Well, we were so busy all week that we didn't even realize we had not taken a single picture all week. I'll take some soon and post them, although I think many of you have visited to see the campus for yourselves.
I always forget how much physical and emotional energy teachers put into getting ready to begin a new year. This year we had the added challenge of moving in...in 3 days.
I'm so proud of our fabulous teachers. I really don't know how they did it but by Monday morning the classrooms looked organized and inviting, we had developed a plan for dismissal with 4 extra buses and we were anxious & excited to welcome the students back to school.
By Wednesday we had gone from Plan A to Plan B to Plan C for dismissal and IT WORKED!! We are getting the kids on the buses and into cars at the parent drive in less than 15 minutes. It will get even better as we all learn the routine.
We love our cafeteria. It is large enough that we are able to spread the tables out a bit. Although we have the same number of kids eating as we did at the old MWE, it just seems quieter and calmer in the new space.
Our biggest concern was that kids would have a hard time finding their way around the building. WRONG!! We all forget that most of our worries are based on the reality for us...we get lost! However, our students were instantly right at home. On Friday, I brought 2 PK students in from the cafeteria as they needed to finish eating after their class was gone. I just followed them as they visited. They went straight to their room with no direction from me.
ABOUT THE OLD MEADOW WOOD
Many of you are wondering why they have not demolished the building yet. They are doing it from the inside out. They are taking out all fixtures, windows, doors, signs, canopies, A/C units, etc...anything that could be reused in other schools for repairs. I heard on Friday that the demo of the walls may be happening this coming week. I'll email as soon as I know.
I'm feeling very inadequate right now as I took a great class and learned to blog so well and, alas, I can't get the pictures to upload. I'll work on it a bit longer then try again tomorrow, if I'm not successful. Try back later.
August 2, 2010 was a great day in MWE's history. Over 100 fabulous workers from the SBISD maintenance, transportation and child nutrition offices, lead by Wayne Schaper, Jr., descended upon the old MWE and brought all our boxes, furniture and 'stuff' to the Transition Campus. We had 9 teachers there to help them navigate the new campus and find the rooms. Thanks so much to Penny Clarkson, Tunis Deal, Karyn Lewis, Jenny Meyer, Amy Griffith, Carolyn Mendez, Ashley Johnson, Meg Lee and their foreman - Becky Maddox, for working so hard in the horrible Houston heat. The rooms are nice and cool but the outside hallways are H..O..T!!!
The classrooms and cafeteria are ready for move in. They are still working on the floor in the gym. The playground is almost finished. It's really looking ready around there. As soon as they finish the final electrical work - including our fire alarm - we will get inspected and get to move people in, along with the boxes and furniture. We are hoping to be in on August 16!
The teachers come back on duty on August 12. We will have our first two days of staff development at Rummel Creek on the 12th and 13th. Then...we will have the next week to unpack, arrange and get ready for Meet the Teacher on August 20th at 2:00.
Registration will be held at Rummel Creek beginning August 11th.
I hope you have not been too impatient waiting for an update regarding the progress at the transition campus. Thursday, July 15, the team leaders and PTA officers took a tour. We videoed the whole tour. You will have to hang on a bit longer as I can't get the video to load...it's too long!! We walked around for about 40 minutes with lots of stopping to ask questions, measure and to figure out where we were. I'll continue to work on it and may even have to break it into a few shorter versions.
Here are the basic details as of today:
1. Some of our things are already moved over and are in our half of the cafeteria at WAIS.
2. Big move dates are August 2 and 3.
3. The construction fence at MWE should go up on those same dates and things will start to get busy around MWE.
4. Classrooms at the transition campus are surprisingly big, have lots of plugs (yeah), have 2 windows that can open with screens and are carpeted. Each classroom has one 4' x 4' bulletin board and one 8' x 4' bulletin board. Those are on the wall with the cabinets. Another wall has two large magnetic white boards and the ACTIVboard. Rooms without ACTIVboards (PK, Kinder, music, resource) have a flat screen TV in the spot where the ACTIVboard goes to be able to watch KMWE and other things. The third wall has a 16' magnetic white board. The fourth wall has the two windows and door. You can see all this in the video - if I ever figure out how to load it.
5. The bathrooms for the kids and the ones for the teachers are very nice - bigger and fancier than we are used to!
6. The gym is HH..UU..GG..EE!! It is getting new paint, cleaned up floor, and a general facelift to look new for us.
7. The cafeteria is also big and roomy. Plenty of room to spread out in.
They will be working there over the weekend and late days to get ready in time for our move. It looks really messy but we are not worried about the timeline at this point. Keep your fingers crossed!!
Take a look at the platforms going up at the new site. These pictures were taken on May 31, 2010. They worked all weekend so it should be more complete now. The platforms will serve as the hallways and connect the buildings together all on one level - elevated. They will have rails.
