Joe Harris Move-In

Moving Day! Teachers Take Possession of Joe Harris Classrooms
Posted on 07/30/2020

Joe Harris teacher at work in classroomThe start of in-person learning in Rio Rancho schools may be delayed.  But at RRPS’s newest school teachers are wasting no time in moving into their new classrooms and looking forward to showing off the school to students in person as soon as it is safe to do so.

In the meantime, this photo gallery will give you a glimpse of our nearly completed new school.  (Photos taken 7/28/20)  Enjoy!

Most of the construction work on the new Joe Harris Elementary School is now complete.  The administrative staff moved into the new building the week of July 20, and teachers are now moving their supplies into the building and beginning to make the new school their own.   Contractors are still doing finishing work inside the building, installing landscaping outside, and completing work on the main playground. 

Teacher Bryan Pearson in classroomTeachers are excited about their new classrooms, which include features designed to improve student learning and make their jobs easier.  Each classroom has an interactive electronic display teachers can use to present a wealth of online materials, flanked with whiteboards for teacher notes and student work.  There’s plenty of natural light and storage space, and each classroom has its own sink, which will help with student hygiene.

JHE classroomStudents work at small one or two-student tables, which can be grouped together for team projects, or separated for social distancing.  Kindergarten classrooms have their own bathroom with sink and commode, and younger students have a separate, secured play area with little-kid-sized equipment.

Joe Harris media centerThe school also includes a media center, gymnasium, and cafeteria, music and art rooms, hoops courts, an athletic field surrounded by a concrete track, and playground.   

Like all Rio Rancho schools, Joe Harris Elementary remains closed to the public and to students (with very limited exceptions) due to the COVID-19 health emergency.  Per the New Mexico Department of Health’s emergency orders, classes will be held online at least into September.  Principal Trent Heffner and Joe Harris teachers and staff hope they can safely welcome students back and show off their new school sooner rather than later.  

Joe Harris playground and buildingConstruction on the 87,000 sq. ft. building at Westside Blvd. and 10th St. SE began in April of 2019.  The City of Rio Rancho project to pave Westside Blvd. and expand it to four lanes is near completion, and the school can also be accessed from 20th Ave. and 21st Ave. SE.  The current enrollment of around 380 students leaves room for children from new construction in the surrounding area, including the Los Diamantes subdivision to the west of the school.