Teachers train for new IDEA school in far east El Paso
As construction crews put the finishing touches on the new IDEA school in far east El Paso, the first generation of teachers is learning the IDEA model.
"It's a beautiful feeling to know what we're preparing for and to know that we're going to make a big change here in El Paso. We have big goals to meet and we know with IDEA, everything is possible," said Angela Rodriguez, A pre-K teacher at IDEA.
Rodriguez spent the last year learning about IDEA schools in the Rio Grande Valley so that she can help fellow teachers understand the new system.
"We're training them [students] to be ready for college; not just to go to college but to get through college," said Rodriguez.
Their big goal is for every single student to complete college. One of the ways teachers achieve that is focusing on classroom culture.
"It's a lot of direct instruction. So you can focus on closing the gaps," said Yvette Delgado, assistant principal of instruction.
Delgado explained how the classrooms will work.
"The classrooms are going to be 30 students, however we have two teachers in the classrooms always. So there's going to be one teacher working with 10 students always, one group working with another 10 and then the middle is going to be independent work," said Delgado.
The first day of school is Aug. 13.
More than 1,000 students are currently enrolled in the two schools.
Tuition is free.
"We're different, but we really care about kids and we really care about what we're doing," said Ernesto Cantu, executive director of IDEA El Paso.