Full Steam Ahead

 Van ISD Coffee Shop

Van High School students have been brewing up some astonishing ideas with the recent opening of the Bold School Coffee Shop. Van ISD Director of Instructional Technology Jason Johnson challenged the iTeam students, a group formed to bring a student voice to innovation, engagement and technology, to find new ways to bring students into the school library.

The students envisioned a coffee shop, as found on college campuses. Johnson led the students through the six-month effort of building a coffee shop business from the ground up. “It’s easy to inspire students when you allow them to take the lead in learning,” said Johnson.

The students used summer break to visit the proprietor of Baylor University’s Common Grounds Coffee Shop to learn about creating an environment desired by customers, along with business supply and demands. They also researched business models at Baylor School of Business. “From menu planning and design and setting prices, the venture has been totally student-led,” said Johnson. “Student-designed and student-driven learning opportunities represent education in its purest form.”

Bold School Coffee held a Grand Opening in December 2017. Daily operations are performed by students which include marketing decisions and solving inventory issues. “The students have learned that just like any business, the entire process can be rigorous at times. Students are faced with real world business issues that require problem-solving skills and on your feet thinking,” said Johnson.

Johnson says that Van ISD has created a genuine learning experience that occasionally presents stressful situations in a safe environment. “The intention of the coffee shop was to get kids back into the library space and it has exceeded all expectations,” said Johnson. #IAmTXEd   @VanISDTX