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School program a boon for all

We think that a Denton school district program allowing select fifth-graders to attend job site meetings for a new middle school is a great idea.

Last week, a team of students participated in planning and design discussions for Myers Middle School, which is slated for completion in July. Between now and the end of the school year, other fifth-graders will visit the site.

The students selected for the program currently attend Stephens, Pecan Creek, Evers, Hodge, Wilson and Rivera elementary schools — all “feeder” campuses for the new middle school, which is located in Shady Shores.

The program is designed to create community interest and excitement in the new school and to provide a learning opportunity for the students, Principal Angela Ricks told us. Officials expect that the program will help ease the transition of moving to a new school and instill some pride in the campus.

We believe they’re right, and we especially like the idea that students aren’t just along for the ride. Students selected to participate will not only tour the new campus, but they will also ask workers questions about the construction process and features of the school to keep their classmates and community informed about progress at the site. They’ll even have a chance to bring their own ideas to the table, officials told us.

Last month, the district called for fifth-graders who will attend Myers Middle School next fall to apply for participation in job site meetings.

During their recent visit, four students from Stephens Elementary School were among the first to tour the campus, and they documented the information they got from the construction team so they could share it with their peers. Students also created a photo record of their visit.

District officials came up with math and science exercises for the program so students could put some of their recent classroom lessons to practical use during the job site visits.

In our view, this program offers many benefits, and we’d like to see businesses in other fields explore ways that they could work with local educators on similar projects.

We commend both the Denton school district and Balfour Beatty Construction — this innovative program should pay dividends for both.

Giving students an opportunity to observe a job site first-hand is great way to keep young minds stimulated and to make lessons more interesting.

It’s also an effective way for companies to help young people explore different fields — it’s never too early to start plotting a future career path.

And watching professionals at work using some of the same skills that they are assigned to learn should convince students that there really is a good answer to that age-old query, “When will I ever use math in the real world?”