Leaders at Jurupa Unified broke ground Wednesday, March 22, on a cutting-edge K-8 STEAM Academy, with curriculum centered on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. The school is tentatively scheduled to open in Fall 2018.
The academy will be JUSD's 26th campus – and the first of its kind in the district, said Dr. Trenton Hansen, assistant superintendent of planning and development and master of ceremonies. The facility will be JUSD's first K-8 school, first STEAM-focused campus at inception, and first fully indoor school. The enclosed design enhances safety, security, and energy efficiency, Dr. Hansen said.
Indeed, the new facility will be a "future forward school," with flexible spaces that are adaptable to new and evolving technologies, Superintendent Elliott Duchon told the crowd of educators and local dignitaries.
Robert Garcia, president of the JUSD Board of Education, emphasized the fast pace of technological progress and students' role in such innovation: "Students of the future will be creating the technology of the future," Mr. Garcia said.
The STEAM Academy, near Bellegrave and Wineville avenues in Jurupa Valley, will serve up to 1,050 students. Development underway in Jurupa Valley and Eastvale is expected to bring 1,100 new homes and 700 new children, Dr. Hansen said. In addition to the new developments, the attendance area will also include the communities of Eastvale Estates, Homecoming and Swan Lake on the west side of Interstate 15 in Eastvale.
Features of the campus will include:
The school will help ensure that all students have access to STEAM coursework at a time when the job market continues to reward STEAM skills and knowledge.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of STEM jobs in the United States is projected to grow by 12.5 percent, to more than 9 million, between 2012 and 2022. BLS expects STEM occupations to grow at a faster rate than the average for all professions, with pay exceeding U.S. median wages.
Workers in STEAM fields include artists, computer scientists, web developers, statisticians, architects, engineers, myriad scientists, and teachers.
In building the school, Jurupa Unified adds to a broad portfolio of college and career readiness programs. These include early college and Advanced Placement courses, college preparatory curriculum, and career pathways in diverse areas such as graphic design, sports medicine, and information technology.
Students from the new K-8 school will graduate to attend Jurupa Valley High School, which is building an Innovation Center with STEM/STEAM-focused classrooms and learning spaces for Career Technical Education pathways.