By Karen Daniels
This year should be very exciting for SMSD. The 49.9 million dollar bond construction is nearing the end. Improvements and upgrades will be noticeable throughout the entire campus, but the new 92K square-foot high school is something the community and students in Stafford have deserved for a long time.
A back-to-school letter has been sent to all students and a map for the new high school will be included in the first-day packets to help everyone navigate their way around the school. For added visual direction, the hallways will have designated college flags, such as, Harvard Hallway, Texas A&M Hallway, and the University of Texas Hallway, to name a few. The center of the high school — Main Street — will house the counseling center and the library, providing easier access for students needing assistance and information.
The bell schedule between classes has been adjusted by 1 minute, from four to five. This has been tested from end to end the by the staff to make sure it’s possible. Additional text books have been ordered this year to provide one for each student to take home and one to remain in the classroom, diminishing the necessity for students to go to their lockers between every class. Also as part of the bond project, 900 laptops and tablets will be purchased for in-class use as part of the 1 to 4 initiative. Board Trustee Auturo Jackson asked to obtain the pricing for additional laptops and tablets so that in the future, high school students may be able to take the devices home.
Superintendant Dr. Lance Hindt recommended two important tools for parents to use concerning their students. First, beginning in September, construction on Staffordshire Road will commence, increasing the lanes from two to four, matching the existing road north of 5th Street. “I strongly encourage students to use the air-conditioned bus transportation. This will help mobility problems.” Dr. Hindt added that road construction in front of the District will likely continue through December. The second recommendation is to utilize the District’s website. Bus schedules, lunch prices and menus, school supplies, plus much more are available for parents. The goal for completion of the high school is said to be a “photo finish” though some punch-card items will be completed when school is in session.