The Nederland Middle/Sr. High School project will bring innovation to the school by, providing flexible furniture and equipment to learning spaces throughout the school and converting the library to a learning commons. The project aligns with three of BVSD's six Innovation Guiding PrinciplesLearning Fosters a Culture of Curiosity and Risk Taking, Learning Is a Social Process, and Learning Is Powerful When Students Create Solutions to Authentic Challenges That Impact Their Local, National or Global Community.

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.

We will divide our Innovation money for three different projects to spread the funding throughout our entire school.  The first project is to provide collaborative, flexible use classroom furniture to every teacher’s classroom at Nederland Middle-Senior High School (NMSHS).  Each classroom will be equipped with furniture that will encourage risk-taking, inquiry, social learning, and learner led activities.

Our DAT team is working to add creative, collaborative spaces throughout our building.  Our second project is to provide the furniture and features in those spaces.  Our focus is to outfit these spaces with furniture and tools that encourage students to collaborate, be leaders of their own learning, and to take their learning outside of the classroom.

Our final project is to architecturally open up our library and make it into a learning commons. Our learning commons would connect our makerspace, student union, and other public spaces on the first floor of our building.  Connecting these spaces would allow for student supervision and be accessible to students throughout the school day.  We will create a space for students to learn in a social environment that allows them to leverage library resources and our makerspace to encourage creativity, curiosity, and innovation.

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

Our committee includes teachers and administrators from both our middle school and high school and many different subject areas.  Additionally, we will reach out to teachers, students, and parents to inform our final decisions.  In addition, the Innovation team has collaborated and informed the DAT Committee of these suggestions for use of our innovation dollars.  The DAT Committee is comprised of Nederland staff, community members, architects and BVSD bond representation.  Throughout this process, we have also collaborated with Kiffany Lychock and Dave Eggen. Kiffany Lychock is an integral member of our Innovation team.  Kiffany organized our school site vote that Dave Eggen facilitated.

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

The Success Effect has many different constructs but our innovations will support students to have challenging, meaningful, and engaging learning opportunities; discovery-based learning; and innovative approaches to create curious, lifelong learners.  Our projects will build multiple areas throughout every classroom, hallway, and our learning commons that engage students to pursue meaningful work.  Our classrooms, hallways, and learning commons will be spaces where students can seek out their own understanding through collaboration and individual work.  Our new spaces will allow our teachers and students to apply innovative teaching and learning models that our current facilities do not easily foster.

Last year, we adopted a Nederland Community of Schools Mission and Vision. Our new spaces directly align with our focus on the future and our directional progress towards EL Education.

Mission: Nederland Schools educate, empower, and enable all students to become culturally, socially, and environmentally responsible, preparing them for college, careers, and beyond. Students become contributing global citizens who think critically and thrive in an ever-changing world.

Vision: Nederland Schools are nurturing, safe, and engaging environments for all students. Students embrace diversity while treating others with respect and compassion. Students use grit and perseverance to solve problems creatively, improving the world around them. Students are inspired and curious lifelong learners.

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

Our projects align with many of the Innovation Guiding Principles, specifically: Learning Fosters a Culture of Curiosity and Risk Taking (Principle #2), Learning Is a Social Process(Principle #4) and Learning Is Powerful When Students Create Solutions to Authentic Challenges That Impact Their Local, National or Global Community (Principle #5).  Our projects will create environments that encourage students to pursue their own learning in collaborative and inquiry-based environments. The Success Effect and Innovation Guiding Principles are woven into our mission and vision statements.

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

Our projects will create environments that encourage students to collaborate, individualize, and take responsibility for their learning.

  • Actively participate in classroom activities (2c)

  • Work respectfully, collaboratively, and effectively to meet instructional objectives (3f)

  • Advocate for their unique learning styles and needs (3a)

  • Contribute their individual interest and strengths in a collaborative manner (2c)

    • Students will become leaders of their own learning

    • Students will create solutions that impact our community and the world

    • This is in direct alignment with our mission and vision as well as our focus on the future with EL Education

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 plan to survey teachers about how they used their new spaces and features in their classrooms.  We will specifically gather how often they use each space and the activities that the spaces provided (i.e. project-based learning, inquiry, group work, etc.).  

We will also focus group students to ascertain their feelings about each space.  Specifically, we will ask whether their teachers used the spaces for more collaborative, learner led activities.

Our forward progress with EL Education the spaces will become an integral part of our learning. Learning targets and assessments will become a part of our philosophy of teaching.

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

We will need Professional Development (PD)  and study about how to actively manage students while giving them the freedom to pursue their own projects and collaborations. Teachers will explore how to create learning structures that motivate and engage students by allowing them to discover the applications of the curriculum in which they are actively involved. Such activities would lead to discussion and collaboration as well as critical and design thinking.

Additionally, we will need orientations to each feature and space that we add to make our staff comfortable using and allowing students use to each space.