I was a special ed teacher for 25 years, the last 17 in the Fort Worth area. The hardest thing as a teacher was watching the fear of parents as their child aged out of the public education system (at age 21.) Many parents were forced to quit their jobs to take care of their child. Heather has been a part of my life since the age 14, all she ever would say is it was her dream to be a teacher like myself. I would pacify her by saying we would open our own skool someday. In 2013, with the help of mine and my parent's retirement, I bought an old historical building, once the transmitter station for WBAP and WFAA. It took us two years to renovate the building and bring it up to code. We opened in September 2015 with 3 students, I refer to our population as students. Clients is how most refer, but that sounds so clinical and cold.
At present we are serving 53 students from a wide range of Tarrant County. We have students that travel from Azle, Crowley, East Ft. Worth, and many from the Saginaw and Northwest area. We currently have contracts with Ft. Worth, Castleberry, and Aledo ISD, they bus students to us as part of their transition into life after high school. We receive no federal or state funding. Our students are paid for by an agency, school district, or private pay. MHMR of Tarrant County, which stands for Mental Health Mental Retardation, funds our largest percentage and that pay is $20.87 for 5 hours (or $4.17 per hour) ‚Ä¶ so we charge those that are not with an agency, a mere $5 an hour. There is no guarantee that there will always be funding for this population, but we do know are students are here to grow old with us. Therefore, we depend greatly on donations and fund raisers. Currently we have 3 paid part time staff and two full time. 60 percentage of our income goes to payroll. I, myself, am full time but we are not able to pay a salary to me currently.
Our skool is like no other environment for these adults. Most places are sterile and institutional like‚Ä¶ where ours is a home and family setting. It is very important to me and my staff that our students are out in the community making contributions.
Funds to help keep the doors open
Funds for activities for clients
Funds for new roof for our old building