Wilson Wims tour

MCPS Opens New School in Clarksburg on First Day of School Year (VIDEO)

imageAs the bell rang to start the first day of the school year Monday, nearly 600 kids took their seats inside the Wilson Wims Elementary School in Clarksburg, the county’s newest school.

The long-awaited school for the growing Clarksburg community became the county’s 202nd school when it opened to students Monday and Principal Sean McGee got a chance to show off the school to members of the media and local, federal and state leaders.

The $23.6 million, 91,000-square-foot school at 12450 Blue Sky Drive in Clarksburg is one of the first in the county school system to have the system’s Technology Initiative in full force with Chromelaptops for the third and fourth-grades and Android tablets for the younger students and the building is completely wireless. McGee showed off the building’s green vegetative roof and boasted about the other initiatives like a geothermal exchange system used to heat and cool the building.

McGee came to the school from Damascus Elementary where he was the principal. He said at Wims, “the sky’s the limit.”

“We couldn’t wait for this day to come,” he said. “We challenge them to teach in ways they haven’t before.”

The school has capacity for 740 students, and McGee said he believes that is enough to provide seats for this year and next year’s enrollment projections.

“We’ll have to wait in years to come how many more students will be coming in,” McGee said.

The school is named after Clarksburg local African American builder and community activist F. Wilson Wims. His daughters, Pat Thorne and Frances Foreman and cousin Joann Snowden Woodson checked out the school Monday.

“He would be delighted,” said  Thorne.

Foreman said she feels the school connects her to the dad she lost in February at the age of 98.

“The first time I saw my father’s name on that building, I just jumped out of the car and took pictures,” Foreman said. “I lost him in February but truly I didn’t lose him because I still have him here.”

The new school opens at a time when Montgomery County is seeing its enrollment increase by 2,800 over the prior year, now sitting at 154,000 students.

Krista Brick

About Krista Brick

Krista Brick is a multi-media journalist with Montgomery Community Media.


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