At its early college high school programs, New Frontiers Public Schools offers students the opportunity to attend high school and begin their college journey at the same time. New Frontiers will begin accepting applications for enrollment for the 2022–23 school year on November 1, 2021, and open enrollment will continue through January 31, 2022. We have put together a guide to help you learn more about early college high school programs at New Frontiers Public Schools and take steps to enroll your student for the next school year.
About New Frontiers Public Schools
Founded in 1998, New Frontiers Public Schools is one of the longest-established public charter school networks in San Antonio. Known primarily for their success in early college programs, the district has refocused its mission to expand the early college experience in grades 6–12.
In partnership with Palo Alto College (part of the Alamo Colleges District), New Frontiers operates Frank L. Madla Early College High School (FLMECHS), an A-rated early college high school program. In 2018, the first graduating class of FLMECHS students crossed the stage, having earned not only their high school diplomas but their associate’s degree. Frank L. Madla, Jr. was an educator and state legislator who advocated for education and for economic development on the Southside of San Antonio.
Early college high schools are innovative schools that provide an opportunity for students to earn a distinguished high school diploma and an associate degree. The schools provide college tuition at no cost to students, and offer rigorous instruction and accelerated high school courses. They also provide academic and social support services to help students succeed, increase college readiness, and reduce barriers to college access.
A new partnership with San Antonio College will allow New Frontiers to open the Imelda Davis Early College High School (IDECHS) in August 2022. The new school will offer education pathways in three career fields: nursing, information technology, and education. Imelda Davis was a beloved community leader who touched many lives through her work at the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce.
At IDECHS, students will have real, hands-on experiences to supplement their coursework. School leaders will seek internships with private sector IT partners to allow students to gain professional experience. Education-tracked students will gain critical classroom experience as New Frontiers Public Schools will explore the use of district campuses as laboratory schools. They are also exploring a non-traditional school day schedule.
Additionally, New Frontiers Public Schools will open the Greg Garcia Early College Prep in August 2022 in a brand new facility near Palo Alto College. The middle school will be a true feeder campus for families interested in pursuing an early college high school experience. The school will open by serving grades 6–8. The campus model aims to provide an environment where scholars gain the necessary skills and experiences that will lay the foundation for their success in early college. Greg Garcia is an alumnus and former staff member of the Texas A&M University System.
To learn more about New Frontiers Public Schools in the news, we recommend that you click on the articles listed at the bottom of this post. Also, we invite you to join the San Antonio Charter Moms discussion group on Facebook and ask questions; the group includes current New Frontiers families who can comment with answers based on their own experiences.
Early College High School at New Frontiers
In 2022–23, New Frontiers will operate two early college high school programs, as well as a middle school. In 2019, the most recent available, New Frontiers earned a B on its district report card; school report cards are linked below.
- Greg Garcia Early College Prep: location TBA, will be near Palo Alto College (map); grades 6–8; no school report card data
- Frank L. Madla Early College High School: 1400 Villaret Blvd., San Antonio, TX 78224 (map); 210-486-3686; grades 9–12; school report card—rated A in 2019
- Imelda Davis Early College High School: location TBA, will be at San Antonio College (map); grade 9 in 2022–23, expanding to 9–12; no school report card data
Download the free San Antonio Charter Schools app for an interactive map that includes these campuses and many more. You can also find information about New Frontiers Public Schools (and other networks) on our page Guide to Charter Schools in San Antonio.
Enrollment at New Frontiers
The open enrollment period for New Frontiers Public Schools will begin on November 1, 2021 and will continue through January 31, 2022. Students who will be in 9th or 10th grade in the 2022–23 school year can apply for enrollment at Frank L. Madla Early College High School. The Imelda Davis Early College High School will be enrolling students for 9th grade for the 2022–23 school year, and Greg Garcia Early College Prep will be enrolling students for grades 6–8 for the 2022–23 school year.
There will be an online application for enrollment in an early college high school program at New Frontiers.
We recommend following these social media accounts related to New Frontiers and their community college partners:
- Alamo Colleges District on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn
- Palo Alto College on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn
- San Antonio College on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn
- New Frontiers Public Schools on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn
- Frank L. Madla Early College High School on Facebook and Twitter
In addition, please join the San Antonio Charter Moms discussion group on Facebook to post questions and search for previous discussions about New Frontiers Public Schools, Frank L. Madla Early College High School, Palo Alto College, San Antonio College, and the Alamo Colleges District.
Facts About New Frontiers Public Schools and Alamo Colleges District
At Frank L. Madla Early College High School, a key element in helping students succeed is providing college advising that helps them assess their current status, set ambitious goals, and make a realistic plan to get there. They also believe in commemorating and celebrating the steps along the way—the Madla Milestones.
- The first step is the pinning ceremony. To symbolize the beginning of students and families commitment to FLMECHS, a pin is awarded to each scholar that symbolizes the three part agreement between the school, the student, and their parents.
