Kooken Educational Center, located on the original site of North Side School, was built in 1938. Originally called Kooken Elementary, it was named after a principal and superintendent of Arlington ISD, John A. Kooken. In 1988 Kooken re-opened as the only preschool campus in the district. Dr. Joan Rodman was the campus administrator at the time.
In 1993, the school was recognized by the state when awarded a $25,000 Governor’s Grant for Excellence by Governor Ann Richards. The school was recognized again in 1994 as a TEA Promising Practice for parent involvement. In 2005, the school was recognized as a TEA Promising Practice for the integration of disabled preschoolers with their non-disabled peers, parent involvement efforts, and teaching strategies for the diverse classroom.
Dr.Connie Spence was named principal in 1996. The current full-time staff includes teachers of ECSC & ISPD, ESL & Bilingual Pre-Kindergarten teachers, teaching assistants, and additional staff members such as a counselor, nurse, librarian, speech pathologist, technology contact, family representative, student support interventionist, instructional coach, and office, cafeteria, and custodial staff. Itinerant staff includes a music therapist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, diagnostician, student outreach facilitator, and technology integration specialist. Parents are welcomed to the Family Involvement room daily.