Shining Stars Update

New Shining Stars Campus Takes Shape
Posted on 08/04/2020

Shining Stars lobbyFrom dinosaurs to giant acorns, Rio Rancho’s youngest learners will soon have a stimulating and exciting new place to begin their educational journey.  If it is safe to do so, Rio Rancho Public Schools hopes to open the new Shining Stars Preschool facility to students right after Labor Day – and what a facility it is!

Classroom ready for move inIn the final phase of construction, workers are installing playground equipment, landscaping, and fencing.  Truckloads of books, materials, and teacher supplies sit in classrooms, ready for unpacking.  Principal Kim Johns and the administrative staff are already working in the new building, getting ready to welcome teachers into their classrooms sometime in mid-August.  Teachers are currently working remotely, preparing student lessons and planning for the school year. 

Shining Stars playground with dinosaur

The new preschool facility is carefully designed to introduce students to the wonder of learning in a stimulating environment.  It is divided into four color-coded themed “pods” – Desert, Mountain, River, and Forest – which will make it easy for students and parents to find their way around.  Each pod has its own color-coded parent pick up and drop off area.  In the playground, students can crawl around a “dinosaur skeleton” (exceptionally cool!) or sit on giant acorns.  The STEAM lab (STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math) features a huge mural showing the constellations.  These features are not only fun for kids, but are teaching tools to help them learn.  Security features control access to the facility and keep an eye on students and staff.

Shining Stars front entranceThe new, 45,000 sq. ft. Shining Stars Preschool replaces an aging modular facility originally built in 1990 as a “temporary” elementary school.  Shining Stars moved into the old campus in 2005.  While the district managed to keep the buildings habitable, it was becoming impossible to maintain.  The new Shining Stars campus will provide RRPS’s youngest students with a stellar place to launch their journey towards becoming successful students and citizens.