Purple Heart Elementary Opens with Students Experiencing College and Career Possibilities
On July 28th, doors opened for the first day at school at Socorro ISD's 47th campus, Purple Heart Elementary School. The kindergarten ' fifth grade campus was realized by a joint venture between VLK Architects and GA Architects in order to meet district initiatives, specifically focusing on exposing students to new personalized graduation options via all five endorsement areas as outlined by House Bill 5. Two story academic wings house learning studios purposefully designed around multiple open collaboration hubs, so that students experience newly developed curriculum in a different endorsement area at each grade level.
Specifically, grade levels are focused on one of the five endorsement areas, giving each student a balanced college and career readiness experience over the course of their elementary school years. Kindergarten and first grade students are focused on Public Service; second grade experiences Arts and Humanities; third grade emphasis is in Multidisciplinary Studies; fourth grade applications are in Business and Industry; and fifth graders concentrate on the integration of STEM (Science, Math, Engineering and Technology). '
'There is some part of every endorsement involved in the building from the open collaborative spaces to our amphitheater which is unique and an outdoor extension of the classroom.' said Jennifer Parker, Principal at Purple Heart Elementary. 'Students walk into school each day thinking and planning for their future and all the possibilities.'
The building is designed to meet LEED Silver Certification standards. Parker plans to establish a 'Green Team' that will learn about sustainability that is built into the campus and as part of its operations. The 'Green Team' will teach other students, parents and community about sustainability.
"The architects designed a building like no other! We all feel very lucky to get to walk the halls of this state-of-the-art school. They truly thought "outside the box" and designed a school that leaves everyone who sees it speechless!" said Parker. 'We truly feel very blessed to get to go to Purple Heart Elementary School each day!"
Steve Aloway, Principal at VLK Architects shared, "Socorro ISD has embraced teaching styles that allowed the school to become an open reflection of the opportunities that they are preparing the young students to achieve. From the first design meeting
s, the district expressed a desire to bring more meaning to the school than your typical classroom space. We were honored to help Socorro ISD obtain their vision."