Funding from the BVSD Building for Student Success program, coupled with the roadmap of the strategic plan and new resources for professional learning, offers a monumental opportunity to rethink the design of school buildings and our approach to education. Over the last half-century, the context in which we fulfill our educational mission has changed dramatically. However, the design of school buildings has not.
Funding in the Bond Program has been budgeted for every school to make renovations to learning environments to support innovative approaches to teaching and learning. In addition, the reconstruction of three schools and the new Erie Campus provide the opportunity to build innovative learning environments from the ground up. Our goal is to create spaces that will allow teachers to personalize learning for students, use multiple modes of delivering instruction and facilitating learning to fully engage students in their education.
Innovation Guiding Principles
To guide this work, district leaders, principals and teacher leaders worked together to develop our Innovation Guiding Principles. This work seeks to ensure that in addition to innovative learning environments we are also providing our students with innovative learning opportunities. This is not a change in the curriculum (students will still be expected to master our content standards), but rather a shift in how and where teachers facilitate learning opportunities for student success.
- Learning is founded in inquiry
- Learning fosters a culture of curiosity and risk taking.
- Mastery of learning is demonstrated in multiple ways.
- Learning is a social process.
- Learning is powerful when students create solutions to authentic challenges that impact their local, national, or global community.
- Learning is personalized and learner led.
The new building designs and innovation projects will act as catalysts to engage students in learning that actualizes our educational vision. We have identified five schools to be blueprints for educational innovation in the school district: three elementary school rebuilds (Creekside, Douglass, Emerald) Meadowlark School in Erie serving grades PK-8, and a major remodel of Centaurus High School. They will serve as models of 21st Century approaches to teaching and learning as well as innovative learning environments that will bring to life our Strategic Plan and the BVSD Innovation Guiding Principles.
Innovation Fund Projects
In addition to the Blueprint Schools, all schools in the district will receive an allocation of innovation funds to use in conjunction with their bond projects to create innovative learning environments. Elementary schools receive $200,000, middle schools receive $400,000, K-8 schools receive $600,000 and high schools receive $800,000. Schools access their funds during the bond phase that is assigned to their school. We have established processes and guidelines to support schools in the use of their funds.
During the project design phase, school teams create a project plan that includes learning objectives to connect the use of the space to how it will impact students. Teachers are supported during the first year by the Innovation Cohort, a professional development program facilitated by the BVSD Innovation and Ed Tech Teams. At the end of the implementation year, teams create a digital story to share how their project has affected learning. Look for the stories on the project pages.