Located in Dallas, TX, Focus is a K-12 charter school that received its first charter in 1998 and started with an initial enrollment of 177 students in grades K-6. The current charter extends to 2023.
Focus ended fiscal 2016 with 1,089 students, up from
Leroy McClure | BioBAEO | Black Alliance for Educational Options
Leroy McClure is founder, chief executive officer and superintendent of FOCUS Learning Academies, based in Dallas, Texas.McClure is the first Black male in the United States to achieve certification as an academic language therapist.
He has used his experience and skills to design the FOCUS educational program and curriculum to serve all students, including those with special needs, and help them reach levels of recognized performance.
In 2003, FOCUS Learning Academy was profiled by the Texas Center for Educational Research (TCER) as an example of a high-performing Texas Open-Enrollment Charter School.McClure is a graduate of Mayville State University in North Dakota.
Fifteen percent of the U.S. population or one in seven Americans has some type of learning disability, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Difficulty with basic reading and language skills are the most common learning disabilities.
Research says that as many as 80% of students with learning disabilities have reading problems.
Learning disabilities oftentimes genetic related.
When Leroy McClure, Jr. learned that his younger brother was one of those seven Americans diagnosed with a learning disability, he organized a 501 (c) 3 non-profit named FOCUS Centre of Learning, Inc.
T his organization was established to provide services to children and adults with learning differences such as Dyslexia, ADHD, and those individuals who are "at-risk" of failure because they cannot read.
A learning difference cannot be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong issue.
With his untiring and unwavering spirit, McClure created a program to train teachers who would teach children with learning differences.
McClure started the FOCUS Teacher Training Program (FTTP) where more than 50 men and women have been trained to work with children who struggle to read.
McClure serves as a pioneer in the field for educating African-American children with learning differences.
McClure's efforts to serve those children who suffer with reading challenges led him to create a full-time school.
As the only African-American male Certified Academic Language Therapist in the country, McClure's passion to help individuals with learning differences became a reality when he wrote a proposal that was submitted to Texas Education Agency (TEA) to open a charter school called FOCUS Learning Academy.
On August 17, 1999, the Academy opened its door to 100 students.
Now the school has over 900 students.
As the CEO of FOCUS Learning Academy, McClure has managed a budget from $1.2 million to $10 million and from 21 employees to over 100 employees.McClure is an advocate and a leader who has positioned his organization to be one of the strongest specialized programs of learning in the state of Texas while addressing children that are at-risk.His school continues to show major growth academically and financially.
In addition, the high school, Triple A Academy, made sports history in the state of Texas in March 2013.
In its first year of participation in Texas' University Interscholastic League (UIL) sports program, Triple A Academy won the Boys Basketball 1A Conference state title and Girls Basketball 1A state semi-finalist.
In 2013, since the inception of FOCUS Learning Academy, Inc., he has raised more than $2 million to help meet the needs of the students served by FOCUS Academies.
His efforts in making a difference in education stretch far beyond the walls of FOCUS Learning Academy.
McClure has served on the board of directors for Black Alliance of Educational Options and a founding board member of the Association of Charter Educators.He is a noted speaker across the country on the topic of students that learn differently.
In 1996, Leroy McClure Jr. opened a private learning center in the affluent north Dallas suburbs to work with learning different children and to train teachers.
McClure used his private school experience and language therapy skills to create the FOCUS Teacher Training Program (FTTP) using the Orton Gillingham - based Alphabetic Phonics program.
More than 50 teachers were trained as Academic Language Therapist.
To date, six teachers have become Certified Academic Language Therapists.
OPENING OF A CHARTER SCHOOLFOCUS Learning AcademyMcClure had a vision and a passion to teach students with learning disabilities espe c
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