TCU Daily Skiff Thursday, March 04, 2004
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Spencer Hays’ gift enlarges facility and honors Cooter
Donation for renovation and expansion will launch the program toward national recognition.

By Erin Baethge
Staff Reporter

The Starpoint School will be expand its building thanks to a $250,000 donation made in honor of former director Kathleen Cooter, director Kathleen Edwards said.

The gift, donated by Spencer Hays, a former TCU trustee who has a grandson enrolled at the school, will allow for a classroom to be built and for the office area and conference room to be renovated.

The school serves as an on-campus training site for education majors. The building, located at 2805 Stadium Dr., has not been renovated or enlarged since it was built in 1966, but now it will get to do both.

Edwards said the fifth and sixth grade classes share one classroom. The additional classroom is scheduled to be ready by fall 2004 and will help avoid overcrowding.
The blueprints are ready and bids are coming in for construction, Edwards said.

An additional $100,000 is needed to expand four other classrooms and Edwards said she hopes the school can raise the money by the end of the year.

Starpoint administrative assistant LaJean Sturman said her son attended Starpoint eight years ago. She said the school’s main purpose is to provide TCU faculty and students a place to study, learn and teach learning disabled children. But, she said, parents don’t see it that way.

“The school takes children who have failed time and time again,” Sturman said. “When kids come here, they are on the same playing field and they learn it’s OK to make mistakes. When all the fear lifts, learning happens.”

Sturman’s son, Brent, will graduate from Paschal High School in May. He stills returns to the school to tutor students and help them with their homework Monday through Thursday.

“I know how they think because I was there one time,” Brent Sturman said. “I can explain it in a way they understand.”

Brent, who has attention deficit disorder, said teachers at Starpoint help students manage their learning disability by teaching practical skills like study, organizational and note-taking skills. Brent said these skills helped him become more self-reliant and enabled him to succeed when he returned to mainstream school in the fifth grade.

The renovations will make Starpoint School a nationally recognized laboratory school, LaJean Sturman said.

“The school was perfectly equipped when it opened, but now we’re a full-service academic program and these renovations will help out the program,” LaJean Sturman said.
Sarah Chacko/Photo Editor
The Starpoint School’s planned renovations (below) will allow separate classrooms for fifth- and sixth-graders that now share one room (above).

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