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High school teachers move into new schools

By ERICA RODRIGUEZ
Aug. 9, 2010 at 3:09 a.m.

Rosie Jahnsen, an English teacher at the new West High School campus, directs her nephew, Brayden McKnight, where to store classroom material. Teachers at Victoria West and East began the process of moving into their new classrooms on Monday. They were challenged with organizing their new space after years of returning to familiar classrooms.

Public Tours of new school facilities All new school campuses will be open to the public from 5 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 18

Cade Middle School and both high school campuses will be open for anyone to tour during those times.

Cade is at 611 W. Tropical Drive.

Victoria East High School is at 4103 E. Mockingbird Lane.

Victoria West High School is at 307 W. Tropical Drive.

For more information, contact district spokeswoman Diane Boyett at 361-788-9204.

The hallways of Victoria West High were in quiet chaos Monday morning.

Teachers wheeled around boxes of supplies looking for their classrooms, while cleaning crews scrubbed final parts of the facility.

On the third floor of the school, Rosie Jahnsen, an 18-year English teacher, carried in a box of supplies with three helpers in tow.

A self-described "pack rat," Jahnsen still had a truckload of supplies to haul.

"I don't know where to start," she said, standing in her empty room.

Monday was the first day teachers were allowed into the high schools to set up classrooms. Although they don't officially start their contracts for the new year until Friday, many took the day to prepare.

"I'm not a procrastinator," she said. "I've got to get it done."

Otherwise there would simply not be enough time. The in-service days before school many teachers planned to use to update lesson plans.

"You need that time to start working on curriculum," she said.

Down the hall, Janet Killebrew, who teaches German, had stacks of books scattered all over her room.

"We all feel very overwhelmed right now," she said, with a smile.

With the move comes new tools and seating arrangements. All classrooms have document scanners, which Jahnsen doesn't know how to use. Many classrooms have tables instead of individual desks, which raises a concern about students sharing answers.

In a science classroom at Victoria East High School hundreds of glass beakers lined lab tables and about 100 boxes of supplies waited to be unpacked.

"I wanted to see what my classroom was going to look like so I could kind of plan for it," said Laird Engle, an East science teacher, who helped his department move, Monday.

Much like at West, last-minute work crews tested and put final touches on the rooms. Empty boxes littered some hallways and one teacher played music.

"It's just going to be a whole new ball game, literally," Jahnsen said. "But it's going to be fun - if we can figure out where to put everything."

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