Monthly Archives

April 2017

Future ready education

By | Industry

Elementary schools have a new look as educational models shift toward project-based learning, STEAM and authentic exploration. Design solutions are supporting flexible functionality while mirroring aesthetics found in secondary and higher education facilities. Choice is also a prevalent theme—from furniture selection to classroom size to outdoor learning to collaborative spaces.   

These types of adaptable learning environments have proven to encourage deeper engagement on a peer-to-peer and student-to-teacher level. They also foster the development of foundational skills that are critical to positive academic, work and life experiences—essentially, supporting students as they become future ready.

For example, modern design embraces exploration and collaboration. These experiences promote responsibility, leadership and team building skills. Learning environments that empower teacher as facilitator also empower the development of accountability, responsibility and creativity for students.

At the elementary level, this speaks to the process and not the product of learning. Huckabee’s clients are embracing this culture shift and working to instill a love of learning for our youngest students. Four examples of how this idea manifests through design are found in new elementary schools in Huffman, Dripping Springs, Georgetown and Grapevine-Colleyville ISDs.

Huffman ISD—Love of Learning from the Outside In
HISD’s new elementary school provides an immersive learning environment indoors and outdoors. They’ve sought out partnerships, including one with Texas Parks & Wildlife, to create learning opportunities from the moment you step onto the property line. Winding paths and outdoor classrooms set the stage for interactive and fun instruction. Inside, learning communities are designed to promote movement so that learning environments can change on a daily basis. Large windows connect the outdoors to interior spaces.

Dripping Springs ISD—Form, Function and Instruction 
Every space in Dripping Springs ISD’s new Sycamore Springs Elementary / Middle School supports authentic learning. It’s a modern environment filled with design elements that entice students to engage with and within the building—in formal and informal ways. Whether learning about how a building operates (wall sections are cut-out to reveal the mechanics behind piping systems), exploring how structural engineers create art pieces (sculptural element in the Center for Learning & Innovation combines STEM and humanities disciplines) or utilizing one of the many clean or dirty maker spaces, the facility encourages ongoing exploration for students and teachers alike.

Georgetown ISD—Redefining Student and Educator Culture
Georgetown ISD’s district-wide culture shift focuses on creating customization at all levels of education. At Purl Elementary School, this includes the use of movable walls, flexible furniture and open-concept learning environments that promote adaptable and shared learning. Teacher workrooms are designed as professional work environments where cross-teaming and collaboration are encouraged. Across the school, teams of teachers are responsible for the reservation, designation and utilization of space and student groups.

Grapevine-Colleyville ISD—Process, Not Product, of Learning
GCISD’s new Cannon Elementary School is designed for STEM and project-based learning. Within the campus, everything moves, creating an environment that is interactive, technology-driven and fun for young learners. Each space focuses on the process, not the product, of learning to support exploration, collaboration and ideation. Six learning pods can be broken into 1200 sf, 800 sf, 400 sf or 200 sf classrooms for small-group and large-group instruction. Learning is on display around every corridor. A grow garden provides vegetables for the lunch room, and an outdoor amphitheater turns into a community classroom. Aesthetically, the school more closely aligns with secondary education than it does with a traditional elementary school.

#LoveMySchoolDay #TxEdTuesday

By | News

At Huckabee, we are advocates for education and life-long learning. As part of #TxEdTuesday’s #LoveMySchoolDay, we asked our employees to share their school memories and the impact education has had on their career, life and family. From elementary school to college, our team recognizes the shared hard work educators, coaches, friends and community put into our students each and every day.

Kerri Ranney
My two kids love learning! That love of learning is fostered at Raye McCoy Elementary School in Georgetown ISD. Go Bobcats!

Roberto Zuniga
I have three Coppell ISD graduates and one 9th grader. My graduates have gone to prime east coast private universities with almost full scholarships. Among the many opportunities that Coppell has given them, two of my kids have taken me to be the father, four times, of state champions and one made a proclamation on the floor of the Texas Senate. You’ve got to love public education!

Jennifer Brown
I am a proud graduate of Sherman High School in Sherman, Texas! Some of my favorite memories include Friday Night Lights in Bearcat Stadium where generations of my family watched and continue to watch football games, great teachers like Verna Sharer who taught me and my two baby sisters how to sew (sorry, Ms. Sharer—this didn’t stick), one-act play competitions and being voted “Most Likely to be Famous” and lifelong friendships that so easily pick up where we left off. I am so grateful for the commitment and selflessness of so many people along my learning journey who helped shape me into the person I am today. I love that I am able to give back in such a profound way through our work at Huckabee. Go Bearcats!

Kevin Billings
I grew up and went to school in the great state of Kansas. I am proud to say that I went to Washburn Rural HS. We had ‘Rural’ in our name because we had wheat fields beside the school and cattle in the field across the road. I love what I do because of my drafting teacher named Harold Bryan. I had taken all of the drafting courses my school had to offer, but he knew I wanted more. He used his own money and purchased a simple CAD program for me. We acquired a computer from another teacher and started the CAD drafting program. We developed a class syllabus, and I was the first person in my high school to receive credits for a CAD class. He did not know the software, so part of my grade was to help teach him. This happened because a teacher could see my passion and love for drafting. Today there is an entire CAD lab with over 20 computers dedicated to CAD, 3D and design software in my alma mater. Thank you Mr. Bryan for teaching me that the ‘best’ way between two points is not always a straight line. Take the curves and enjoy life! Auburn-Washburn Unified School District #437, Topeka, Kansas

Emmie Bennett
Proud to be a product of the Texas Public Education system, specifically Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. I was a Kent Cardinal, a Rainwater Hurricane, a Blalack Bear and finished as a Creekview Mustang. I associate each school with each mascot because athletics was my guiding light. However, I’ve always known my career was going to be in art. I had the same art teacher in elementary school and then again during high school. I owe everything to Mr. Bob Thomas, who sat at his desk with art books and artwork stacked so high he had to stand up to see us.

Bergen Hashemian
I attended public schools all throughout K-12, starting off in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and finishing n Carroll ISD. What I loved most about my school district was not only did the teachers push students to achieve their full potential and provide us with the opportunities to do so, but as a community, we all came together to support our football team!

Katie Bevan
I am SO PROUD of my Texas education. I went to public schools in Richardson ISD from K-12, and I loved every minute of it. We had amazing teachers and great opportunities. In high school I was part of a magnet as well as an internship program—all preparing me for the real world! Go Eagles!

Josh Brown
I am a proud graduate of Pottsboro High School. Getting the privilege to attend a small-town public school made me who I am today. From the teachers and coaches who tirelessly invested in our success as young men and women, the victories and heartache experienced with my teammates in sports, the relationships developed with those in the community. . . I will forever be humbled by those who invested in a young kid and continued to motivate and challenge me to get better each day, to believe that I could accomplish absolutely anything with proper preparation, and to help me understand that failing forward was a good thing.

Markita Richardson
“Education is a passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” —Malcolm X. I am PROUD to be a product of the Texas Public Education System. I started off as a Lakeview Viking, then became a Sugarland Titan and to end it all, a Kempner Cougar! What I loved most about attending these schools was not only did I make lifelong friendships with great people, but I had passionate teachers who went above and beyond to push their students to achieve their full potential.