JEFFERSON — The Jefferson ISD trustees got a first hand look at the new wing of the Jefferson Elementary School during a facilities tour with the district and campus administration on Tuesday.

Trustees toured both Jefferson High School and Jefferson Elementary School following their regular board meeting, with plans to tour Jefferson Junior High School and Jefferson Primary School at a future date.

The trustees first got a glimpse of updates and new technology students are using at Jefferson High School in several CTE (Career and Technology Education) courses, including in Culinary Arts, Welding and Health Sciences.

In Welding, students have created their own individual welding booths, acquired a brand new iron worker machine, as well as other equipment.

“This is the nicest equipment of any program in our area,” Jefferson High School Principal Michael Walker said on Tuesday.

The trustees also tried their hand at Z Space 3D learning computers in Health Sciences and saw firsthand how technology and cameras have enhanced learning in Culinary Arts.

Next, the trustees hopped over to Jefferson Elementary School, where they toured the almost $2 million, soon-to-be-completed fourth-grade wing that is being constructed on the north side of the campus.

The new wing contains eight classrooms, a janitor/technology room, a storage room and a set of male/female restrooms.

The eight classrooms will house about 97 students that make up the district’s fourth grade, as well as two special programs classes made up of about 45 students total, Jefferson Elementary School Principal Lindsey Whitaker said.

“Seven of the eight classrooms will be used as classrooms while the eighth will be used as a multi-purpose learning room/science lab,” she said.

Jefferson ISD Superintendent Rob Barnwell said he expects the new elementary wing to be completed the first week of October.

“Construction is going well; they’ve been working on Saturdays and we haven’t had rain to slow them down,” Barnwell said.

Other items

Also on Tuesday, trustees unanimously approved the district’s and its campuses’ improvement plans that are required to be submitted to the Texas Education Agency each year.

“The plans were very straight forward with the issues,” Jefferson ISD Trustee Leah Cooper said. “It was a good sign that they’re taking these seriously and not just superficially. I was really pleased to see that.”

North East Texas Credit Union of Jefferson Representative Melinda Fuquay presented trustees about an $8,000 check on Tuesday from the credit union’s signature debit card logo program.

For each of its members that get a Jefferson ISD logo on their debit card, a portion of their signature purchases goes to the district. Barnwell said the money will be used for various activities and programs across the district.