FLEXIBLE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

A New Direction: Personalized Learning

The future of learning in the Evergreen School District focuses on personalizing the learning experience for students.

This approach focuses on developing a range of core competencies, including the ability to communicate, collaborate, be creative and engage in critical thinking – while at the same time providing choice and voice to students in how they approach their learning experience while at school. A critical part of creating this type of experience also involves creating flexible learning spaces that can support this new vision for learning.  Learn more about personalized learning in Evergreen.

 

What Part Do Learning Spaces Play?

Many factors will contribute to realizing this vision for learning, including understanding the role that learning spaces play. We have a wide variety of spaces in our schools – classrooms, libraries, common spaces, and many others that serve students on a daily basis. Our responsibility to our community is to explore the relationship of spaces to learning and make the right decisions about updating and creating new spaces that support our new vision for learning.

What is the Need?

Many of our current classrooms were designed for a different time and for a different type of learning experience. To support personalized learning, we believe that the spaces students learn in at school must change. We believe that spaces that are flexible and agile, that are responsive to the needs of students and permit student choice in how they learn will best serve today’s student. We want to create spaces that increase engagement in learning and promote ownership in the learning experience.

Addressing the Need Strategically 

Addressing the need for updating and creating new learning spaces requires a strategic approach. To accomplish this, the Evergreen School District has undertaken a Learning Spaces Pilot Program, designed to test new types of learning spaces and how they support a personalized learning approach. 

 

To establish this strategic approach, the district has:

Involved a variety of stakeholders across the district.

Developed a set of space design guides for classrooms based on the vision for personalized learning.

Identified potential manufacturers and vendors of appropriate school furniture.

Created new testable designs for learning spaces.

Identified schools and educators to participate in the pilot program.

Provided educators with professional development for using new spaces.

Implemented new pilot spaces, including classroom, library spaces, and a common, shared space at one school (ongoing).

Assessed each space for its ability to support personalized learning (ongoing).

Made recommendations for a larger implementation across the school district (ongoing).

“We want to create spaces that increase engagement in learning and promote ownership in the learning experience.”

The Furniture Pilot and Personalized Learning

What is it?
A strategic approach for testing learning space designs with teachers and students under live teaching and learning conditions. This is occurring in selected schools to test designs that support a personalized learning model of education.
What schools are participating?
Union High School, Mountain View High School, Wy’east Middle School, Hearthwood Elementary School, and York Elementary School are pilot locations.
What is the timeline?

To be announced.

What are we testing?
Different types and styles of furniture, the ability to reshape spaces on demand, how spaces allow for choice, how new spaces support technology use, and processes to support the implementation of new spaces.
Who is participating?
A range of educators and students from across the district have participated in a variety of aspects associated with the pilot program, from the initial design workshops to testing new furniture in classrooms and libraries.
What types of spaces are part of the pilot?
Classrooms, a portion of the libraries at Wy’east and Mountain View, and a shared, common space between classrooms at York Elementary have been included in the pilot.
What are the designs?
A variety of designs were submitted by manufacturers or vendors, including Steelcase, KI, Smith System, Mein and VS.
What will the outcome tell us?
We will have specific information and data that will enable us to make strategic and cost-effective decisions about learning spaces across the school district.
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