Bynum School's Exemplary History
In 1983, three Midland families who had children with special needs began exploring possibilities for improving their children's education. They enlisted Kay Bynum who was working 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 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 either Midland or Odessa which have a combined population exceeding 300,000. From an enrollment of nine students, the school has grown to an enrollment of more than 80 children and adults. In 1997, Bynum School was accredited by 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 an Adult Day Program to serve adult clients. Bynum School maintained accreditation from SACS in 2014 and 2019.
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. 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 of the students who are enrolled 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 upon 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.
In 2014 Bynum School obtained title to 61 acres donated by XTO to build a new school facility. This generous gift enabled Bynum School to initiate a successful capital campaign. The capital campaign totaled $20,000,000 and allocated $13,500,000 for facilities with the remainder allocated to fund an endowment with the purpose of supporting sustainability. The new Bynum School offers 33,000 square feet of facilities that include classrooms, activity center, and special purpose rooms designated for music therapy, speech therapy, art therapy, media lab, sensory room, and state-of-the-art technology.