Snyder ISD prepares to return to school, converts student center into ‘makerspace’

KCBD 2020 CCT Snyder - Snyder ISD

SNYDER, Texas (KCBD) - Snyder ISD is a 4A school district, serving about 2,500 students. The primary school offers a dual-language program. Students who graduate within Scurry County are offered free tuition if they go to Western Texas College.

Superintendent Eddie Bland says Snyder adapted well to online learning in the spring, but now the district plans to delay the start of school until September 8 to allow for faculty and staff training, and hopefully a decrease in COVID-19 cases.

SISD Superintendent Eddie Bland says even though faculty and staff still don’t fully know what’s to come for the fall semester, the easy transition to online learning they had in the spring makes him feel like they’re prepared for just about anything.

“Our staff proved it last spring. Their ability to adapt in a hurry and we had to almost completely change direction in March and stop and put together a virtual home learning platform and our staff was phenomenal at pulling that off."

Greenhouse providing unique learning for Snyder High School students
Greenhouse providing unique learning for Snyder High School students (Source: KCBD NewsChannel 11)

Superintendent Bland said about 90 percent of their student population was interactive with the virtual learning, and they are ready to provide it to students who feel they need it this fall.

Snyder High School is considered a P-Tech school, meaning they encourage students to choose a career pathway. That will lead to them graduating from high school with an Associates Degree or career tech certification.

One of those pathways is plant science, and the district wanted to provide plant science students with better resources, so they got a greenhouse.

It is an opportunity to support multiple pathways, benefiting a large group of students by working on every aspect from planting to marketing to selling.

Snyder ISD Maker Space plans
Snyder ISD Maker Space plans (Source: KCBD NewsChannel 11)

“Learning hands-on is something that I think is really important and something a normal classroom doesn’t always provide. So providing the real-life work experience on top of the hands-on science experiments and experience they’ll be able to have, I think is a really cool opportunity for the district,” said Greenhouse Director McKenna Kelle.

The greenhouse is not only for students, but will be open to the public as well.

Snyder ISD is also converting its high school student center into what is known as a “makerspace,” or a flexible learning center.

That will include a print shop and drones for students to become certified to fly them. There will be an incubator space for students to come up with their own business to launch. It is set to open this fall.

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