Sixth-graders at Jacobsen Middle School have reason to be excited along with school staff as the new wing intended just for them is close to completion, almost one year after Tehachapi Unified School District board members approved the project.
"All of our sixth-graders are going to be starting in our current facility. We are really excited to move them into the new wing as soon as we can,” Principal Sharon Heitman said.
The new sixth-grade wing is slated to be complete in the beginning of October, and even though sixth-graders will be waiting for a short time, the new wing will give everyone the opportunity to build teamwork and get to know each other, Heitman said.
Students will receive a private tour of their new classrooms and get to know new teachers. A community open house will be planned.
"Before they go into the new building, the transition will be smooth and they will be able to have a tour," Heitman said.
The 13,175-square-foot building on the east side of campus has 10 classrooms. It will accommodate up to 300 students and replace the previous aging classrooms. The classrooms will have air-conditioning and each space is close to 800 square feet.
Funds that have been spent to date total some $2.57 million for the construction of the classrooms, said TUSD Superintendent Stacey Larson-Everson.
"It's really designed to be a 21st century classroom and learning center," said Larson-Everson.
Each classroom will have touchscreen Smart TV's and new desks that will allow students to easily come together to form groups and interact with up-to-date technology.
Larson-Everson said, “A big piece is the student engagement. The kids really enjoy working with technology, as well as collaboratively. I would say those are the top number one things that kids talk about when you ask them."
Sixth-grade students will have many of their classes in the same building and be able to mingle in the large hallway. The outside entrance will be connected with a walkway that students can use when traveling to the gym or other school grounds, said Heitman.
"It’s going to change the entire school spirit and unite them,” added Heitman.