No Backpacks Needed at One Odessa Elementary School

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Forget the bright colors and trendy prints. One Ector County elementary campus is asking students to leave those backpacks on the store shelf. Pease Elementary is implementing a new method to stay organized and welcoming in a brand new district wide program.

It's the first year for the AVID program at Ector elementary schools. They'll be quite a few changes, but one of the most noticeable is all the books will stay in the classroom.

"As far as textbooks, we've discussed with teachers already any homework that needs to go home will be a review, not introducing new material," Annette Macias, Principal, Pease Elementary said.

For the first time school leaders at Pease Elementary said, no thanks, to backpacks - all students need is a take-home binder.

"They have a calendar in there, a planner, their subject areas are divided by dividers, they have folders to keep their stuff," Macias said. "Everything they need to go from school to the house, house to the school will be in that binder."

We spoke with district officials - they tell us the AVID program at secondary campuses teaches organization skills, tutoring, and professional mentoring. But at the elementary level teachers will focus solely on note-taking and training kids to stay organized.

"It's to re-enforce that organization skill that a lot of our students do lack," Macias said. "Hopefully this will teach them more responsibility in keeping track of their things."

But it's not just a lesson in responsibility the principal hopes the new policy will help families save cash and make Pease a safer school.

"We see what kids are carrying into the school and we see what they are carrying out of the school," Macias said. "I think for safety it's going to be a big plus."