Washington Township opening 2 new schools

Willow Lake Elementary School in Washington Township. (WTHR Staff)
Washington Township New Schools
2 new MSDWT school buildings
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — In two days, hundreds of Washington Township students will be walking into two brand new schools. Willow Lake and Clearwater Elementary are Washington Township's first new schools in 28 years.

"Our students and staff deserve innovative environments that engage them," said school superintendent Dr. Nikki Woodson.

The $23 million buildings are on opposite sides of the district. They are identical and both promise to provide teachers and students innovative learning, new technology and the latest security measures.

At Willow Lake Elementary, contractors were still working on the school's playground Tuesday. The concrete is still wet. Classrooms were nearly organized and Principal Brittney Brown was completely excited.

"The traditional school is no longer," Brown said. "We are giving children opportunity and choice in their learning."

Classes of each grade level are grouped into "neighborhoods." The classrooms surround big open spaces called "activity commons where students can learn, work and explore together. Collaboration is a key goal "because, as you know, in their work places of the future, collaboration, design, creativity will be a must," Woodson explained.

Brown thinks parents will be impressed.

"They are going to see a school that is providing them the state-of-the-art-technology, teachers that are excited to teach in the learning environments," she said.

The environment is also safer than many schools.

"We were able to use top notch security and technology in these facilities based on the latest best practices," Woodson explained.

To get into the school, visitors have to be buzzed through a locked entry way and be checked in by the office staff. All the class doors and windows are made of glass engineered to stop bullets. All the classrooms have bullet-resistant glass as well. All the classroom doors lock from the inside.

Outside, there are lots of security cameras. Buses have their own separate parking lot, keeping them clear of parents, their SUVs and running children towards them should keep everyone a lot safer.

The two new schools will eliminate the temporary classrooms used by overcrowded schools and put students into schools closer to their homes, making learning more convenient, more fun and more secure.

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