For the teachers and staff of the brand new Diane Patrick Elementary School, the race is on to get everything ready for the new school year.
“We have thousands of pieces of furniture, thousands of manipulatives – every square tile has to be accounted for,” said Matthew Brown, Principal of Patrick Elementary.
But as they move into their new classrooms and offices this week, they admit the first day of school can’t come soon enough.
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“I’m super excited about this year,” said Angela Peragine, a fourth grade teacher at Patrick Elementary. “It’s overwhelming just to think of everything that’s available to us. I’m super impressed.”
The school was built to relieve overcrowding at other nearby schools but it was designed with a greater purpose in mind.
“We’re going to be able to offer our students here opportunities that they don’t have at other schools,” said Lesley Cano, Librarian at Patrick Elementary.
It places heavy emphasis on the science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM fields.
The school has two STEM labs that students will get to use.
Each classroom is equipped with all kinds of high-tech gadgets, including smart boards and iPads.
The library will offer 3D printing and robotics opportunities for students.
There’s even a broadcast studio, where students will put together the morning announcements and other projects.
“There are just a lot of different avenues for kids to really enjoy and explore school and create things,” said Brown.
Another unique feature of the school is its pod layout.
Each grade level has designated spaces in the building with a common “Mission Lab” area connecting all their classrooms.
Brown says parents and students seem just as antsy as his staff to get the year started.
“I think they’re extremely excited,” said Brown. “We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback.”
There will be an open house and dedication ceremony at Patrick Elementary on August 22. Registration begins August 13.