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Cypress Woods to welcome 2,100

Community invited to carnival set for Aug. 19

By FLORI MEEKS Chronicle Correspondent

Aug. 11, 2006, 11:40AM

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Student who attend Cypress Fairbanks' newest high school this fall can expect to hear a lot of the "R" word.

Cypress Woods High School's faculty and administrators will be emphasizing five of them: Relationships, respect, rigor, relevance and responsibility.

Principal Sue McGown refers to these qualities as the "Power of the Red," which ties in with school colors crimson red and gold. They're at the core of the environment McGown wants Cypress Woods to offer.

Going to college

"My vision is to create a college-going culture," McGown said.

She will get to put her ideas into action Aug. 16 when the school opens for classes.

Cypress Woods is Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District's eighth high school.

The 504,626-square-foot, $50.9 million campus at 6825 Spring Cypress Road was designed by PBK Architects and constructed by Pepper-Lawson Inc. on a 182-acre site.

Building features include a central commons area, auditorium, music facilities, library, full athletic facilities, industrial technology and auto mechanics shops, a multi-purpose gym, drill team room and color guard room.

The school has about 20 classrooms for its core academic subjects, along with facilities for electives.

It is drawing students from Cy-Fair and Cypress Falls high schools, along with feeder middle schools Goodson, Hamilton and Spillane.

About 140 staff members will be serving Cy Woods' 2,100 ninth- and 10th-grade students.

The school will add a grade level each year until it serves grades nine-12.

During the weeks leading up to school, Director of Instruction Ify Ogwumike has been working on unifying the new campus' teachers.

Team building

"We're trying to build a team," said Ogwumike, who has been incorporating the concepts of the "Power of the Red" into her work.

"All of our decisions are based on this vision," she said.

"How can we make our curriculum rigorous? How can we model building relationships with our teachers so they can do the same thing with their students?

"How can we make learning relevant to our students?"

School leaders also have been working on instilling a sense of belonging among the Cy Woods Wildcats and their families.

These efforts include the upcoming Wonder of the Woods carnival set for Aug. 19 at the school.

"What we want to do is bring our community together with a school-wide function," McGown said.

The celebration will feature arts and crafts booths, local food vendors, basketball, volleyball, arcade games, a mechanical bull, rock climbing, a dunking booth and carnival games.

Students also will have a chance to participate in a talent show, watch several football scrimmages and see Cy Woods student groups, including cheerleaders, band and choir.

Students from all of Cy Woods' feeder schools will be encouraged to come.

The carnival is being coordinated by Cy Woods' Volunteers in Public Schools group, which already has more than 200 members.

"An event like this creates a sense of family," said VIPS co-coordinator Cynthia Gill, whose son, Matt, will be a sophomore at Cy Woods.

For more details, go to www.cfisd.net.


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