After years of planning and construction, the building of Mabel Mattos Elementary School has been completed, just in time for the start of the 2022-2023 school year this past August 10.
The completion of Phase Two of the building process brought in a couple new classroom buildings, each of which contains 8 classrooms. A multipurpose building and an indoor and outdoor stage have also been built.
Last month, on August 3, the Milpitas Unified School District (MUSD) celebrated the completion of the school.
Phase 1 of the project was completed in 2018, and allowed for 250 students to attend the school. After being built out, the school can now hold over 700 elementary students.
“We’ve been waiting for this moment for years and are so excited to have our learning buildings completed,” said Mattos Principal Jackie Vo in an interview. “When the students saw the fences come down, revealing the new buildings and multipurpose room after 4 years of watching construction take place and being confined to small areas, they felt liberated.”
Currently there are around 545 students, grades TK-6, attending Mattos.
The school is based on a learning community model, offering a unique way of building connections and enhancing children’s educational experiences.
At Mattos, groups of teachers known as “teaching teams” and students are assigned to different learning communities.
“The teaching teams have collective responsibility for every student’s success within the learning community,” said Vo. “The benefit is that each student builds relationships with several adults in the school who are supporting their success.”
Having teachers collaborating so closely with one another paves the way toward more personalized learning. It enables students to move independently between spaces and learning activities based on their needs or preferred learning modality.
“Each floor is a learning community, and it’s fluid for the kids to move between the learning areas,” said Milpitas Unified School District (MUSD) Superintendent Cheryl Jordan.
Mattos classrooms have learning nexuses built between them. These are areas in which sliding glass doors open to allow for classrooms to join together for learning and activities.
A sense of community is deeply embedded within Mattos’ unique learning environment. That sense of interconnection is present right from the start of the day, when the Principal and staff open the doors together and cheerfully welcome students on-campus.
“I always think about the joyful kids and parents I see walking to school, and the way they’re received by the principal and staff. They’re all so welcoming,” said Superintendent Jordan. “It’s just a really vibrant school. It’s quite joyful.”
Mattos is the 10th elementary school in our city, and is named after Milpitas historian Mabel Mattos, who passed away in 2013 at the age of 89.
Phase I of the project was made possible by the $95 million Measure E bond, which voters passed in 2012. And the recent Phase II expansion was funded with some of the $284 million Measure AA bond, which was approved by voters in 2018.