Building A Better Pleasantdale: Learning Environments (3 of 4)

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.
~Steve Jobs

As we begin to put the final touches on our district Strategic Blueprint, I am using this blog to communicate the details of our plan. The plan is made up of three goal areas that seek to achieve the vision of our Future Planning Committee.  The three goal areas are:

  • Building Learning Capacity
  • Building Learning Environments
  • Building Human Capital

This week I would like to unpack our second goal area, Building Learning Environments. The goal statement for Building Learning Environments is Our schools will provide flexible learning environments that promote purposeful collaboration and a balanced educational approach to create inspired 21st century learners.

This goal area focuses on making sure the physical spaces in our schools and the culture and climate within our schools best support student learning. When we talk about our learning environment, we consider the culture and climate of our schools, the equipment we choose to buy, use of physical spaces, how we choose to furnish our classrooms, social/emotional wellness, student/teacher growth mindset, home/school communication, technology refresh cycles, district financial health. While this is not an exhaustive list, it helps you to better understand the focus of this category.

When the staff came together to draft action statements in this area, they worked hard to balance the two components of this goal, physical space and the feel or climate of our schools. As you can see in the table below, our teachers did a great job of creating action steps in this goal area.

Explore collaboration spaces and furniture arrangements  for teacher-to-teacher, teacher-to-student, student-to-student work spaces
Develop cycles for regular maintenance and upgrades  (i.e., painting, blinds, floors, lockers, etc.)
Develop a refresh cycle for computers, LCD projectors, personal devices, and other technologies
Investigate and find creative solutions to provide spaces for testing, related services, interventions, sensory breaks, developmentally appropriate play/exploration, etc.
Expand and create new opportunities to celebrate the accomplishments of staff and students

The work done over the course of the next year in this goal area will have an immediate positive impact on our students and staff.  We want our students to be able to collaborate, communicate, think critically, and be creative. We also know that we need to provide the right environment for this to happen. These action steps will move us in the right direction.

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