The Fairview High School Innovation project will create a dynamic learning environment for Language Arts classes that all students will access for four years. This will provide an entire wing of 21st-century classroom spaces that will enhance learning through collaborative instruction for students and collaborative teaching practices. The project aligns with two of BVSD's six Innovation Guiding Principles: Learning is Founded in Inquiry and Learning is a Social Process.

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.

Create a dynamic learning environment that all students will access for four years. This will be the area for our Language Art classes.  Every student will access this new innovative space every year throughout their 4 years at the school. (These classrooms will be placed in the space currently occupied by the Boulder Police sub-station, the teacher lounge and parts of the kitchen/cafeteria. The police substation and the teacher lounge will be moved to the middle of the building which will give the FHS SRO better access to students and for teachers a better location for the lounge. The kitchen will be reduced in size in its current location since FHS is no longer a production kitchen and the eating spaces will be divided between a small seating area directly across from the serving lines ((tables and seating for 40+)) and the redesigned student center approximately 50ft away from the serving line. We do not see this as a radical change since the cafeteria usually only has between 25-50 kids in it at any one time). This will create an entire wing of 21st-century classroom spaces that will enhance learning through collaborative instruction for students and collaborative teaching practices. By having movable walls, flexible space within classrooms and the common spaces students and teachers will have the opportunity to be creative in lesson planning and implementation, small group and large presentations, and engage in real-world simulations.  Flexible seating and structures will promote a more student-centered instruction setting.  Students and teachers will have more access to each other and their curricula as the instruction in the language arts wing will be transparent (pun intended).  

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

We invited parents to help with the ideas behind this space during our DAT bond meetings. We will also be sending out updates throughout the bond.  We will also take collaborative teams out to other innovative spaces throughout the district.

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

Aligns with district Goal #2 - Learning: We believe that creating innovative learning spaces helps students develop 21st Century Skills.   These skills include, but are not limited to: Collaboration, Cooperation, Community, and Consistency.  All students, of all abilities, will have access to this area to receive high-quality instruction and innovative learning.

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

Creating the 21st Century space will promote curiosity and risk-taking based on the guiding principles that “learning is founded in inquiry” and that “learning is a social process.”  Learning will occur in cooperative spaces designed to promote small group, large group and/ or traditional sized class structures.  The ability for students to look in and observe and participate in other academic Language Arts classes will promote risk-taking for students to attempt more challenging curricula.  In addition, this transparency will promote a community of learners who develop a greater appreciation of the diversity of learners at FHS.

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

In alignment to the “Learning is founded in the Inquiring” Guiding Principle will:

  • Deepen critical thinking skills 

  • Actively participate in a culture of inquiry 

In alignment to the “Learning is a Social Process”, we will see a positive impact on the climate and culture because of the new innovative learning space.

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?

  • Increase the diversity of students within our advanced programs (AP & IB) 
  • Increase the number of LA electives students choose to take relative to years’ past
  • More visits from other secondary schools.  (We are currently a model school for Language Arts Instruction.  Our LA teachers present their innovative instructional practices on a national level and are toured on a regular basis.  With the construction of the new innovative space to support the current innovative teaching, we expect to increase this service to other Language Arts departments in the state of Colorado and beyond.)  
  • We see an increase in the scores of our students on SAT English scores, an increase in IB and AP Language Arts scores.

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

  • Take current LA teachers in teams to visit innovative classrooms throughout the district.
  • Look at current research and studies on innovative techniques and space to maximize student learning.