Turlock Christian Schools opened the doors to its new elementary campus during a Community Open House Thursday, giving hundreds of visitors their first look at the unique learning environment equipped with state-of-the-art technology and cutting edge classrooms.
“We hope to encourage students to reach their full potential and find the gifts that God has given them,” said admissions and marketing coordinator Zayra Alvarez. “With a wide range of technological opportunities along with our specialty labs and creative, collaborative learning environment, our kids can even send out their own podcasts to families through their film editing class.
“We will now be able to better prepare them for the future,” added Alvarez.
As Turlock Christian Schools’ first standalone campus, the new facility spans 42,000 square feet and includes two classrooms for each grade — kindergarten through sixth grade — with each classroom coming equipped with a Promethean board. The campus also has special classrooms dedicated to band, robotics, and video technology and film.
“Our plan is to open our doors for all of our elementary students, K-6, to start at our new campus after Christmas break, on January 4,” said Alvarez.
The new campus is a state-of-the-art facility with 1:1 devices for all students, including iPads for students in kindergarten through second grade and Chromebooks for students in third grade through sixth grade. The campus’ computer lab features the highest level of technology with 27-inch iMac computers with Retina 5K display and film editing technology.
“Even our youngest students will have the opportunity to film with a variety of the most technologically advanced equipment, and then edit the film, and add music to their creation,” said Superintendent Karen Winter. “Students will have the ability to develop their God given talents and learn to excel within their full learning potential, in a safe nurturing environment.”
All of the furniture on the new campus comes from Australia, according to Alvarez, who said that each piece is also interactive. One example is the pedal desk, which are desks that come equipped with bike pedals, allowing students to stay active as they learn.
“This will provide a collaborative learning environment that will increase student achievement by up to 25 percent, according to educational studies,” said Alvarez.
The campus’ multipurpose room also has a video and film area with a 30-foot multimedia green screen production space for drama and music programs.
“We will have many more opportunities for our elementary students with a new high tech computer lab with iMac computers, film editing lab, video and tech green room, GoPro drones, high tech robotics lab and creative art studios lab,” said Alvarez.
One student who is expected to start at the new elementary campus after Christmas break is fifth grader Tanner Brazil, who attended Turlock Christian Schools’ Community Open House on Thursday.
“I’m excited,” said Brazil. “I like the bicycle desks and that we’re getting chromebooks and the bouncy chairs.”
Brazil was accompanied by his parents David and Kristine Brazil, who complimented the campus on its cutting edge design and technology.
“They’ve blown past our expectations,” said David Brazil. “These guys actually show us what we should be expecting.”
“It’s kind of exciting to be the first to try it,” added Kristine Brazil. “I just know everything is going technology-based, so I really like the fact that they’re touching all the learning styles. It’s not just one type of learning style.”
Turlock Christian purchased the former MedicAlert Foundation building on the corner of Colorado Avenue and Tuolumne Road for $4.55 million after the medical company, which was part of the Turlock community for almost 60 years, announced the sale of the property last year. MedicAlert has since moved to a 15,000-square-foot-building in Salida, near Highway 99.
“We were in search of a campus for our elementary school,” said Alvarez. “The MedicAlert building was for sale at the time and it was all God’s timing.”
The entire project cost about $11 million dollars, which included the property purchase, renovations and equipment. Alvarez said that about half of that amount has been funded by donors, and the school continues to raise money through donations.
Turlock Christian Schools will host a grand opening for the elementary campus at 10 a.m. on Jan. 19. Those interested must RSVP by Jan. 5 to Lesa Embry at firstname.lastname@example.org or 427-2731.