The leader of primary and secondary public education in Texas made a stop in Mansfield ISD to see the transformational work the district is doing in early education.
Commissioner Mike Morath and other officials from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) toured the Dr. Sarah K. Jandrucko Academy for Early Learners on Wednesday.
MISD staff members gave an overview of the interactive learning environment. After seeing a presentation on how the prekindergarteners are seeing significant progress in literacy and numeracy, Morath experienced the fun for himself.
“It’s nothing short of remarkable,” said Morath. “The entire facility has been built with intentionality to create experiences for kids that maximize their growth.”
The commissioner is a parent of four young children. He said the Jandrucko Academy is a place he would love his kids to be.
“Everything here is constantly reviewed. It’s constantly evaluated. It’s constantly measured. This is not just loving on kids. This is loving on kids with a very intentional outcomes orientation, which is exactly what we want to see to maximize the impact of education.”
Morath toured some of the 16 experiences, typically called classrooms, and saw how each child was engaged in the lesson. Morath’s enthusiasm for the learning that is happening at the facility was Board President Karen Marcucci’s favorite part.
“I could see that he was excited to be here,” she said. “He could see all the learning that the kids were doing in the classroom, and we were able to show him the great data of all the amazing things that are going on in our current pre-K center.”
Staff members said they are proud of the innovative learning happening at the academy and are honored to be recognized by the Texas Education Agency for a job well done.
“I’ve always known that the teachers who work in pre-K in Mansfield ISD and the staff are doing an incredible job,” said Kristi Cobb, director of early literacy. “But it does give you a sense of pride when you get noticed at the state level.”
The Dr. Sarah K. Jandrucko Academy for Early Learners opened in January 2019. The facility is categorized into four themed pods—exploration, investigation, interaction and navigation—to take foundational learning beyond the four walls of a classroom. View more about the school here.