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Brand new school is a product of El Paso money staying in the Borderland

Ysleta ISD says the school is built to promote critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration in El Paso’s youth.

In less than two weeks, some students will walk into the new and improved Thomas Manor Elementary school for the first time.

Ysleta ISD says the school is built to promote critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration in El Paso’s youth.

The school is a $28 million product of Ysleta ISD’s 2015 bond and the promises the district made when presenting that bond.

YISD Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre says, “Our model included closing two schools and providing those students and those families with brand new schools.”

The two-story campus is the new home to 800 students and is equipped with interactive display boards, multiple sciences, and 21st-century classrooms.

Dr. De La Torre said the district fulfilled all its promises with the school, including one to use local labor.

He says they hired “two architects who went to school in the Riverside High School learning community.”

A beneficial move, Dr. De La Torre says “they were emotionally invested in providing the community and their neighbors with a phenomenal facility.”

He says it’s something that El Paso deserves because “those tax dollars are coming from local citizens.”

He says “the last thing we want to do is take the additional tax dollars from our residents and then redirect them to large firms in Arizona and California.

Keeping the labor local seems to have paid off. Dr. De La Torre says the architects “certainly haven’t disappointed.”

He continued, “I predict that the school will win awards for its architecture and design.”

He says the new school is equipped with glass walls where individuals can look into a classroom, observe instruction, and determine if it’s effective.

Dr. De La Torre says the glass walls bring something brand new to education: teachers holding each other accountable.

“They’re intended to promote greater communication and collaboration between teachers,” but that’s not their only purpose.

“Then those same walls become writing walls,” he says “or easels, whiteboards for students to work cooperatively.”

Dr. De La Torre says the glass walls also slide open, allowing two or three classrooms to work together.

YISD also promised to create this school under budget and right now, Dr. De La Torre says the district has an excess of $32 million because they came in under budget on so many projects.

He says the district now gets to decide what they’ll do with the extra money.

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