BCSIS's Innovation Project will create a flexible space that will be used for a variety of activities such as mindfulness work, drama, Socratic Seminars, presentations, movement and dance, and arts integration. This space will be a room that inspires creativity. The project aligns with two of BVSD's six Innovation Guiding Principles: Learning is Founded in Inquiry and Mastery of Learning is a Demonstrated in Multiple Ways.

Results - Impact on Learning

During the first school year the new space was used, educators were asked to monitor and track growth towards the outcomes identified in their project plan and present the findings in a digital story.  The story was framed by the question, "How is innovation shifting the story of learning at our school?"

Scroll over the icons in the image to see elements of the story.
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Project Photos

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Project Description

To develop the school's project, staff worked together to develop responses to the following guiding questions: 

 Briefly describe the project that you plan to implement with your Innovation Funds.

We plan to create a flexible space that will be used for a variety of activities such as mindfulness work, drama, Socratic Seminars, presentations, movement and dance, and arts integration. We envision this space to be a room that inspires creativity. This will be a Mindfulness Space. The space will be flexible and responsive to the changing needs of the community. It is intended for all grade levels. This space is innovative in that we will implement Process Drama, Integrated Drama, Academic-Integrated Drama activities, as well as other arts integrated activities. The aesthetics and openness of the space will facilitate creative thinking, movement, drama, and other activities. For example, tableaus are used to strengthen academic understanding of social studies, science, literature. 

Proposal for BCSIS/HP Library Space ~ A small amount of our innovation money will be combined with High Peaks in order to create an innovative space in our shared library. Included on this document in red is our shared proposal for our innovative plan for our shared campus library. 

BCSIS and High Peaks have agreed to each contribute $15,000 to the renovation of the building library to space that aligns better to the needs of today’s students. This will include innovative seating, study areas, work carrels, sensory integration seating, and more. 

2. How will you involve stakeholders in the decision-making process concerning the use of the innovation funds for your site?

We employed our entire DAT team in this decision-making process. That team included teachers, administrator, parents, and staff. We also presented the idea to our PTO ED Council and they gave input and brainstormed ideas. That Council includes teachers, staff, administrator, and parents. 

Library Proposal ~ We have teachers and parents on our DAT team. We have also reached out to the community at large to participate on the DAT. Because BCSIS and High Peaks share a building, this process was really a springboard for us to consider how we might leverage this opportunity to create spaces that support the Aurora 7 campus library. The combined DAT discussions also led to the decision for each school to set aside some funds to collaboratively work on renovating the library spaces. 

3. How does your project support The Success Effect? (BVSD's Strategic Plan-Mission/Vision/Goals)

Success Effect Priority ~ Learning: Successful, Curious, Lifelong Learners BVSD honors innovative teaching techniques that allow students to take the lead in learning, so we’re committed to fostering students’ curiosity, interests, creativity, strengths, and passions. 

The core mission and vision of BCSIS is to use the arts to strengthen students’ deeper academic learning. This space will be used to implement our arts integrated program. The arts help students to be flexible thinkers, responsive to their environment and learning, and creative thinkers. The arts deepen understanding of complex concepts due to the innate problem-solving nature of creative learning. 

Success Effect ~ Vision: We develop our children’s greatest abilities and make possible the discovery and pursuit of their dreams which, when fulfilled, will benefit us all. We provide a comprehensive and innovative approach to education and graduate successful, curious, lifelong learners who confidently confront the great challenges of their time. 

One of the primary motivations for using Arts Integration is that child develop independent ideas, styles of expression, creative thought, and an independent connection with the world. By incorporating drama, movement, performance, music, dance, and creative projects using this mindful space, children will further develop lifelong learning capabilities. This corresponds with the educational philosophy of the Third Space; children incorporate and integrate their personal life, their individual style, passions, interests, experiences, in such a way that brings life and meaning to academic learning. This leads to students who can better confront the challenges of their time as they grow older. 

