13 August . 2019
Argyle West Elementary School welcomes students with bright colors, innovative features
The youngest students in Canyon Falls attend two brand-new elementary schools just opened by both of the highly acclaimed school districts serving the community.
Argyle ISD has opened the new Argyle West Elementary School, and Northwest ISD has opened Lance Thompson Elementary School.
To learn some of the highlights of our brand-new schools, we visited with the principals.
Here is our interview with Argyle West Principal Renee Funderburg.
Q: What are some of the most unique features of Argyle West Elementary?
A: We’re one of only two two-story elementary schools in Argyle ISD, so the building looks quite big from the outside. At the same time, it is also very welcoming, especially for the littlest ones. The exterior combines natural materials such as stone, wood and metal, to reflect the natural surroundings and local architectural styles. This natural theme continues inside, with wood walls and high ceilings with exposed beams. This lets in a lot of natural light.
Q: How many students do you expect in the first year?
A: We’re expecting to start with about 700 students, and we have the capacity for 850. Classrooms from Pre-K to the first grade are downstairs, and classrooms from the second through the fifth grades are on the second floor.
Q: What are some other unique features of the building?
A: It has three flexible spaces for collaborative learning, which is a big focus today in education, to teach children how to cooperate and learn from each other. The collaborative spaces are on both levels, and they can be adjusted to accommodate just a few students, or several classrooms. Some of the walls are completely covered by whiteboards.
Q: We have heard that the library is very special.
A: The library is probably the most unique feature of the school. The overall building is shaped like a triangle, and the library is a round space that fits right in the middle of the triangle. The open space between the circle and the triangle is courtyard space, and the library is filled with windows looking to the outside. Most of the bookshelves radiate out from the center of the library, like spokes in a wheel. The library includes a Makerspace and other areas for collaborative learning.
Q: Is there a purpose for the primary colors used throughout the hallways, other than being bright and cheerful?
A: Yes, along with creating a cheerful atmosphere, the corridors are color-coded, with a different color for each grade level. This helps students to always be able to orient themselves to where they are in the building. It’s especially helpful for the youngest ones.
Q: Tell us about some of the technology at the school.
A: Every room is equipped with an interactive TV monitor on the wall. In the third, fourth and fifth grades, every classroom have a set of Chromebooks. In the first and second grades, there are carts of Chromebooks that classrooms share. Pre-K and kindergarten also get introduced to the Chromebooks, and every student attends a technology class once a week.
Q: What about STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math?
A: Students in all grade levels attend STEM classes with our certified STEM teachers. The classes are very collaborative and interactive, with projects such as learning coding and building inventions.
Q: What are some other features?
A: The school has a beautiful gym, with primary colors and hardwood floors, and a great scoreboard. Our students also have dedicated rooms for music and art.
Q: How many teachers are at Argyle West Elementary?
A: We have about 60 teachers and an overall staff of about 75. About half of our teachers transferred from other Argyle ISD schools, and the other half are new to the district. This is my sixth year with Argyle, and I’m very excited about the year ahead at our beautiful new campus.
Learn more about all of the public and private schools serving Canyon Falls.
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