Investing in Learning for ALL to Build Leaders of Tomorrow

Re-engaging at-risk/homeless students to succeed

AIA Continuing Education Provider

1 LU / HSW

Imagine an alternative high school campus where students—at risk of dropping out, homelessness, short of graduating credits, or requiring a non-traditional campus experience--are offered a new flexible path to learn and succeed. Serving 500 students, Katy ISD’s Martha Raines Academy offers the curriculum and learning environment designed for students facing extenuating circumstances, so that none are left behind. The Academy, located in proximity to Katy ISD's Miller Career Center, offers opportunity for the students to share classrooms and have access to career and technical education (CTE) programs offered at Miller to fulfil their credit needs. This project is a great example on how the built environment influenced the program to grow bigger, better, and more accessible to everyone. It is a case study of a vision that no students are left behind and how the new learning environment is inspiring the growth of respect, sense of belonging and professionalism among the students.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn from another District about its curriculum and vision for at-risk students and how their program evolved to accommodate more students.
  2. Learn about alternative learning paths for at-risk-to-dropout students as well as students for whom traditional high school learning is not appropriately challenging.
  3. Determine how a non-traditional learning environment can motivate and inspire students to succeed and face the world for their future. The environment creates a sense of place and belonging.
  4. Uncover the importance of flexible and collaborative interiors that mirrors a homely but sophisticated feel including daylight, access to outdoors and a fitness center.
Parul Vyas
Parul Vyas
Principal, Stantec Architects,

Parul, a Principal at Stantec, partners with educators and community leaders to facilitate 21st century learning environments for the future generation. In her career span of over 24 years, she has executed a variety of K-12 projects that provide our students with rewarding academic experience. Parul is passionate about giving back to the community by mentoring students and volunteering with local schools. She also serves on the board of A4LE Gulf Coast Chapter.

Lisa Kassman
Lisa Kassman
Executive Director of Facilities and Construction, Katy ISD,

Lisa has been with Katy ISD since 2000. She has not only worked on construction projects on many of their facilities but has also been the main coordinator and Bond presenter of the Long-Range Facilities Plans. Her responsibilities as Executive Director of Facilities, Planning and Construction include facility design, construction, planning, property acquisition, and energy management. She also serves as a Board President for A4LE Gulf Coast Chapter.

Leslie Haack
Leslie Haack
Deputy Superintendent, Katy ISD, LeslieJHaack@KATYISD.ORG

Leslie serves as the Deputy Superintendent for Katy ISD and oversees School Leadership and Support for 68 campuses and facilities, as well as district-wide Athletics and Operations. Leslie began her public-school career in 1985 in Katy ISD. She has also served as Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education and Deputy Superintendent for Support Services at Lamar CISD.

Track: The Learners’ Experience

What is the learners’ experience? Who are they? How do they differ? How do they respond differently from one another to similar environments? Is there a one-size-fits-all solution? Or is a custom solution composed of aggregate parts more appropriate?

Primary Core Competency
Ethics/Professionalism: Provides leadership and stewardship for the responsible investment of public and private funding into school facilities – while being a known advocate for the importance of the learning environment on a child’s future. They lead and have a record of leading transparent processes that help communities find common ground in developing solutions to complex and sensitive issues – advocating for long term solutions that address the needs of all children and stakeholders including underserved groups.

Learning Units/Health, Safety, Welfare (LU/HSW)
The content of the presentation reflects and reinforces the safety and health for at-risk or homeless students in a school district. It addresses how a District provides a curriculum and a healthy and safe learning environment for these students to succeed and be the leaders of tomorrow. The story is a synergy between the campus and the students. 

learningSCAPES 2022

October 5-9
Marriott Rivercenter | San Antonio, TX

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