KISD Board Approves High School STEM Academies

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Killeen families will save thousands of dollars on college tuition costs after the Killeen ISD school board’s approval Tuesday night of a plan to offer science, technology, engineering and math dual enrollment academy courses for all KISD high schools.

The Killeen school board, on a unanimous vote of 5-0, approved an agreement with Central Texas College to create science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) academies for all Killeen ISD high schools. The program will allow high school students to earn college credit for free while they are still in high school. Under the plan, students can graduate from Killeen ISD high schools with up to two years of college credit completed, saving parents across the district thousands of dollars in college tuition costs.

The school board’s vote Tuesday night means Killeen students will be able to take and earn up to 63 hours of college credit at no cost to families for college-level classes in biology, chemistry, computer programming, economics, English, engineering, geology, government, history, humanities, math, physics and speech.

“This is a major expansion of our STEM program, and we are very excited to be able to offer this incredible opportunity to our families,” Killeen ISD Superintendent John Craft said. “Working with our partners at Central Texas College, we’re going to be able to save families huge amounts of money in college tuition costs while offering our students a head start on great careers in STEM fields.”

Killeen ISD already has a middle school STEM program that has a waiting list of more than 800 students who want to enroll in the program. As interest in the middle school program booms, KISD officials believe STEM programs for all Killeen high schools will attract strong interest among Killeen families.

In other business at Tuesday night’s Killeen ISD board meeting:

  • The school board approved the hiring of an engineering firm to help lead the replacement of a failing retaining wall at Pershing Park Elementary School. The crumbling wall will be removed and replaced by May 2018. Superintendent Craft told board members the decision is a matter of safety for students, parents and community members.
  • The board approved the selection of architects and engineers for the construction of a new middle school on Warriors Path in Harker Heights and a new elementary school on Morganite Lane in Killeen. The new elementary school will open in 2019, and the new middle school in 2020. The estimated cost of $37 million for the elementary school and $54 million for the middle school will be paid from Killeen ISD’s existing budget for facilities and will not be part of a proposed bond 2018 bond election.
  • The board approved the expansion of the Killeen ISD Agriculture Science Barn at a cost not to exceed $2,122,884.

 

November 14, 2017