The Barkley Elementary School, one of the oldest schools on Fort Campbell, has some facility issues. It seemed a wiser expense to build a new building, allowing the opportunity to switch to the Department of Defense Education Activity's required 21st Century model of instruction, which requires an open classrooms concept, said Ted Turnipseed, principal of Barkley Elementary School.
The 21st Century model of instruction incorporates, along with an open-room concept, certain core competencies such as collaboration, digital literacy, critical thinking, and problem-solving that advocates believe schools need to teach to help students thrive in world we live in today.
The new open concept of teaching brings an opportunity to teachers to be able to work together in helping students by spotting the students that need help in learning and growing.
"A school is more than a building, said Ted Turnipseed, principal of Barkley Elementary School. A school is the people in the building."
Turnipseed, who has been in the education field since 1976, was brought in as the principal of Barkley Elementary School to head the closing of the school building and moving into the new one, located on Fort Campbell.
This faculty has a very positive community-like culture, they were already working together, said Turnipseed. They've been planning for this a couple of years now, they're are eager and ready.
In the new model of instruction, students will have more than one teacher, not just during each assignment but this also allows teachers to collaborate and create plans, rubrics, standards, and develop a strategy to reach out and help students in specific areas of study, said Desma Blount, assistant principal of Barkley Elementary School.
Blount, who has been in the education field for 23 years, said change is a part of life. If you look around, everything is changing, and we learn to live with the flow of nature.
The transition of buildings will also help military families and students learn and adapt to change as they would most likely be moving sometime during their time in the military.
Part of the process of the transition was to allow the teachers to see the new building and be paired up in groups of three to four in order for them to start getting used to the new style of teaching they will be using, said Blount.
The logistical portion of this transition is the biggest hurdle of the operation, said Turnipseed. Getting phones, smartboards, computers, furniture and waiting for contracts to be finalized. We have a lot to do in a short summer.
"We're moving a school to an even better building," said Turnipseed. "It's like transplanting a tree to more fertile soil, and I'm thinking that were going to bloom and see good things."
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