School started at Friendswood High School with a brand new remodeled Mustang Bistro
kitchen/classroom for Special Education students in FISD to help them improve
transitional life skills. The project was accomplished due to the generosity of many
people and hours and hours of research and planning. In addition to a $15,000 grant from
the Moody Endowment, Sean Rives of Rives Designers, LLC donated his time as
architect; FHS maintenance donated in- kind services for demolition, electrical, and
painting supplies and services; Bill and Katie Winslade donated the funds for two major
appliances in memory of Neal McClaugherty; Coburn’s Supply Company and the Ridout
Family donated the ADA compliant stainless sink and Unilever faucet; Farley Appliances
donated labor for delivery of new and removal of old appliances; and Aramark food
services acted as a district supporting partner for the menu items. The original $15,000
project was leveraged into a $22,000 project.
The mission of the Friendswood ISD Education Foundation is-To help students pursue
unlimited potential; to support teachers for innovative and exemplary teaching; and to
engage the community in assuring quality education for the leaders of tomorrow by:
Providing funds for educational programs and activities (targeted by district
goals) that are under funded or not funded by the normal operating budget.
Fostering new approaches to education through its Adopt-a-Grant program.
Working through a volunteer Board of Directors committee made up of business,
community and educational leaders.
Increasing community support for educational activities in FISD.
A key strategy used for FISD’s number one goal of “highest possible student
achievement level in all areas” is: Using research-based differentiation instruction and
strategies in the classrooms for students identified as at-risk, special needs, ESL and
Mustang Bistro was created in a kitchen/classroom space at Friendswood High School to
add to the district goal of using research-based differentiation instruction and strategies
for special education students including those with cognitive disabilities. The Special
Education classroom was remodeled to include an improved functional kitchen enabling
students to sell food, drinks and student-created arts and crafts and thus learn many
important vocational skills in a highly motivating environment.
Research shows that special education students typically lack the focused skills to prepare
them to transition to a traditional work setting. Mustang Bistro will serve as a mini
transitional learning center on campus at FHS and will enable students to learn the
following vocational skills: food safety, storage and sanitation; basic measurements;
cooking and basic prep; inventory control; cleaning, dishwashing and recycling; money
handling; order placing and delivering; customer service and public contact.
Mustang Bistro was designed primarily to upgrade the safety, efficiency, durability and
functionality of the kitchen with respect to Special Education students and all
The kitchen was located in the same footprint as the old kitchen with an extension
of counter space on the left wall to give more feeding/instructional/project work surface
area for students. A white board was relocated in order to make it functional for teachers.
Cabinets were custom made of high durability laminated real wood that is washable. Soft
close hinges and a low noise rated dishwasher make the kitchen quieter and less
disruptive for students. Cabinets were designed to give double pantry storage, more
storage overall, and a concealed pull out trash receptacle. Quartz counter tops were
selected for anti microbial qualities to improve hygiene. All surfaces on chairs and tables
are selected with durability and clean-ability in mind.
A pendant light was installed to focus on bistro sales or on an instructional lesson.
The kitchen sink was selected to be ADA accessible for wheel chair with a cutout below
and a six-inch deep sink with a high arch Unilever faucet to improve ease of washing
larger items. Two microwaves were purchased to allow separate workspace for improved
functionality. A new stove was installed with traditional electric burners for safety and a
self-cleaning oven. Four durable square tables were purchased for
For more information,
contact Paige Ridout at pridout or visit
Friendswood ISD Education Foundation