- The next milestone is college readiness—students begin college courses, usually in the 9th grade. Students receive a journal to encourage them to begin writing their story as they begin their college journey while in high school.
- Once students have earned 15 college hours— the amount of college hours that a traditional college student earns during their first semester—they are awarded a varsity letter. It’s significant for students to earn this status while still in high school.
- Mi Exito, Su Orgullo: At the annual senior dinner, each student gives a serape stole to a parent or any adult who has played an integral role in their success.
- At graduation, the entire New Frontiers Public Schools community gathers in celebration of the end of the students’ high school experience at FLMECHS, and transition to the next phase of their academic life.
The culture at FLMECHS recognizes that students need lots of friends and allies, including peers, counselors, teachers, and professors, to make the journey through high school and college. During the early months of the pandemic, when campuses were closed and students participated in distance learning, advisors at FLMECHS encouraged every student to build a friend tree. Like a family tree, a friend tree is a chart showing interconnected friendships and circles of support. When students were physically separated, the friend tree reminded them that they were not alone, and encouraged them to connect with each other virtually.
Palo Alto College, part of the Alamo Colleges District, is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, is the 2019 Rising Star winner of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. With over 11,000 students, Palo Alto College is accredited to offer associate degrees and short-term certificates. The college is located on the Southside of San Antonio at 1400 W. Villaret Blvd. at I-410 and Texas Hwy 16.
San Antonio College is the 2021 winner of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, making it the number one community college in the nation. It is part of the Alamo Colleges District and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It provides high quality general education, liberal arts and sciences, career path education, continuing education and developmental education. One of the largest single-campus community colleges in the state and nation, SAC enrolls approximately 20,000 students each semester and awards more than 5,000 degrees and certificates each year. The college is located just north of downtown San Antonio in the Tobin Hill area, bounded roughly by San Pedro Ave., Cypress St., Main Ave., and Ashby Pl.
New Frontiers Public Schools is building on its success in early college high school programs by expanding its partnerships with community colleges in the Alamo Colleges District. These programs provide advice and mentorship to high school students, and give them access to college coursework so they can make faster progress towards their career goals.
Charter Moms Chats
Watch Robert Vela, Ed.D., President, San Antonio College, and Alfredo Segura, Jr., CEO, New Frontiers Public Schools, speak with Inga Cotton on Charter Moms Chats on October 14, 2021 at 4:00 PM Central live on Facebook and YouTube.
Robert Vela, Ed.D., currently serves as the 12th President of San Antonio College in San Antonio, Texas. One of the largest single-campus community colleges in Texas, and one of the biggest in the nation, San Antonio College is the flagship institution in the Alamo Colleges District, which is made up of five distinct colleges. Vela assumed the role of President in August 2014, after serving as the Dean of Student Affairs, Vice President of Student Affairs, and Vice President for Student and Academic Success for nearly six years. During that time, he also served as the Interim District Director for the Alamo Colleges District Center for Student Information in 2010.
Alfredo Segura, Jr., is the CEO of New Frontiers Public Schools. The eldest son of migrant workers who spoke mostly Spanish, Mr. Segura recognizes the importance of education as the foundation for achieving the American dream. He brings the first-generation perspective to policy and legislative discussions across Texas. Mr. Segura was previously the Director of Compliance and Operations for Texas for Charter Schools USA where he maintained compliance, managed the facilities and provided operational guidance for seven charter schools throughout Texas. He was also a Behavior Intervention Specialist with Advantage Schools where he worked with students, teachers, and parents to improve individual student behavior and overall campus conduct policies. Mr. Segura currently serves as Board Secretary to the Texas Public Charter Schools Association (TPCSA). He is a former board member of the Educational Service Center, Region 20, the Texas Charter School Academic and Athletic League, and the Association of Charter Educators.
Read More About Early College and New Frontiers
- “San Antonio College launches early college high school focused on city’s workforce needs,” News 4 San Antonio, August 12, 2021
- “SAC Partners with New Frontiers Public Schools for New Early College High School,” Alamo Colleges District, August 12, 2021
- “Frank L. Madla Early College High School Graduates Prepare for Graduation,” Live from the Southside, May 25, 2021
- “‘A win for the good guys’: San Antonio College lauded as best community college in US,” Brooke Crum, San Antonio Report, May 18, 2021
- “Exploring the Paths to Success in High School and Beyond,” Melissa Rayworth, San Antonio Charter Moms, April 8, 2021
- “Friend Tree: Draw Strength from Your Community,” Jeff Flores & Khalid Zakaria, San Antonio Charter Moms, July 14, 2021
- “Discussing College and Career,” Lisa Cunningham, San Antonio Charter Moms, June 30, 2020
- “San Antonio’s Palo Alto College ranked among nation’s top community colleges,” Alia Malik, San Antonio Express-News, April 2, 2019
- “First Class From Early College HS Program Set To Graduate,” Camille Phillips, Texas Public Radio, May 18, 2018
- “Information Sessions for Early College High School at New Frontiers Charter School,” San Antonio Charter Moms, January 31, 2014