Written By: Joel Thomas for CBS Dallas

KELLER (CBSDFW.COM) – From its huge, ship-themed play scape nestled on a spongy, child-safe surface you can tell Keller’s newest all day school is something different. But don’t call Children’s Learning Adventure a day care. Its more like a school and high-tech community center rolled into one.

“I’ve worked in this industry for ten years and I’ve never seen anything like Children’s Learning Adventure,” said Stephanie Retherford, the Keller Children’s Learning Adventure Director. The student’s day would likely start on the classroom side of the 33,000 square foot building. The student’s progress is tracked with lessons performed on touch screens. And all the classes will study a common theme so the entire building is learning about the same thing simultaneously. But outside the classroom is where the real adventure begins.

“If I’m a child I want to do more than just sit in a homeroom classroom all day,” Retherford said of the teaching philosophy behind the school.

There are two themes threaded throughout the school. One is the lush, sea atmosphere murals along walls and in carpeting. The colorful library has a large aquarium as its focal point with a sea-blue carpet outlining a story telling space. A brightly lit activity center (thanks to a huge skylight) is designed like a town square with play areas along each wall resembling things like a general store, bank and theatre. And there’s a real kitchen complete with kid friendly appliances, stainless steel counters and cooking instructor.

“They’re learning math skills when they’re in the cooking classroom,” Retherford said. “And they’re learning communication skills when they’re in the picture paradise where they can do a newscasting session where they can talk about the weather or they can be the news anchor.”

And after class, there’s an after school center with play space, an area to do homework and a bowling alley. That’s right, a kid size bowling alley.

Demand is high for children’s learning adventure. A thousand families have inquired about enrolling and there is space for only 630 students. Doors open for first-come-first-served enrollment Saturday morning at 9 a.m. Classes start May 19.

The company plans on opening more schools in The Metroplex in McKinney, Mansfield, Flower Mound, Wylie, Coppell and Plano. It already has schools in Houston and Arizona.

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