From life-sized animals to enchanting murals, the new Dr. Sarah K. Jandrucko Academy for Early Learners brings art, learning and play together for young students in Mansfield ISD.
The academy opened in January 2019 and serves eligible Pre-K students in Mansfield. Its campus mission statement and purpose “is to improve the school readiness of young children using creative, hands-on, interactive experiences within a research-based early childhood program.”
Every space in the academy is designed to create an experience for young learners. Rather than traditional classrooms, the academy is divided into four pods and sixteen distinct learning experiences. From the deep sea and the savanna to space and Wonderland, students are encouraged to explore new places and concepts—all while building literacy, numeracy and social skills.
“I feel like these experiences have brought learning to life for them,” one teacher at the academy commented.
Research has consistently associated higher student achievement and engagement with active learning. The academy provides ample opportunities for Pre-K students to dive into active learning through meaningful, age-appropriate experiences. Notably, the students get to enjoy these experiences every day—a feature that makes this school one-of-a-kind.
“I am honored by the opportunity we have to help transform the landscape of early childhood education. This facility is truly unique, and we are so excited about the possibilities and the future ahead for Mansfield ISD students.”Chris Huckabee, AIA, Chief Executive Officer
The exterior of the school is modern yet blends seamlessly with the surrounding neighborhood. Inside, the space is progressive. Flexible furniture and technology are used alongside interactive learning displays to promote excitement and interest in curriculum. The four themed pods (which house four learning experiences each) align along a main corridor. Pods also include multi-purpose space for activities, large-group collaboration, instruction and family-style dining.
In the short time since the academy opened, teachers have observed significant student progress.
“My students have learned vocabulary words that I never would have imagined,” one teacher remarked.
From counting to collaboration to fun new words, the Dr. Sarah K. Jandrucko Academy for Early Learners is preparing students for the future by providing highly-visual, engaging and exciting experiences every day.