Dual-credit, construction and more: Plano ISD stories to watch in 2019

Below are some stories Community Impact Newspaper is covering this year in Plano ISD.

District news and construction items

At a Dec. 11 meeting, Sharon Bradley, the Plano ISD director of family and social services, briefed the board of trustees on the district’s efforts in expanding its social and emotional learning services. That expansion includes training the district’s para-professionals, teaching assistants, bus drivers and other staff members who work with students, Bradley said. District staff pointed to an analysis of a 2011 study from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, which found that “those who participated in evidence-based SEL programs showed an 11 percentile-point gain in academic achievement,” as opposed to those who did not participate in a social and emotional program.

  1. Crews will work through 2019 and 2020 to construct PISD’s new $53 million fine arts center. The 82,200-square-foot facility, which is expected to open in October 2020, will include a main theater, a smaller studio theater, a rehearsal room and a gallery for exhibitions, according to a district-prepared report. PISD is also accepting recommendations for the future name of the facility, as well as possible sponsored titles, which can be submitted on the district’s website. The center will be located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Alma Drive and Park Boulevard.

2. A $27 million project to renovate Robinson Middle School and add 17,900 square feet to the school began in March 2018. That construction is expected to be complete by August. The renovation includes providing new flooring, paint and tile throughout the campus, as well as improving locker room spaces, adding a new roof and enlarging undersized classrooms. The funds for the project come from PISD’s 2016 bond.

3. An $8.3 million refurbishment of Bowman Middle School is expected to begin in March and is projected to wrap up in November. The refurbishment will include new paint, carpet and tile finishes. The kitchen will also undergo a complete remodel with all new equipment.

4. As part of a $12.7 million project, the fine arts suites at Frankford, Rice and  Renner middle schools will undergo renovations. By the completion of the project in August, each campus will have a practice hall for band, choir and orchestra. The kitchens at Renner and Rice middle schools will also receive upgrades. Construction began in January.

5. Increasing dual-credit offerings
PISD will stagger the implementation of the new dual-credit courses through its partnership with Collin College over the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years. The new courses include precalculus, statistics, English III, learning framework, speech, AP biology, art, theater and English IV. PISD also plans to expand the technical workforce training with Collin College to include fields such as architecture, construction, engineering and information technology. The future industries academy will be at the Collin College Technical Campus in Allen.