Library Proposal ~ This space will help our school to actualize the district mission of creating challenging, meaningful and engaging learning opportunities for our children. Our current environment is often a barrier to leveraging these sorts of activities for our kids.The district vision of providing a “comprehensive and innovative approach to education that promotes “successful, curious, lifelong learners” aligns to the current path of our school’s instructional journey. These changes in our space will act as a catalyst to as a part of our journey as a school and will help to support our goal of personalizing learning for students. 

4. Review the Innovation Guiding Principles and discuss with your stakeholders. How will your project align to one or more of the guiding principles?

Learning is founded in inquiry ~ Through the arts, such as drama and Socratic seminar, learning is open-ended and creative. For example, with Socratic Seminars, learning is a creative, exploratory endeavor based in inquiry. 

Mastery of learning is demonstrated in multiple ways ~ This is a high-quality, aesthetic presentation space. Students will be able to demonstrate mastery of learning through a myriad of formats such as dance, dramatic presentation, slide shows, theater, etc. Stakeholders are involved as participatory audience and models for development. 

Library Proposal ~ By bringing our library space into the 21 Century learning objectives, we will achieve the following: Consistently engages in inquiry and study of their content and demonstrates application in their teaching (1d). Presents and adapts instruction that actively engages and motivates students (3a). Function as facilitator and uses instructional and questioning techniques that engage students in the discussion (3c)

5. Determine what your learning outcomes are for your innovation. What will happen as a result of this innovation?

Our two outcomes will be: - Apply higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills to address challenging issues (3e) - Select challenging content and activities when given the choice in order to stretch their skills. 

BCSIS will focus on the overall innovation guiding principle that “Learning is powerful when students create solutions to authentic challenges that impact local, national, or global community. Our use of Arts Integrations strategies within the Mindful Space will give students the opportunity to have their curiosity inspired and to pose authentic questions. The arts are especially powerful at helping students to apply higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills to address challenging issues. 

BCSIS will especially focus on the learning outcome “Apply higher-order thinking and problem-solving to address challenging issues.” We will use the drama space for activities related to real issues that the children are starting to be aware of and grapple with. Also, BCSIS will focus on the learning outcome “Select challenging content and activities when given the choice in order to stretch their skills.” By employing arts integration, children are forced to use innovative thinking skills and creative problem-solving skills which present unique challenges for them, and builds their skill-base and understanding of the world around them. 

Library Proposal: Elementary Innovative Furniture 
  • Students will apply higher-higher order thinking and problem-solving skills to address challenging issues (3e) 
  • Teachers and students will work respectfully, collaboratively, and effectively to meet instructional objectives (3f)

6. Determine how you will measure the progress towards and achievement of your learning outcome. What is your plan for gathering data to show that the change is positively impacting learning at your site?

BCSIS will use several assessment tools to determine the overall effectiveness of the Mindful Space: Including parent surveys (Do parents feel their child is engaged with learning that is meaningful and effective?), PARCC and CMAS (Arts Integration, including drama and performance, is especially impactful of literacy learning and social studies exploration), and the Student Climate Survey (Do students feel they are excited to come to school, learning new things this year, and learning about other cultures?) 

Library Proposal ~ 

  •  student surveys to gather feedback from our kids. 
    • Engagement 
    • Difference between 
  • Data on use of space - track workshop models 
  • Observational data 
  • Student interviews 
  • Samples of student work (via SeeSaw) 
  • Teacher feedback on how library space promotes collaboration, promotes a positive climate and culture, and professional growth.

7. What professional learning and support might your staff might need in order to reach the desired learning outcomes for the space?

For the past 5 years, we have worked with two highly effective guest artists in the area of dramatic learning, dramatic integration into academics, and presentations. We will continue to employ the specific activities, strategies, and instructional approaches we have gained from these two guest artists. The focus will be the integration of drama, movement, and performance into literacy learning and social studies. 

Library Space: We will explore new best-practice instruction and learning strategies within the media-specialist role, and for use in the library space.