NISD: New campuses see exciting first six weeks of school
Northwest ISD opened two new campuses – Leo Adams Middle School and Lizzie Curtis Elementary School – to kick off the 2018-19 year, with more than 24,000 students now enrolled in the district.
Adams and Curtis are located in the fastest-growing area of Northwest ISD, near the boundary of Haslet and Fort Worth. These schools help accommodate the growth this area and the school district continues to see and have excited many of the families happy to have new schools close to their homes.
Opening a brand new school comes with many obstacles, but Carrie Pierce, principal of Curtis, said the campus staff and families had an “awesome first week of school” with about 550 students. Mrs. Pierce has now participated in the opening of three new schools at Northwest ISD in her time with the district.
“After months of dreaming, planning and preparing, it was very rewarding to watch our first Legends walk through the doors,” she said, referencing the school’s mascot.
Dr. Cynthia Webber, principal of Adams, shared similar sentiments as her school welcomed almost 1,200 students during the first week of the new school year. The campus had already hosted tours for many visitors from the district and the community, and its staff was excited to begin practices and club meetings, turning the school into a space of learning, creativity and growth for Leo Adams Lions.
Mrs. Pierce noted that students have “eagerly anticipated the school being built” and that “many families have expressed their excitement about Curtis being a neighborhood school.” The location of Curtis and Adams allows students to walk or bike to school in a safe and fun environment, she added. A relatively close proximity for both schools to Eaton High School means many community events for Curtis and Adams students to take part in and show off their school spirit.
Apart from fresh new buildings, both Adams and Curtis offer a few unique new features. For example, Curtis is the first elementary school in the district to feature an open library concept. It has just one solid wall, and the rest of the library is open to the hallways.
A family poses in front of Curtis Elementary on the first day
Mrs. Pierce said that she loves “the emphasis this places on literacy being the heart of our school – the absence of walls is an open invitation to come in and read.”
A new feature for Adams is the open collaboration spaces placed throughout its hallways. These are areas of seating that enable “students and staff to meet in large and small collaborative groups, allowing students more space to learn with and through others,” Dr. Webber said.
Staff and students have already used these spaces for group instruction and professional learning. It’s not only major features that have excited students and staff – some simple features are also generating buzz. Students at Adams are also excited about all the new furniture in the building, for example, Dr. Webber said. The cafeteria holds different types of seating, from traditional tables to tall tables, and even some booths. The classroom furniture is easier to move and reconfigure, and students and staff have the option for their work spaces to function as sitting or standing desks.
The creation of these new schools took a lot of effort on everybody’s part. Principals, teachers, community, parents and students have all adapted and worked together to get Curtis and Adams up and running for Northwest ISD students.
Mrs. Pierce’s ultimate goal is to “create a positive, student-centered environment where students and staff thrive emotionally and socially and want to learn and work together to continue growing.” Both principals said they believe this year will be an outstanding debut year for students and staff at Curtis Elementary School and Adams Middle School.
As stated by Dr. Webber, “We have an opportunity to build a culture of excellence and kindness that can affect so many lives beyond our walls.”