Boulder Prep's Innovation project will refresh the school's space and enhance the sense of community to improve student engagement/productivity. The main component of the project replaces the traditional classroom desks with collaborative learning furniture.
The project aligns with two of BVSD's six Innovation Guiding Principles: Learning is a Social Process and Learning is Personalized and Learner Led.

Project Photos


Project Description

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

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

Boulder Prep is planning a renovation to refresh our space in a way that will enhance our sense of community and improve student engagement/productivity. The main part of this project will be to upgrade our traditional classroom desks with collaborative learning furniture. By having the flexibility to arrange furniture in different ways, teachers can offer more activities that promote student engagement. As a small school with limited space, having the ability to change the layout of a classroom will open up more options and create a positive learning environment for our non-traditional learners. We are also looking to open up and modernize our lobby and communal space to give it more of a college feel. Our office spaces will also be updated to move away from traditional desks and add collaborative tables for a more college-style student study spaces. As a college preparatory school, it is important that the look and feel of our space closely represents the atmosphere that our students will see at the next level.

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

The stakeholders are made up of all 12 staff members and the student body, both of which will play a major role in the decision process. The staff participated in a number of meetings to voice their needs and thoughts design ideas and furniture selection. Also to gain product knowledge and ideas, the school staff took part in school visits to Whittier Elementary and Summit Middle School lead by Kiffany Lychock, Director of Educational Innovation. The student body has had several opportunities to hear ideas as well. The Headmaster hosted a workshop with the students where they saw renovation ideas and got to find some of their own. We received pictures and links from 12 students so far. As the project progresses, we will put up pictures of 3-5 final ideas for each component of the project for voting by the students and staff. Time has been earmarked in our staff meetings for discussion and final decision making using a consultative process.

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

Boulder Prep’s proposed renovations/upgrades align with the success effect by:

  • Providing flexible classroom space to promote collaborative learning
  • Encouraging teachers to incorporate diverse instructional strategies
  • Creating a welcoming environment to reduce anxiety and improve engagement
  • Allowing students opportunities to participate in a community improvement project

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

The guiding principles that best align with this project are learning is a social process and learning is personalized. The new collaborative furniture will provide students with opportunities to share with and inspire one another. Teachers will use project-based lessons for students to showcase their learning in various ways. Boulder Prep has a strong sense of community already, and this project will enhance that connectedness. Also, we are really excited about having various seating options to help our high energy students fidget without disrupting the class or leaving the room.

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

The expected outcomes include:
  1. Students will be more participatory and engaged in learning as demonstrated by student-centered projects.
  2. Students will take breaks less frequently.
  3. Students will report feeling less anxious with low clutter furniture and calming aesthetic décor.
  4. Students will demonstrate deeper learning through discussions, projects, and creative assignments.
  5. Students will demonstrate self-management skills when working independently and in teams.
  6. Students will feel like their voices were heard and ideas were implemented with the renovation.
  7. Teachers will increase the diversity of instructional strategies used in lessons since furniture will be more flexible.

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?

Student and staff surveys will be used to measure progress. Student attendance and grades will also be used to determine impact on performance and engagement.

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

Staff will have professional development time allocated to share and brainstorm ideas around teaching strategies that encourage collaborative learning and independent/personalized projects.