Green Dot to Partner in Transformation of Beaumont’s M.L. King Middle School

MLK. Middle School

Photo courtesy of Beaumont Independent School District

Green Dot Public Schools was founded on the belief that every student deserves a high-quality public education in their own neighborhood. This led us to open our first independent public high school in 2000 and eight years later, challenged us to lead our first school turnaround effort at Locke High School. Today, we’re proud to announce that we are taking another step forward in transforming public education. Green Dot was invited to partner with the local school district in Beaumont, Texas to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for the students of Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, serving 675 students in Southeast Texas, beginning in fall 2021.

“We are pleased to partner with Green Dot as we work to improve Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School,” stated Dr. Shannon Allen, Superintendent Beaumont ISD. “We took the time to identify a high-quality partner who we felt would embody the goals and expectations that we have for our students. We feel confident they will work collaboratively with the district, our families, and the community to increase student achievement and therefore meet the needs of our students and families.”

Collaborative district partnerships are one of the many ways we hope to expand our impact as we celebrate 20 years of service in public education and look towards the next. “We are pleased to have ratified our partnership with Beaumont Independent School District and begin our work together to transform student achievement,” said Chad Soleo, CEO of Green Dot Public Schools. “We are very excited to join the Texas public education system and confident in the team leading this effort.”

We know that middle school represents a crucial time of socioemotional and academic growth amongst young people-- it’s one of the reasons we grew our high school academic model in 2010 to encompass middle school. To smoothen students’ transition from elementary to secondary education, our middle schools offer a high care, high structure, and high expectation approach to learning. This includes personalized instruction, academic and behavioral support, targeted professional development, and specialized programs to meet the unique developmental needs of middle school students.

Chris “Cliff” Claflin, formerly the Head of Schools of KIPP San Antonio Public Schools, is leading these efforts as Executive Director of Green Dot Texas. Claflin is working closely with our BISD partners and the King Middle School community to ensure that the transition is seamless and successful. “By maximizing what has been working with additional development, resources and support, we will ensure that each student is on the pathway to readiness for college, leadership, and life in accordance with our mission, as they head to high school,” said Claflin. Any opportunities we have as an organization to serve additional children tomorrow come as the result of the accomplishments at the schools where we serve our children today.

This past year has challenged us all. The pandemic laid bare socioeconomic disparities that were already too common, and the resounding call for racial justice that continues to sweep the nation shines a bright light on the depth of inequality in every community and institution. We are being challenged to do better, and our organizational response, consistent with our mission since the first days in August of 2000 when the doors of Ánimo Leadership Charter High School opened, is to do just that in collaboration with our communities.

As we look towards the 2021-2022 school year, we’re excited to embark on this journey to help fulfill the promise of public education. This partnership will improve outcomes, increase opportunities, and ensure that every student receives the education and support they need to realize their full potential and achieve their biggest dreams.