Killeen Independent School District welcomed members of the community today in dedicating two of its four new elementary campuses. Superintendent John Craft said this is a new chapter.
“It’s really setting a new tradition and a new legacy,” superintendent John Craft said.
He says despite the pandemic, they are optimistic about the upcoming school year – but also cautious.
“We’re going to have to really work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Craft said. “We want to make sure that our campuses, first and foremost, are safe. Not only for our students, but our staff.”
He said it is important to safely bring the kids back to school so they can work on what is most important – teaching and learning.
“Educating the whole child and making sure that they’re prepared to learn each and every day is going to be really vital,” Craft said. Particularly as we go about catching up some lost ground over the course of the last 18 months.”
Pershing Park elementary principal Jessica Taylor said she is most looking forward to being together again.
“We missed our kids last year,” Craft said. And having our community come in, I’m really excited to have our parents and families be active and participate in our school.”
The school is a bilingual campus, so it caters to students who have different language backgrounds.
“We actually grew as a bilingual campus this year,” Craft said. “We’ve gained teachers and students due to rezoning, and we really try and celebrate our Hispanic heritage.”
Killeen ISD has a growth rate of about 1-1.25% each year. That’s the equivalent of a new campus every two years.
“We’ve got several already lined up for the next five to 10 years that we know we’re going to be needing.”
They are working to close achievement gaps, so they hired interventionists, at risk counselors and school behavioral health support.
“What we are doing right now is educating the future leaders and the future workforce that we all are going to depend upon,” Craft said.