SCRANTON — For one group of teachers and students in Lackawanna County, Tuesday is not only the first day of school, it’s also the first day at a new location.
The Howard Gardner Multiple Intelligence Charter looks just about ready for students to arrive, but getting ready, and getting to the school’s new campus on East Mountain in Scranton has been a long road.
“It’s a dream come true. There was a vision about our program and being up here on the mountain. There are a lot of outdoor possibilities that will help us grow our outdoor education program. There’s a lot more room for us,” said Principal Amy Kenton.
More room is a bit of an understatement. Kenton, the school’s new principal, showed us around the building that’s more than twice the size of the old building in Scranton.
Howard Gardner was a private school for several years until it became Scranton’s first tuition-free charter school in 2012.
Teachers say the student body grew, and so did their needs. Officials bought the old Friendship House facility on East Elm Street that has school house standards that Howard Gardner never had before such as a gymnasium, two full playgrounds, and extra rooms for art and music.
“They’re going to love all the colors, and they’re going to love their keyboards that are actually set up on keyboard stands this year instead of tables. So, we’re going to be able to concentrate more on actual piano technique,” said music teacher Steve Curilla.
The school teaches students from pre-K through eighth grade. Those students come from districts all over Lackawanna County. When news came of a new building, teachers say enrollment went up for this school year.
Teachers say they hope that trend continues. After all, now they have room to grow.
“The experience has already allowed us to grow to 185 kids. Across time we’re going to grow to a maximum of 230,” Kenton said.
Students at Howard Gardner Multiple Intelligence Charter School start class in their new building on Tuesday.