In 1983, three Midland families with special needs children began exploring possibilities for improving their children's education. They enlisted Kay Bynum, who worked successfully with one of the families. On January 16, 1984, the Developmental Disabilities Center opened with Kay Bynum as the director. The school was renamed Bynum School on July 17, 1992, by a duly executed certificate of Amendment issued by the State of Texas.
Bynum School was created to serve children who face challenges because of various diagnoses and disabilities. Most students reside in Midland or Odessa, with a combined population exceeding 300,000. From an enrollment of nine students, the school has grown to an enrollment of 117 children and adults. In 1997, Bynum School was accredited by Cognia (formerly the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) for kindergarten through the 12th grade. In 2009, the preschool program also was accredited. On January 1, 2013, Bynum School implemented Odyssey, an adult day program to serve adult clients.
Bynum School is the only private school in the Permian Basin that provides year-round educational and vocational programs for students, ages preschool through adult, who have disabilities.
Original Bynum School.
Original Bynum School Vocational Building.
Bynum School Today.
Because Bynum School accommodates all ages through Individual Program Plans (IPP), students have the opportunity to complete their education with continuity. Without Bynum School, many enrolled students would face separation from their families at young ages and placement in residential facilities outside the community.
Students are assigned to classes using factors such as age and ability. Classes include preschool, primary elementary, primary/intermediate functional life skills, intermediate elementary, junior high, high school, and vocational, including an adult day program. The student-to-teacher ratio averages 4:1. The low student-to-teacher ratio is based on effectively meeting the needs of students.
The IRS continues to grant tax-exempt status to Bynum School as a 501 (C) (3) charitable organization. Bynum School relies on charitable donations, proceeds from fundraising activities, and tuition for operating funds. Bynum School does not receive state or federal funds and, as such, is not subject to an array of state and federal regulations. Bynum School does, however, operate with a commitment to exemplary standards and best practices for serving children and adults with disabilities.
Current Bynum School Vocational Building.
From humble beginnings to today's picturesque campus on 65 acres, Bynum School's mission has remained true to its vision - with God's grace, Bynum School, staying committed to the ideals of dignity and respect, will provide personalized educational programs to meet the academic, behavioral, and vocational needs of individuals of all ages with special needs.