Arlington, Texas, or the surrounding area. I’ve supported students from the surrounding areas here locally and throughout the state and even in other states depending on the laws for education in regard to homeschooling or schooling online.
It is my honor to assist a student through the process of self-paced learning. We are accepting students from 3rd – 12th grade. Call us for a free consultation and if we cannot help you we can point you in the right direction. During the consultation we can talk out the circumstances you’re in, or where you think you might need some support. We want to encourage you to take a really good look at what your needs are as a family. We are here to support our community and love you through the process.
I hope to meet you soon!
Laura Galindo, Ed.D.
“My wife and I we’re looking for someone to take a Hands-On Christian approach with our son’s education, and Laura did not disappoint. The strides he made on a personal level began soon after we switched to Schelastic Academy. We are forever grateful.”-B. Anderson
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