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October
2016
20
Huffman ISD progresses with plans for new elementary school

Huffman ISD progresses with plans for new elementary school

Huffman ISD board members approved the purchase of 24 acres of land at the corner of FM 2100 and Wolf Road for the school during a special board meeting Oct. 17.

Board members, teachers, parents and members of the community have had input into the school concept.

"It is a beautiful, wooded parcel of land that we're excited to bring an elementary campus that is focused on student engagement," said Huffman ISD superintendent Benny Soileau. "One of the keywords is the flexibility with the building; we want to build something we can grow into especially with the impending growth. It's fun for me to sit back and listen to the teachers who are doing the work in the classrooms and are so well versed in seeing these buildings and what it is they want that is the best for our kids."

Construction bids will go out in May; completion of the school is scheduled for August 2018.

Huffman ISD is working with the architectural company, Huckabee, to develop the plans and schematic drawings of the school. Huckabee's Director of Learning & Strategic Development, Kerri Ranney, recently took board members and a group of teachers on tours of schools across the state to learn more about floor plans and different designs to incorporate at the new school to encourage student engagement.

"The conversation that came out of the school tours was one focused on student engagement, fluid movement through the school and space and not confining them to a specific space, student-directed learning which is a shift of who is in the driver's seat in the learning model, which is the student, and what is the right fit for the students," Ranney said. "Our method of having linear conversations of what is the right fit for students is an exercise called Battleship. This is where I wanted to make sure we are focused on really understanding what it is you're wanting to accomplish, the very direct relationship between what you want to attain with your building and the spaces we provide in that building to make sure the building doesn't fight what you're trying to accomplish."

Battleship is focused on active learning environments that are student driven; abundant use of technology with more infrastructure to support the use of handheld devices and mobile technology devices; building teams of teachers to support groups of students to escalate the opportunities for them; and to build connections with other teachers and provide further opportunities for students.

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