Spring ISD is launching its first campus designed for students in grades pre-K through eight with the inauguration of its new School for International Studies at Bammel in time for the 2021-22 school year.
The new school, located in the former Bammel Middle School campus at 16711 Ella Blvd., fulfills a promise made by Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson during his State of the District address in February 2020, when he announced the new program. The pandemic delayed its opening by a year but district officials say they are excited to turn the concept into reality for the upcoming school year.
“We are incredibly excited about launching our first pre-K through eighth-grade campus in Spring ISD because it’s really going to give our families yet another great option for their students,” said Chief of Innovation and Equity Dr. Lupita Hinojosa. “We are specifically designing this school to offer international enrichment opportunities at all grade levels with a dual-language program in elementary and additional language offerings in middle school.”
Research shows that campuses offering pre-K through eighth grade can provide several advantages over separate elementary and middle schools, including a more seamless transition into higher grade levels as well as enhanced learning and leadership opportunities for greater academic success.
At the School for International Studies at Bammel, the goal will be to cultivate a lifelong love of learning by helping students develop a greater sense of belonging in their school and community, said Principal Corey LeDay. The program is being developed in partnership with the Asia Society in Houston.
“With Houston being such an international city, it makes sense to open up that world for our students through the exploration of languages and cultures,” LeDay said. “My staff and I are committed to turning this pre-K through eighth grade campus into a school where every child can become a global citizen, equipped with the skills and confidence to navigate an increasingly complex world.”
LeDay noted that the 2021-22 school year would be a transition year for the campus, as it rolls out its new name and programming. To start, the district is enrolling students in grades pre-K through third grade for its dual-language immersion program in Spanish and English. Grades four and five will be added in 2022-23 and 2023-24. Meanwhile, at the middle school level, this year’s incoming sixth graders will participate in a foreign language and cultural exploration unit. Students in grades seven and eight will have the chance to take either Spanish or French.
“We are being very intentional with how we roll out this new program because we want to make sure our students, parents and staff are ready for this journey,” LeDay said. “We’re going to be spending a lot of time during the upcoming school year engaging with our school community to build the best possible pre-K through eighth grade campus in northwest Houston. It’s very important that we create a cohesive and connected campus, and our parents will be essential to that process.”