I got the word today that our school day will definitely be 8:15 am - 3:15 pm. That means students will be tardy if not in their classroom at the transition campus by 8:15. Our families should be able to keep their morning routines the same as this year and have a few extra minutes for travel time to the new site. Good News!
Our new address is 11339 Britoak Houston, TX 77079 We will have the office open at MWE until June 30, 2010. That will be the last day at our current location. When the office reopens on July 14, 2010, we will open at the transition campus.
We have distributed over 2800 boxes throughout the school for packing but - NO KIDDING - we need more!! Please save any good sized packing boxes. Not too big and not too small. You may bring them up anytime.
Seeing all those boxes has caused the students to think about our move and about next year. They have asked many questions lately. Here are a few with the answers:
1. Are we going to have lunch at the transition campus? YES, same cafeteria staff and food. We will eat in the north side of the WAIS cafeteria.
2. Do we get to go to Specials at the transition campus? YES, same as now! We will be using the smaller gym (sometimes called the Rubber Gym). We will have an Art room and a Music room...just like now.
3. Is there a playground at the transition campus? Yes, not as big and fabulous as our SPARK Park but definitely a school playground with equipment and space for playing ball.
4. Will we have STAR STUDENTS at the transition campus? YES, same as now.
5. If I live on Bateswood, will a bus take me to the transition campus? YES...more details about that later.
Our bus loop will be behind MWE #1 and in between WAIS and our site. The parent drive loop will be out front. I know it is hard to envision right now. I'll try to post a site plan if I can figure out how to do that.
The rumor 'on the street' is that the fencing may be going up at our site on the WAIS campus on April 1, 2010. If that happens I'll post pictures soon after. As of this writing we are still looking toward the optimistic time line of moving to MWE #1 over the summer to start school there on August 23, 2010. Keep your fingers crossed.
The Design Team for MWE #2 (the new building) will meet March 24 for a look, once again, at interior materials and colors. Who knew it would be so difficult to pick 3 accent colors for the interiors? Did you know there are 9,000 different shades of blue, yellow and green? We are learning lots of new vocabulary - aggregate, polished concrete, burnished brick, aluminum vs stainless, green and blue glass, and more.
Well, there is nothing new to report. We are still on track the optimistic track to move to the South Transition Campus - we are calling it MWE #1 - in early August. That means we will begin school there. Valerie Brennan, our PTA secretary, is working to update the email list as this will be the best way to stay in touch over the summer as things progress. If you have not yet done so, go to our website and sign up for the mailing list. http://mwe.springbranchisd.com
We have the final site plan for MWE #1 and are happy that the architects were able to make the changes we wanted to make best use of the space. As soon as we have renderings we will get the word out so that you can come see pictures.
Keep your fingers crossed for great weather and no blips in the plans as they try to get ready for us to move in August. As you know, it will only take a few days of heavy rain and one big blip in the plan to cause us to miss this August move and delay the move to December. Think Positively!!!
The past week I've been meeting with each grade level to tell them about the new adventures ahead as we set off on the journey to a brand new MWE building. We have decided together to call the Transition Campus - Meadow Wood #1. We will call the new building we come back to - Meadow Wood #2. Both places will be Meadow Wood Elementary!
I keep reminding the students that we are talking about a new building - not a new MWE. As we move to MWE #1 in the 2010-2011 school year we will all be together there doing all the same things we do now. The students are worried that being at MWE #1 will change things such as recess, lunch, special events and programs. I'm assuring them that we will continue all the great things we do now. They are worried about how they will get there. We talked about the current bus routes which will bring them there and about the new bus routes we will add for the families who live on Bateswood. Currently there is no bus to pick up students who live on Bateswood as the bus can't turn around in the circle. These children will be picked up on Memorial Green by the gate through the fence where they walk through now.
They are all so excited about MWE #2. I've shown them the preliminary draft drawings. We can't wait to get the final renderings so we can see what the new MWE will look like.
The Design Team will be meeting in mid-February to review choices for interior materials and colors. It is really going to be a beautiful campus.
Dr. Ramirez and I just had our first experience with hard hats. We toured Hollibrook Elementary to see the wall finishes, cabinetry, colors and other architectural features. We trooped along behind the architects in our hard hats with our camera. It was fun!
Below is a set of cabinets at Hollibrook. Ours won't be just like these but close enough.
News from Meadow Wood regarding the move to the South Transition Campus at Westchester Academy of International Studies, the planning and design of the new MWE and the move back to the new MWE! Postings here will keep you up to date on the latest developments. Currently we have completed the schematic design phase for the new building and the transition campus. The plan is for us to move out of MWE June 7-11 and move into the Transition campus to begin school in August 2010. Demolition of the current MWE and new construction at the site should begin in the summer of 2010. The most optimistic plan puts us at the Transition campus from August 2010 - June 2011 and then moving back into the new MWE in August 2011. Keep your fingers crossed.
Watch as the look of this blog changes and latest developments are posted, hopefully, weekly.