Opportunity School is proud to be one of the only nationally-accredited preschools in the Texas Panhandle through the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Our mission is to serve our community, primarily low-income families, with a two generational approach for high quality early childhood education along with caring family support. We are a full-day, year-round program that operates from Monday through Friday from 7:30 am - 5:45 pm.
We help meet the needs of children and families at our two Amarillo campuses through a combination of high-quality, early childhood education and caring family support. We are focused on providing the very best all-around care for children in our community, especially those living in poverty.
Daily homemade breakfast and lunch with an afternoon snack are provided at both the Central Campus and Edwards Campus, lovingly prepared by our food service team. We are part of the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program in partnership with the Texas Department of Agriculture. Fresh, homemade food is prepared for all ages to meet the nutritional needs of our young students.
In order to ensure our students are ready for kindergarten, we provided extra support to our teachers and families through our Early Intervention Program. We make referrals for a variety of services that young children may need but also keep our class sizes small and excellent teacher:child ratios to make sure all children develop a strong foundation for learning.
Fees vary depending on the age of the child and each family's income level. Scholarships may be available depending on funding.
NATIONAL ACCREDITATION AND QUALITY
Opportunity School's Central Campus became one of the first early childhood centers in the country to receive accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in 1986, and it is one of the only early learning centers with this accreditation in the Texas Panhandle today. Our goal is to also pursue NAEYC accreditation for our Edwards Campus soon. Both of Opportunity School’s campuses are 4-Star providers with the Texas Rising Star program, which is the quality rating system for childcare through the state.
One of Opportunity School’s greatest strengths is the way we collaborate with community partners who come together to serve children and their families. Opportunity School is one of the few programs with both Head Start and Early Head Start under one roof in partnering with the Region 16 Education Service Center. We are a long-time participant in the Texas School Ready Project maintained at Amarillo College. We are a member of the Operation First Five, a community-wide collaboration to help address issues affecting young children and families in our community. We work closely with the Operation First Five coalition of agencies aimed at improving the health, safety, and learning environments for young children in our community. We partner with WTAMU's Education Department for research and student observations. As well as the Communications Disorders Department for Speech & Language Therapy. We've added Downtown Women's Center (DWC) to our list of collaborations with two infant and toddler classrooms located within the Gratitude House apartment complex for women and their children in the DWC program. We partner with the High Plains Food Bank in providing emergency food needs and with The Garden for nutrition and gardening lessons. We have partnered with a number of therapy agencies as well as the Turn Center, in working with children with special needs, who would otherwise slip through the cracks. We partner with First Presbyterian Church, which generously provides space in their building for high-quality early education for the children in our community who need it the most.
ADVOCATING FOR FAMILIES
Opportunity School has a team of family advocates who assist families in the enrollment process, assist with family resources when a need arises and assists families in setting goals and getting the most out of their experience at Opportunity School. Opportunity School has a unique two-generational approach which includes the learning in the classrooms to provide a great foundation to the child's education, while coming alongside families to support and assist them. Most of our families are single-parent household who are at greatest risk at remaining in poverty.
NO EXCUSES UNIVERSITY
In keeping with our philosophy to help children become lifelong learners, we have been designated a No Excuses University preschool. We know that education is the pathway out of poverty so we are taking our two-generational approach to the next level. We are the first early learning center in the country outside of a public school system to become part of a nationwide NEU network. This is a group of like-minded schools focused on equipping all children with the knowledge and skills they need for college if that’s the path they choose to pursue. We are planting the seed of college in the hearts and minds of our young students. We are also encouraging parents to consider advancing their education either through GEDs, enrolling in college, or pursuing a certification. 2023 Update: Even thought our local school district is no longer following the No Excuses approach, we feel strongly in the vision of helping EVERY child be successful.