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 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 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 4 PPCD teachers, 8 Pre-Kindergarten teachers, teaching assistants, a counselor, a nurse, and a speech pathologist. Itinerant staff includes a librarian, a music therapist, an occupational therapist, and a physical therapist. Parents are welcomed to the Family Involvement room daily.