New charter school in Woodside prepares for fall semester
by Andrew Shilling
Aug 21, 2013 | 4815 views | 1 1 comments | 866 866 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Principal Richard Lee at his office at the new school.
Principal Richard Lee at his office at the new school.
Chad Smith, Lloyd DesBrisay and team add a fresh coat of paint to a classroom.
Chad Smith, Lloyd DesBrisay and team add a fresh coat of paint to a classroom.
Renovations are underway at P.S. 359 in Woodside to make room for the new kindergarten through 3rd grade Academy of the City Charter School coming this fall.

Finishing touches on the renovation process are expected to be completed by early September, just in time for the 2013-14 school year and the 270 incoming students and staff of 30 teachers.

Principal Richard Lee said he is looking forward to seeing the children’s faces on day one.

“It’s a progressive-based school, meaning we have hands-on curriculum that children really get to interact and learn by doing, building, creating and then seeing their work,” Lee explained.

With the newly added third grade, the attendance at the charter is up from 150 in the school’s four kindergarten classes, two first, second and third grade classes.

The maximum capacity at the new 10-classroom facility is around 400 students and, according to Lee, they are expecting to add fourth and fifth grade classes in the coming year with the possibility of a middle school as well.

By that time, Lee is expecting to have around 15 classrooms and his associate teachers will have become full-time instructors.

The classrooms are made up of a culmination of the former principal and receptionist offices, detention room and a nurse’s room. A new gymnasium will also be home to the cafeteria and performance hall to allow the possibility for athletic teams if a middle does become a reality.

One-third of the 30-car parking lot will also be dedicated to a temporary play space for the kids.

In addition to a new music room and science lab, there will also be a library and tech center, offering students new computers, books and roughly 70 iPads for an interactive learning experience.

“We have letter recognition programs for kindergarten for tracing the letters and then we are developing a system where they can take their work throughout the school year onto a desktop,” explained technology specialist Dennis Schroeder. “They get a lot of access to information, but we will have to teach them how to use them appropriately, and we teach them how to use the iPad as a tool.”

Chad Smith and Lloyd DesBrisay, principal architects of DesBrisay & Smith Architects, were out painting the newly renovated school last week with paint donated from Sherwin Williams in Woodside.

“Each classroom is identified and has its own color,” Smith said.

Smith and his team have been working toward color-coding the hallways and classrooms to add some school spirit and excitement for the incoming students.

“We made sure of all the last-minute adjustments, so all the colors match with the furniture, because all the classrooms have their own colored chairs,” Smith said. “Now the colors all work together.”

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Ms. Johnson
August 28, 2013
AOC rocks!!!