Cesar Chavez Elementary School set to open

The $9.7 million school in the Oklahoma City school district will enroll about 600 students from the neighborhood who are predominately Hispanic and English language learners.
BY MEGAN ROLLAND mrolland@opubco.com Published: April 26, 2011

Morris said she is sad to leave her former school building that last year had more than 1,000 students, but she has “amazing things” planned for Cesar Chavez.

She wants to implement project-based learning and a focus on the arts. She is in the process now of recruiting staff.

Learning language

Enrollment at the school is projected to be 75 percent Hispanic. For 52 percent of the students, English will be a second language. Morris said just like at Capitol Hill, the school will have almost 100 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, an indicator of poverty among school districts.

“English language learners really need an early start,” Morris said.

Aside from the media center, which serves as a hub for the school with an arc of windows casting natural light onto rows of book shelves that will soon be filled, Morris said her favorite rooms are the prekindergarten classrooms.

Between Cesar Chavez and the next door Educare center that serves 200 students from birth to 5 years old, there will be 160 prekindergarten students being served in that school zone, Morris said.

Students from Educare will feed into Cesar Chavez Elementary, giving the community a clear education path from birth to sixth grade.