When students entered Palencia Elementary School in St. Augustine, Fla., for the first time in late August, they stepped into a high-tech, futuristic school focused on environmental sustainability.
About 500 kindergarten through fifth-grade students crossed the xeriscaped campus of St. Johns County’s newest school, which will emphasize a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum.
“We want to make the building a teaching tool,” Principal Don Campbell said.…Read More
(Editor’s note: This article marks the debut of a new section in eSchool News, called Building Excellence, that will provide news and information to help school and district leaders as they plan, design, construct, and equip leading-edge facilities.)
Before a ribbon is sliced by comically oversized scissors, before a brick is laid or an architect is chosen, before voters approve funding for a sparkling new school building, there is only a plan.
The doors to a new school are thrown open by students, parents, and teachers many years after economic and population growth call for more classrooms in a city, town, or county. Researchers and planners use a district’s public relations apparatus to start talks with residents, myriad public forums are held, committees are formed, reports are issued, school boundaries are rearranged, architectural firms are interviewed, and finally, sometimes after five years, construction begins.…Read More
Schools and teachers stand to benefit from an ambitious, $450 billion plan to boost jobs and put cash in the pockets of dispirited Americans, as President Obama responded to an economy in peril by unveiling his larger-than-expected jobs plan before a joint session of Congress Sept. 8.
Obama said his new plan would put thousands of teachers in every state back to work, and repair and modernize tens of thousands of schools.
The president said it’s not fair to American students that, while places such as South Korea are adding teachers, in the U.S. they’re being laid off. “This has to stop,” he said.…Read More
A new public school building in Los Angeles that cost more than $500 million to build–at a time when the city has laid off more than 3,000 teachers and cut several academic programs–has raised eyebrows across the country, adding fuel to a national debate about how important one’s environment is to learning and how best to spend limited educational resources.
Next month’s opening of the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools will be auspicious for a reason other than its both storied and infamous history as the former Ambassador Hotel, where the Democratic presidential contender was assassinated in 1968. With an eye-popping price tag of $578 million, it will mark the inauguration of the nation’s most expensive public school ever.
The K-12 complex to house 4,200 students has drawn national attention as the creme de la creme of “Taj Mahal” schools, $100 million-plus campuses boasting both architectural panache and deluxe amenities.…Read More