Arlington ISD has kicked off two major construction projects, as it revitalizes schools in East Arlington to give generations of students the opportunities needed to succeed in the 21st century.
Thornton Elementary School students helped break the ground on Dec. 1 at 2301 E. Park Row Dr. for the construction of their new school building. Berry Elementary School students did the same for their future building on Dec. 8 at 1800 Joyce St.
The rebuild of Thornton and Berry are the second and third of four school replacements funded by 2019 Bond voters. The District says it is an effort to modernize the schools and revitalize their neighborhoods.
The original Thornton opened in 1956 and Berry opened in 1955. The old buildings were demolished in Fall 2021. Thornton and Berry teachers and students are temporarily housed in other facilities until the new schools are finished in Summer 2023.
“2019 Bond voters are allowing us to transform our district with rebuilding four of our schools that need it most,” says Arlington ISD Board of Trustees President Kecia Mays. “The new schools at Thornton and Berry are part of our plan for East Arlington that is transforming all of our schools in the area to make sure every student gets an outstanding education in a facility designed to inspire and promote learning.”
The plan, funded by the 2019 Bond, includes rebuilding Carter Junior High, another aging East Arlington school, and relocating it to a site closer to the majority of Carter’s student population. Scheduled to open in 2025, the new Carter is now in the early stages of design as architects held planning charettes in November with Carter students, parents and teachers to help plan the new facility.
In addition to Thornton, Berry and Carter, East Arlington’s Crow Leadership Academy just opened a new classroom wing, gymnasium and kitchen. Nearby, the 2019 Bond is also building a replacement facility for Webb Elementary. Construction on the new Webb started in Spring 2021, and much of the slab is now poured. The first of the four rebuilds will open in time for next school year.
St. Maria Goretti Catholic School
During the fall school term, St. Maria Goretti Catholic School teamed with local businesses to raise money to support its various educational- and spiritual-growth programs. On The Border donated 20% of its Dec. 9 takeout orders to Saint Maria Goretti. Earlier, a dine-out night at Spring Creek Barbeque was part of a Thanksgiving project during which seventh and eighth graders spent some time “Tasting the World of Saints” to complete their study of the saints, and Spring Creek staff came to the school to present prizes to the fifth graders, first graders, and kindergartners.
St. Maria Goretti Catholic School is a school rich in tradition, dedicated to faith and family. It is committed to excellence in the faith, academics, and service formation of its students.
Pantego Christian Academy
Though the 2021-22 school year is just rounding the halfway mark, seniors at Pantego Christian Academy have already received more than $1,566,000 in merit-based scholarships from universities and colleges throughout the nation.
The Pantego Christian Academy Advising Department assists the school’s staff and students in fulfilling the mission of developing students spiritually, emotionally, and socially. Students are guided in selecting their academic program to fulfill graduation requirements, prepare for and apply to colleges, and manage their academic coursework.
The Oakridge School
The Oakridge School’s Senior Class President Xander Guillinese was named a 2021 Heisman High School Scholarship winner. He is among the approximately 6,000 students nationally recognized for outstanding academic, athletics, and community service achievements from public and private high schools.
Guillinese, one of 500 school winners in Texas, will receive a $1,000 scholarship award and move on for the chance to become a national finalist. To be considered for the honor, students must have a cumulative weighted high school grade point average of 3.0 (B Average) or better, be a participant of at least one of 48 sports recognized by the International Olympic Committee in the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games, or the National Federation of State High School Associations, and have proven leadership in the school and community.
“Xander is a standout in the classroom with aspirations of becoming a medical doctor. He is also a leader in athletics, where he has been a four-year member of the varsity soccer and cross country teams, serving as captain for the last two years,” says Kellen Lewis, director of College Advising. “In addition to serving as senior class president at Oakridge, he spends numerous hours volunteering to help with school events and refereeing children’s soccer games for North Texas Soccer.”
Newman International Academy
Newman International Academy, with seven DFW campuses that include three in Arlington and one in Mansfield, was established in 2010.
The academy offers PreK-12th grade education to students of diverse cultures. Newman International emphasizes a balanced, well-rounded education focusing on excellence, innovative learning, and discipline, striving to instill a passion for learning, and challenging students to become better and more equipped for their future.
The tuition-free charter school offers a wide range of educational and character-building programs, including the study of American Heritage, as well as opportunities for students to become proficient at robotics, chess, debate, classical literature, cybersecurity and civil air patrol.
The school also has athletic programs and classes that focus on fine arts.
Arlington Classics Academy
Arlington Classics Academy routinely blends classroom curriculum with practical applications to help its students learn. For example, last month, third graders traveled to Mainstay Farm Park, which, in addition to growing Christmas trees, features a plethora of fun and educational activities. Earlier in December, the school’s fourth grade students ventured to the playground for a demonstration on simple machines and pulleys, led by local Fire Department personnel. Also, State Representative Tony Tinderholt was the guest reader to kindergarten students, while sharing a lesson about the importance of service to your family, friends and neighbors.
Great Hearts Arlington
Since opening in August, Great Hearts Arlington has been providing a tuition-free classical liberal arts curriculum in the tradition of the finest independent private schools. Students there typically learn a lesson in the classroom, then get an opportunity to apply what they learn in a practical or historical manner.
For example, in December, third grade students wrapped up their studies about the history of the Roman Empire and had a Roman celebration during which they dressed like the people they had studied and participated in events typical of Ancient Rome.
Meanwhile in the fifth grade, scholars at Great Heart Arlington participated in a laboratory experiment during which they tested what breaks down the dormancy of yeast fungi.
St. Joseph Catholic School
St. Joseph Catholic School provides students with a nurturing and prayerful learning environment committed to academic excellence, training missionary disciples to seek virtue, wisdom, and truth, in partnership with a community of active faithful families.
To that end, students in the school’s Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STREAM) program recently participated in a marshmallow challenge. The goal was to create the tallest tower, using marshmallows and spaghetti noddles. The winning tower stood at 21.5 inches tall.
Meanwhile, eighth grade students performed the play, “Our Lady Of Guadalupe,” for the entire school, and, in November, all of the school’s students took part in a Veterans Day ceremony to help them better understand the sacrifices made by the members of the United States Armed Forces.