WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - It’s the first day of school for many schools across Texoma, but Christ Academy students got to start this year in a brand new high school.
“You see it in your head, you talk about what you want, but when you see the walls go up and then you go into that space and go ‘yeah, that’s what I want it to be’ has been very exciting,” Dr. Jerry Meadows, the CEO, said.
As part of Dr. Meadows’ vision, the new blended learning center at Christ Academy features barely any rooms; it’s a completely open concept. Desks and chairs can be moved around to create different learning spaces, whether out in the main area or in a classroom. Students are able to reserve study rooms and even adjust the table heights.
“We have traditional spaces, we have innovated spaces, we have flexible spaces,” Dr. Meadows said, “we don’t want to be constrained by what we don’t have. We want to be able to use what we have and use it to our advantage.”
“Very exciting for my older two who are going to be in a brand new facility,” added Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana, “when they did the tour of it and saw it, it exceeded their expectations.”
When it comes to safety, Dr. Meadows said the amount of open space will make it easier to socially distant than in a traditional classroom. With students already working at school on laptops, it’s not the learning portion of new pandemic protocols that he’s worried about.
“It’s going to be just getting used to the social issues they’ll have to deal with. Like the social distancing and dealing with the masks,” he explained.
But after having to put construction on the school on pause in April due to COVID-19, Dr. Meadows said he’s ready to see how the students begin to turn the space into their own.
“We were forcing a program into existing spaces, and I knew that wasn’t going to last. So we now have the program and the space built for each other,” Dr. Meadows said.