LAS VEGAS - A new charter school in an underserved area of the east part of the Las Vegas valley opened at the beginning of the school year and was already at capacity.
Futuro Academy is adding to the growing list of charter schools in southern Nevada. There are more than 40 charter schools in the valley.
Futuro Academy is located at the intersection of Lamb Boulevard and Washington Avenue.
For more than a year, 8 News NOW has been following the executive director's journey to get Futuro Academy up and running.
Executive Director Ignacio Prado's favorite part of the day is when he greets students as they arrive at the new charter school.
"The good thing I like and I see every morning is that he greets them with a 'good morning,'" said Sonia Villalobos, parent. "It's teaching them discipline you know."
8 News NOW first met Prado in May of 2016 when the charter school was all but a proposal in the works.
Then again months later, when he got the green light and found a location in a vacant grocery store.
After months of planning and remodeling, Futuro Academy opened it's doors starting off with 120 kindergartners and first graders and adding more grade levels as the students get older.
The school day runs from 8 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon and the days starts off with what is called a community meeting.
On this particular day, Prado tells the students that the core value of the day is optimism.
"Every morning we're trying to teach the students a certain classroom and school culture," he said.
The rigorous K-8 curriculum is focused on preparing students for high school and college providing a balance between a joyful environment and accountability.
"We place them in groups. We know they're getting instruction right at the level where they are challenged, but not frustrated or it's not too easy," Prado said.
While anyone can apply, Prado saw a void in the community where charter schools are far and few between.
"I taught just a few blocks from here a major part of the reason why I personally decided to go on the challenge and task of opening a school, is because of the experience I had here," Prado said.
"It's been, seriously a blessing," said Sonia Villalobos, parent.
About 90 students are on a wait list. The charter school is expected to double in size by next summer.
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