Arlington ISD Opens Remodeled "STEM Academy"

Alan Scaia
August 19, 2019 - 12:35 pm
Arlington ISD Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos

Credit: Alan Scaia, 1080 KRLD

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ARLINGTON (1080 KRLD) - When the school year started in Arlington Monday morning, some students ​walked into a remodeled school.

Pearcy Elementary has been rebuilt as Pearcy STEM Academy.

"Our biggest challenge is to continue to be adaptable, adaptable to the needs of our students, whether they want to go into the workforce or pursue a college degree," says Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos.

Cavazos joined a fourth grade class Monday morning. He says the class was not given a textbook to read; instead, the students were shown pictures of a ferris wheel and given supplies to design their own.

"Engineers do not get something right and say, 'Oh, I created this bridge on the first try,'" their teacher told them. "No, you have to try to make it and improve it by experience and trial and error."

"The students were challenged to think creatively but also to design and implement something they really don't know about this early, but they're challenged and get that freedom to own their own learning," Cavazos says.

Cavazos says a focus on problem-solving instead of simply memorizing facts from a textbook better prepares students for a career or college. He says students are still learning subjects, but he says building communication skills can help kids work together and succeed to solve a problem that may not yet exist.

"In essence, it's about the teacher leading and facilitating that learning, but it's also about discovery from our students," Cavazos says.​

This fall, Arlington ISD will ask for a $966 million bond. The package would not change the current tax rate.

Cavazos says the bond would allow for renovations at every school, increased security, new buses and fine arts and sports complexes.