Victory Place @ Coppell cultivating tailored educational experiences


Nandini Paidesetty

Victory Place @ Coppell student Caiden Norris works on his online Math course on Aug. 31 at Victory Place. Victory Place focuses on giving their students an opportunity to identify their needs and offer an expedited graduation path.

Shrayes Gunna, Staff Writer

Nestled between Denton Creek and N. Denton Tap Road is a quaint beige extension of Coppell High School: Victory Place @ Coppell. Though the school is an offshoot of the main campus, Victory Place takes a less traditional approach to learning through the Turning Point Program.

At Victory Place, an education is far more individualized. According to Victory Place counselor LaQueena Garcia, there is little to no anxiety to raise your hand and ask a question, no reason to feel ashamed for having trouble on the homework and there’s no feeling stuck to a year’s worth of coursework in a subject you despise. 

And it is this very idea, of having a tailored education, that renders Victory Place as innovative. 

Victory Place @ Coppell educator Britany Gable goes over Diego Settle’s English progress on Aug. 31 at Victory Place. Victory Place focuses on giving their students an opportunity to identify their needs and offer an expedited graduation path. (Nandini Paidesetty)

Turning Point is an experience that gets rid of a lot of the ordinary stressors of a high school experience. Instead of stressing about grades or what people think, there is an interconnected group of faculty and students that listen to each other. 

“Over the years, I’ve developed the ability to really get to know kids, to listen to their stories without judgment, to be there for them at times when needed, to sit down and talk and to figure [out] what are their needs and strengths and how as a school system we can really support that,” Victory Place Principal Cindi Osborne said. “In a large campus, it can be difficult to get to truly know any of the kids, but the size at Victory Place allows us to know every student by their name,  craft a graduation plan for them and enable them to go on and reach their life goals.”

Osborne began at Victory Place a year prior to the pandemic after working as assistant principal at Coppell High School. The faculty, small environment and close-knit culture lends itself to a difference between it and the main campus. 

“The staff here [is] incredible,” Osborne said. “It’s all about the relationships, and they work really hard in building those relationships not only with students, but even with each other. Our students, too, have an opportunity to get to know each other as we do a lot of activities as a collective.”

At Victory Place, it is evident that there is only one social circle, and everyone is welcome to be a part of it, separating it from the cliquey, competitive nature of larger schools. Furthermore, the smaller and everchanging class size allows staff to facilitate growth beyond a traditional education as a part of the Turning Point program. These activities, whether it be a guest speaker or resumé-building workshop, propel students in learning skills applicable in pathways beyond high school, no matter what it looks like. 

“I get to connect with students, to get to know what their needs are and how to support them from where they are,” Garcia said. “I normally do an ‘exit plan’ with students to understand what they want to do, where they want to go post high school. Through that, we figure out who to contact to get them into said field. We also reach out to recruiters from various trade schools and the military to recognize what the student may be interested in.” 

Victory Place student DeAna Hester takes notes on her online lecture on Wednesday at Victory Place @ Coppell. Victory Place is a school that focuses on giving their students an opportunity to pave their own path, a way to quickly complete courses and to help with behavioral issues. (Nandini Paidesetty)

Planning for the future is a key tenet in the Turning Point program, the staff prepares students for every step of the way. By offering standardized testing aid and college-search mentors, students are able to lead their own way without the whims and fears of an unfamiliar process. Additionally, because students are able to take two years of course work in the span of one, they are able to earn their diploma and move—with necessary help provided by the school— into the space they desire as fast as they desire. 

Moving through course work so quickly, however, does come with challenges. 

“The accelerated program can be overwhelming, of course,” Garcia said. “But some students have a subject area in which they struggle and in which they enjoy, so they are able to move through the challenging ones quickly. Our teachers here teach multiple subject areas and help students no matter what level of difficulty.”

Former Victory Place student Klara Minton, who graduated in March, recognizes the major role teachers play in guiding students through a bounty of course work.

“The most challenging part of working through so many courses at once was in the first levels of math as at first I felt behind everyone else,” Minton said. “But the teachers really did help me catch up and stay caught up. We have a really nice relationship with teachers because they’re always listening and there when you need help.”

Victory Place @ Coppell student Melanie Arce works on her online coursework on Aug. 31 at Victory Place. Victory Place focuses on giving their students an opportunity to identify their needs and offer an expedited graduation path. (Nandini Paidesetty)

The multiple aspects of the Turning Point program are united in the common theme that they prepare students for the real world, and it doesn’t just stop at education. At Victory Place, students arrive each morning with a dress code: uniform tops and athletic shoes, professional dress on Wednesday. The dress code is aimed at preparing students for professional spaces, and ensuring that they recognize the standards maintained in the workplace. While it may feel restrictive from the surface, it actually alleviates a barrier for students, allowing them to spend more time and energy on the learning process. Victory Place also offers a variety of other outlets for self expression such as genius hour, formulating relationships and telling their stories.

Tucked away in the one-story brick building on Denton Tap is an innovative space named a Great Expectations Model School, for seven years and counting due to its dedication to helping students grow to high standards and preparing them for the future. And that space, Victory Place, is founded on creating deep connections, something often missed in the traditional high school.

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