Classes started last Wednesday.
For the students, the more obvious improvement was $35,000 in new playground equipment inside a fenced-in playground with new ground cover.
“This was a joint effort between the school and the church,” Headmistress Carol Reagan explains.
Reagan was hired last May as headmistress, replacing Claudia Nelson.
The teachers are more appreciative of $42,000 worth of new computers and smart white boards, donated by the Dan Hughes family.
The Promethean white boards, equipped with surround sound, are interactive. They function like a computer touch screen, except they are the size of a projector screen.
Teachers can use the board’s computer software to program their own graphic lessons for the classrooms.
Ten new Dell computers grace the school’s computer classroom. In addition, each teacher also has a personal computer.
“For the first time, our teachers now have access to email,” Reagan says.
Reagan says that most of the teaching staff are looking forward to the new equipment, but admitted a period of training will be necessary for those instructors who are not as computer literate.
The students also will be taking new curriculum, including a Saxon software math course for grades kindergarten through 6th, a new Lucy Calking writing course for grades K-2 and a teaching the quality of writing course for grades 3-6.
Other improvements include the resurfacing of the school’s tennis courts, which also can be used for badminton and volleyball.
The expansion is mirrored by the private school’s enrollment, up by 28 percent.
Three new teachers are on the school’s staff this year:
•Ernestina Gonzales, 1-2 multi-age.
•Adelfa Castaneda, 3-5 English/Language Arts.
•Katherine Parrish, day-care director and pre-school.
In addition, Jose Mendez has been hired as a cook.
Bill Clough is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or at beepic@mySouTex.com.