The May 14, 2011 Bond Election includes the construction of a high school science lab complex. The complex is proposed to be located across from the front East entrance of San Saba High School. The complex under consideration is designed at 32,195 square feet. The space would include 3 science lab/classroom spaces with a common planning, prep and storage area.
The students of Texas will soon be seeing the implementation of the STAAR exam – the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness. With the STAAR tests, students will be required to take end-of-course examinations in each of the 4 core content areas – science, math, English and social studies. The demands of this new assessment is rigorous. All students have to take 4 science credits at San Saba High School. At San Saba ISD this includes, biology, chemistry, physics, Biology II (dual credit), anatomy and physiology (dual credit), environmental science and ag science.
What is the science curriculum all about in Texas high schools? In the new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for science, laboratory and field investigations will take on increased importance. High School science courses have 40% lab time requirement.
What are the size requirements for school laboratories?
The following requirements for school facility standards shall apply to projects for new construction or major space renovations for which the construction documents have been approved by a school district board of trustees, or a board’s authorized representative, on or after January 1, 2004. Specialized Classrooms – The following provisions shall apply to combination science laboratories/classrooms, where each student has a lab station and where typically there is a clearly defined laboratory area and a clearly defined lecture area. Combination science laboratories/classrooms shall have a minimum of 1,400 square feet per room at the high school level. The minimum room size is adequate for 24 students; 58 square feet per student shall be added to the minimum square footage for each student in excess of 24.
The requirements of the science curriculum are numerous and schools have to be ready to provide curricular support to the program. Over the past 4 years SSISD has applied for the Science Lab Grant offered through the Texas Education Agency. The grant is awarded to the most economically deprived schools and the funds are dolled out each year until they are depleted. The grant was cut under TEA’s recent required budget cuts to the agency for the coming biennium