Katy ISD kicks off year with opening of 2 new schools due to rapid growth

KATY, Texas (KTRK) -- As students went back to class Wednesday in Katy ISD, the district opened two new schools.

Joe M. Adams Junior High is a brand new campus near Fulshear. Olga Leonard Elementary School on Winchester Ranch Trail is also now open.

Leonard Elementary is in a new subdivision off Morton Ranch Road. It's so new the main road in front of the school isn't finished.

But parents were warned at Meet the Teacher night on Monday.

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"Parents were able to come and kind of do a practice run on how the traffic will flow, so they're very aware of the road. We have extra buses assigned to this campus, so they don't have to walk or ride their bike," said Dr. Vonda Washington, Katy ISD Assistant Superintendent for Elementary School Leadership and Support.



Inside the school, students are encouraged to use work spaces outside of the classroom in an open activity center.

"All the classrooms are equipped with flexible seating so the wobble stools, we have sliding walls, sliding boards, so children can sit outside in what we call juice bars so they can plug into technology. It's not the traditional style of learning anymore where you sit in rows and desks. It's giving them an opportunity to explore. We facilitate, and they guide their learning," said Leonard Elementary School principal Stephanie Vaughan.

Leonard Elementary is named for Olga Leonard, who worked in Katy ISD for 26 years as a teacher, instructional specialist, assistant principal and principal. She inspired many with her dedication and passion for education.

Katy ISD is the biggest district going back Wednesday. Enrollment is at 81,500 in the district this year.

The district has also rolled out an app called Katy ISD A+ Pay N' Go. It's a one-stop shop for parents so they can pay everything from cafeteria to fine arts fees.



Leonard Elementary is also among the schools that will be offering full day Pre-K this year.

It's part of a funding bill passed by state lawmakers.



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