Global High School was a main topic for Waxahachie ISD board members during their meeting Monday night.

The workshop session was held on campus, with the school’s team members in attendance to provide an update about the innovative program that’s due to open its doors in August.

“We’re excited about this project. The kids are excited about being here, and what’s really going to impact our culture (of student success) is that they are choosing to be here,” Headmaster Portia Butler said of the inaugural class of 100 freshmen.

Global High is slated to add another grade each year until it reaches its capacity of 400 students, grades nine-12.

For some of the initial applicants, the choice wasn’t an easy one to make. By leaving the regular district for Global High, students relinquished the opportunity to participate in UIL events such as football and band.

The students each had their reasons for applying to the new school, but in particular, one girl’s statement about wanting to be able to go to college was noted by Carol Bush, a member of the school’s administrative team.

During her application interview, the student said she didn’t want to have to clean houses like her mom, Bush said, with fellow team member April Moon noting the girl then added, “I want someone to clean my house.”

Global High School is part of the T-STEM (Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiative in the state and one of 35 such schools.

Much of the discussion Monday night centered on Global High’s academics, which will see all students taking an introduction to engineering class their first year.

Each year at the school will see students taking additional engineering-related courses, such as principles of engineering, digital engineering, civil engineering, architecture and possibly aerospace engineering. All students will participate in a capstone project their senior year, and expectations are for each to achieve at least 24 hours of college credit by the time they graduate. Much of the work will be hands-on and project-based.

“We have worked very, very hard, and it’s been very refreshing to see the faces of the kids,” said Moon, who is an engineer. “This is what they needed. This was the answer for them. These are kids who were out there looking for something.”

Although the schedule is still being determined, and state mandates have to be followed, team members noted time is being built in to allow for collaboration and mentoring periods.

“We’re trying to give our teachers the time to do what they need to do,” Butler said, noting each teacher will have from 12 to 15 students assigned to them for mentoring.

The school’s team members noted they’ve been working to put together the best concepts, with word getting around the educational community “to watch Global High.”

“We’ve taken the best from these other concepts and brought them together,” Butler said, with discussion indicating best practices at Global High will be put into use at other campuses in the district.

The board briefly touched on budgeting requirements for the campus, with a workshop to be scheduled for a more in-depth discussion.

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