This school year, Gattis Elementary School students are spending recess on new playgrounds, funded by a one-time allocation.
The funds help the playground meet current ADA requirements. Much like the old playground, this one features a slide, hanging bars and climbing accessories. With the updates, the playgrounds now feature improved fall zones — padded areas that will protect students. Also added were large canopies to give students and staff shade and protection from the above average temperatures. The new playground structures funds were part of a $135,000 one-time allocation.
Student involvement in the new playgrounds came from a Project Based Learning (PBL) initiative involving fifth-grade teacher Laura Boehler and her students. Students met with Round Rock ISD Project Director JT Guthrie to review proposals and choose colors. Students also met with the playground equipment installation team to assist with taking measurements of the space.
“It was great to have my students involved in a real world project that provided their fellow students with a fun place to play,” Boehler said. “While the students involved in the project have moved on to Ridgeview Middle School, they know that their involvement in the PBL is benefitting future Gattis Gators for years to come.”
Gattis Principal Jennifer Lucas said she is proud of the new playgrounds and envisions a day when every Gattis student can participate in the fun.
“While wheelchair-bound students can get to the playground, there are very few activities that they can enjoy,” Lucas said. “In a future bond, I’d love for us to add inclusive structures for play. I hope to see elements that allow wheelchair-bound students to be lifted out of their chairs, so they could play on the structures with their fellow classmates.”