Happy Birthday Independence Elementary!
You are ten years old!
Independence Elementary School was the thirty-ninth elementary built in LISD in 2008 and constructed by Hisaw and Associates. The property comprises 50.77 acres with the building area equaling 107,00 square feet. The architectural design included large windows to enhance student learning. The school opened its doors to four hundred and thirty-four students and a faculty and staff of sixty. Principal Teddie Winslow opened the school with the help of LISD facilities and curriculum departments. Superintendent Jerry Roy selected the name Independence.
In 2008 Independence Elementary was one of three schools piloting the Dual Language program. Kindergarten students zoned from Central Elementary entered the first grade Independence One-Way Dual language classes taught by Judith Reed Otero and Beth Pesnell. Through the support of district stakeholders and parents who valued the benefits of acquiring a second language, the program grew into a Two Way Dual Language Model. Currently, Independence has twenty-seven dual language sections serving a total of four hundred and ninety two dual language students. The dual language program cognitively challenges students to learn two languages using research-based practices.
In addition to providing a quality dual language program, Eagle teachers implement elements of Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The Building Leadership team selected elements of the Leader in Me program and designed a character development program teaching the students the seven habits. The Independence Leadership Happens Here lessons are integrated into content and social area activities using “I can statements.” Teachers Dawn Heneghan and Erika Tellez, who worked the summer of 2017 to prepare teacher materials, designed the curriculum model. The Independence Leadership Happens Here is available in English and Spanish. Eagle students learn about the seven habits, manage a data binder and earn Leadership Happens Here tickets when they demonstrate a habit. This year, a contest will be held for students to design the school Leadership Happens Here logo. Preparations for nurturing future-ready, hopeful, problem solving, and courageous students are underway for the 2018-2019 school year.