The bond measure passed in November 2014 is providing significant funding directed at creating innovative learning environments and includes much needed capital improvements to our district’s buildings. It is an opportunity for us to rethink school design and our approach to education. New innovative environments in BVSD will provide students with a flexible space to support many different kinds of learning. Students will be able to easily work collaboratively together in both smaller and larger groups as well as have the ability to quickly and easily adjust learning environments for more individual tasks when needed. Student ownership of learning can also be fostered through these agile environments that offer students a variety of choice in where and how they learn.
As a means for the bond to support all schools in Innovative Learning Environments, all schools in the district will receive an allocation of innovation funds to use in conjunction with their bond projects. 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. Most of our Phase 1 Innovation Projects will be installed this summer. We look forward to sharing more about the implementation those spaces in the fall of 2016.
We are moving into the construction phase for four of our Exemplar Schools: Erie K-8, Creekside, Douglass and Emerald. Centaurus High School School (our 5th Exemplar School) is not a full scale rebuild, but is a significant remodel project that is currently in the design phase. It is our best hope that the new building designs and innovation projects will act as catalysts to engage students in learning that actualizes our vision. The exemplar schools will be model schools that were designed in collaboration with Fielding Nair International (FNI) and leverage flexible educational spaces to actualize our Strategic Plan and the BVSD Innovation Guiding Principles.
As part of our work with FNI, our district leaders, building principals and a group of teacher leaders spent time this fall developing our Innovation Guiding Principles. This work seeks to help us to ensure that in addition to innovative learning environments we are also providing our students with innovative learning opportunities and supporting The Success Effect’s mission and vision for education.The kind of learning as described in the guiding principles will support our mission to “…create challenging, meaningful and engaging learning opportunities so that all children thrive…” and also support our vision to “…provide a comprehensive and innovative approach to education.”
BVSD has embarked on a journey that is very unique as we have an opportunity to support The Success Effect through educational innovation and learning practices while also creating learning environments built to support those practices. It is this combination of Bond and facility use in synergy with the implementation of our strategic plan that will greatly impact how and where our students learn. It is this kind of comprehensive and innovative approach to education that sets Boulder Valley School District apart from other districts both here in Colorado and on a national scale. We are proud to have amazing staff, outstanding parents and the support of our community as we move eagerly forward with innovating education in BVSD!
By Kiffany Lychock, Director of Educational Innovations
Member, Successful, Curious, Lifelong Learners Priority Action Team