College Station ISD starts school year with new technology, renovations

Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 4:00 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - College Station ISD welcomed 14,600 students Wednesday for the first day of the 2022-2023 school year. The count has increased by about 400 from last year, according to the district’s superintendent Mike Martindale. He said these students will occupy 20 different schools across the district.

Martindale said a lot of excitement and energy for the new school year was built at the district’s convocation last Friday where all 2,000 district employees attended. During that time, teachers and administration had already been well-underway with planning for the year. Martindale said teachers and administration also participated in staff development to prepare.

“We’re always working to improve,” Martindale said. “As soon as we end one school year, we start working to prepare for the next school year.”

Increased safety measures were also in place for this school year. Some of those measures include the addition of two school resource deputies to add to the seven already in place and the school board’s approval of a coordinator of safety and risk management who’ll focus on school safety throughout the district.

“Through the course of this year, we’ll have a lot of work done to our facilities,” Martindale said. “In particular, our entrance points at our buildings that are associated from our November 2021 bond that had over $2.3 million worth of funds for safety and security.”

Major renovations have also been done throughout the summer with the help of $78.1 million in bonds that was passed in November 2021. A&M Consolidated High School received major bathroom renovations, which is only phase one of at least three phases of renovations to come. Schools throughout the district also have new floors, paint jobs, updated classrooms and doors.

The district’s communications director Chuck Glenewinkel said more renovations are on the way for Pebble Creek Elementary School, Cypress Grove Intermediate School, A&M Consolidated High School and College Station High School.

“We’re thankful that we’re able to do these upgrades for our students and our staff,” Glenewinkle said.

Students at Southwood Valley Elementary School also walked into a partly renovated building Wednesday, which includes a new front office along with new bathrooms and classrooms. This phase was done over the summer, and the other side will be renovated next summer.

One renovated area many Southwood Valley teachers will enjoy is the “Zen Den.” This is a teacher’s lounge area with massage chairs, hand-held back massagers, a waterfall and a coffee maker. The school’s principal Ali DeLuna said this will be a great space for teachers to enjoy some self care.

“We wanted to provide a space for them to come and relax and just bond as a team,” DeLuna said.

The summer also brought about major technology upgrades throughout the district. Over 800 interactive whiteboards were installed in classrooms throughout the district and thousands of other new devices will soon be coming to students. The district’s deputy superintendent Molley Perry said over $18 million is being invested in technology and infrastructure this school year.

“The technology available and the new boards that were selected by a committee of our teachers can really enhance our instructional experiences in the classroom,” Perry said

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