The Kohl Elementary School Innovation project will expand the use of the cafeteria and computer lab by adding moveable glass walls and adjustable furniture that will allow for flexible use of the spaces. In addition, the library will be reorganized to create an inquiry space. The project aligns with two of BVSD's six Innovation Guiding Principles: Learning is a Social Process and Mastery of Learning is 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?" 

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.

  • Removing the wall between Cafeteria (Room 146) and our Computer Lab (Room 144).  Adding a glass wall with a flexible opening to give the option of creating a large gathering and collaborative space as well as an alternate performance space.
  • Insert windows between Computer Lab (Room 144) and main hallway to create an open collaborative environment and maintain sight lines within the heart of the building.
  • Adding flexible seating in the Cafe area to make it conducive to project work outside of lunchtime.
  • Adding innovative furniture and storage to room 144 to allow it to become our Makerspace area.
  • Rearranging our library with innovative furniture to allow for large and small group work while continuing to incorporate the use of technology and the green room.

We are interested in exploring methods to better utilize our cafeteria, adjoining computer lab space and library space.  Currently, our cafeteria is used during the times of 11:00-12:30 for lunchtime, and sporadically as needed.  By converting these spaces into more of a caf style space and creating ways to open and close walls between the two areas, we are creating a more innovative (Makerspace-like) area that can be separated while still maintaining line of sight.

We plan to incorporate flexible and mobile furniture options to support the cafe.

We will reorganize our library and create more of an inquiry space.  Structurally, the library can support collaborative spaces and break-out areas.  By using innovative furniture, we will be able to accommodate a variety of learning situations and projects.

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

Our Innovation team is made up of the Principal, intermediate and primary teachers, and our Innovation Engineer (media specialist). We have two members of the team who are also on our DAT, so we were able to share information frequently regarding both projects. To begin with, the Innovation team discussed the innovative guiding principles with staff. We then elicited and prioritized ideas. Finally, we created a specific plan and presented it to all involved parties.

We met with the BVSD Innovation team earlier this year both as a committee and as an entire school to kick off the Innovation Project.  

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

Goal #1: This innovation project will provide students with an opportunity to have a variety of furniture options for choice, mobility, and flexibility that supports individual learning needs.

Goal #2:  This innovation project will provide a welcoming, supportive environment where students are encouraged to collaborate.

Goal #3:  This innovative project will provide students hands-on experiences to develop curiosity and challenge them to think critically and solve real problems.

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 changes in our plan will align with two of the Innovative Guiding Principles:

  • Learning is a social process

  • Mastery of learning is demonstrated in multiple ways.

Our plan will allow versatility and flexibility in multiple areas of our school to support collaboration in large and small groups.  Adding our Makerspace room to a cafe space will also allow students to create work and share learning in a variety of ways.

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

  • Work respectfully, collaboratively, and effectively to meet instructional objectives (3f)
  • Use technology to accelerate learning, apply team building and networking skills, deepen critical thinking, to communicate effectively (3d)
  • Allows for a lesson structure with different pathways to learning outcomes according to student needs (3b)

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?

We will measure progress towards achieving our learning outcomes in several ways.  

Qualitative Data:   Student and teacher surveys regarding:

  • The use of collaborative workspaces  
  • The effectiveness of the innovative spaces to make connections across themes and disciplines
  • The use of available technology to share learning
Quantitative Data:  
  • Collect data on use of cafe/Makerspace area
  • Collection of student work, pictures, and videos that show ability to work together and create original work based on student needs

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

  • Support through BVSD’s Ed Tech and Innovation Teams
  • Ongoing personalized training in collaboration with Kohl’s Innovation Engineer
  • Continued collaboration with other Kohl and BVSD staff