Signs of progress evident at Bishop School
A new sign now welcomes students, parents and visitors to Bishop Public School, home of the Bulldogs.
The sign, installed Wednesday, heralds many changes at Bishop. The dependent school district recently received formal notice about a $250,000 federal grant, made improvements to facilities, purchased land west of the school and increased its enrollment, said Superintendent Howard Hampton.
The $250,000 five-year grant recently awarded by the Department of Defense has three components.
It has "a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) component, a college and career component, and a tutoring component," he said.
The large percentage of military-connected children allowed the school to apply for the grant, but all of the students in the school will benefit.
Later this fall, Hampton and his staff including Lori Baggett, project director for the grant, plan on setting up a STEM lab, called a Maker Lab in the school and "students will be able to come down and do science, technology, engineering and math projects," he said.
The STEM lab will allow hands-on learning.
"It will be hands-on learning at its finest," he said, adding that in the lab, students may make circuits, study wind energy or pursue other science- and engineering-related projects.
For the college and career component, Bishop has partnered with Cameron University and Great Plains Technology Center, with the students involved in field trips to the institutions as well as the partners sending resources to the school, including for college and career day activities.
Tutoring, the third component, "will happen during the year and mainly focus on reading," said Baggett, who is a reading specialist.
Improvements to the facilities have been going on throughout the summer. The replacement of the old sign with the new on Wednesday was one of the final projects.
Updates to Bishop have included installing new playground equipment, replacing windows, replacing all of the lighting with LED lighting and resurfacing the parking lot blacktop, Hampton said.
"We started out with a total LED replacement for the whole district and all the lighting throughout the building is all LED ... color corrected for 5,000 Kelvin, which is like sunlight," he said, adding that with approximately 50,000 square feet of facility floor space, the district is "anticipating about $10,000 a year in savings" from the change to LED lighting.