“[We are] looking at things that benefit our kids socially and give them a chance to do something outside,” founder Richard de la Cuadra said. “We have to do it in a smart way to socially distance but to continue to explore ways to meet that need for social interaction.”
The school, which is in its third academic year at its Grogan's Point Drive location in The Woodlands, has 150 students across three Houston-area campuses. The Woodlands campus has about a dozen students, many of which have been learning online this year, officials said.
De la Cuadra said the academy will likely bring students from the Houston campuses to The Woodlands as well to take advantage of some of its unique features, including outdoor activities such as fishing.
Candace Runaas, the school director for The Woodlands campus, said another way the campuses are collaborating this year and encouraging social interaction is in efforts for community outreach. The Woodlands campus has a partnership with Abundant Harvest Kitchen to work with its food pantry, and the school has worked to gather supplies for hurricane relief for 30 families in Louisiana. Runaas said it has been a challenge to keep students connected when many are experiencing isolation this year, but the feedback from students has been positive.
“We actually had a student start yesterday [online] ... and she commented after her first day that this was a great experience for her because she felt so at ease, calm and relaxed,” Runaas said Jan. 6. “I’m really proud of that that we can develop a sense of community online as well as in person.”
Xavier Educational Academy
25162 Grogan’s Park Drive, The Woodlands