Southern Hills Middle School took advantage of Innovation funding to create new spaces and functions in its expansive library. With green screen rooms, digital learning spaces and a small group room with presentation zones, the library is equipped to facilitate a variety of learning situations and methods. BVSD's Innovation Guiding Principle, "Learning is a Social Process" is the foundation for the design.

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?"

Click on the image below to launch the SHMS Innovation Journey website.

 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.

SHMS would like to redesign the library space to include flexible learning spaces, collaborative areas, a creation space and a presentation area.

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

BVSD Innovation staff facilitated a district presentation to staff in the fall. During that presentation, we surveyed staff to ask for their project ideas and also to see who would be interested in participating in an innovation committee. Further discussion and survey of whole staff ideas, wants and needs was driven by the innovation committee. This committee held meetings and then brought information back to the whole staff. There was a strong voice advocating for a space where students could gain access to tools and resources that are limited in a classroom setting. The staff wanted this to be a space that could be accessed by all learners. The committee then met with our architect. A final recommendation for the renovation of the library space was then made to staff along with an opportunity for staff to contribute additional feedback. The innovation committee presented to our PTO and SAC to ensure the inclusion of all stakeholders.   

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

The creation of this space with its new environments, tools and resources will help us “to create challenging, meaningful and engaging learning opportunities.” As stated in the BVSD vision, SHMS hopes to provide a “comprehensive and innovative approach to education”, and we feel as though this project supports that vision. In addition, this work supports our school mission, which states "SHMS inspires and empowers individuals through innovative, supportive, and engaging learning opportunities to be active and compassionate participants in a global society"

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

We feel as though this space most strongly supports Innovation Guiding Principle #4: Learning is a Social
Process. We seek to create a multipurpose space that will allow students to collaborate and share thinking.
This will in turn help students to develop and grow in both their individual thinking and in small group
brainstorming skills. Students will have the opportunity to work in flexible learning environments and to
showcase their mastery of knowledge in different ways through the use of innovative spaces such as the
green room and tech bar. Students will also be able to present their ideas in the presentation space or
connect to the real world through video conferencing. They will also have cave space for reflection.

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

As a result of this innovation project, we expect to see the following student outcomes: 
1. Learners will work respectfully and collaboratively to meet instructional objectives. 
2. Learners will use technology to communicate effectively.

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?

Outcome 1: Quantitative ­ We can use data from the scheduling of space to see how often it is utilized. We can also use Educator Effectiveness data from standard 3f to measure a positive impact on teacher practice. Qualitative ­ We plan on using student and staff survey data, photos of use of the space and also will be able to use samples of student work to see the impact on learning. 

Outcome 2: Quantitative ­ We plan to use Educator Effectiveness data from standard 3d to measure a positive impact on teacher practice. Qualitative­ We will use a student and staff survey to measure the use of technology to communicate. We can also gather examples of student products that demonstrate effective use of technology. 

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

We would like to provide the following opportunities for PD options: 

  • Book study ­ perhaps multiple books to form mini­book studies. SHMS will work with the Innovation team from the district for recommendations on potential books to use for this option. 
  • Professional learning on Project Based Learning 
  • Professional learning on Design Thinking