PALMDALE — Chaparral Prep Academy: A Project-Based Learning School went from Palmdale School District’s worst campus to the best following an estimated $12.9 million total modernization that transformed the 32 year-old campus.
Chaparral’s main building was resigned with innovative learning suites and studios. The studios are transparent learning environments with sliding glass doors and collapsible walls to further collaboration with students and teachers.
“From the beginning we knew that our school had to include an environment that would promote collaboration among our students,” Principal Roxanne Dashti said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning.
New learning hallways and flexible furniture pieces give students the opportunity to sit and do homework or read a book when they are not in class.
The school, at Avenue R-4 and 50th Street East, also has new landscaping, a new playground and a new running track.
Chaparral was the lowest-score campus in a facilities assessment.
When the District put together the 2017 student-centric Facilities Master Plan, completed by consultant High Performing Learning Environments, Palmdale trustees insisted they do something big at Chaparral.
“We were not going to take on a project this big without a buy-in from the teachers,” Board President Dennis Trujillo said. “It took a little bit but I really want to thank the teachers for getting behind this project.”
Trustee Sharon Vega, a retired teacher, started her educational career at Chaparral. Her children also attended the school. After Vega was elected to the school Board in November 2015 one of her first trips was to Chaparral.
Vega said the school was thrashed.
No more, thanks to the Palmdale Promise.
“It’s time to celebrate now,” Vega said. “It’s time to celebrate for the students that are going to make new memories at our school, the ones that are here and the ones for the future.”
Assemblyman Tom Lackey, Mayor Steve Hofbauer, and representatives for state Sen. Scott Wilk, Rep. Mike Garcia and the Antelope Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce presented certificates of recognition at the ceremony to Trujillo and Dashti.