Community Message October 2019

Community Message October 2019
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October 2019
Today, school buildings are designed differently than they were in the past. Even since our newest elementary and middle schools were built, just in the last 10 years (Severance Middle School in 2009 and Range View Elementary School in 2010), the approach to designing educational spaces has evolved. Members of the Weld RE-4 2020 Vision Committee learned this firsthand when they toured Meadowlark in Boulder Valley School District and Charles Hays World School in Englewood Schools. They saw entire buildings designed around engaging learners, specific spaces fabricated to enhance learning, and flexibility built into construction to allow for current and future program innovations. 

Our 2020 Vision Committee is providing input and recommendations on potential new construction to expand capacity at the elementary and middle school levels to meet the demands of growth in student enrollment. We are starting the year over capacity (107%) at our elementary and middle schools. The Vision Committee will wrap up its work on October 21, when it shares a set of principles to guide the district’s Design Advisory Committee in more extensive planning for two new elementary schools, the expansion of Severance Middle School, and the renovation and expansion of Windsor Middle School. We expect this work will result in a November 2020 bond measure.
It is critical to our planning process to see the latest innovations in school design. We have already started to apply what we have learned beyond plans for new construction and renovation projects.

Visit any of our schools today, and you will likely see that most classrooms are no longer set up with desks in rows facing the front of the room. Instead, there might be smaller pods of desks where students are working in teams. Students may be engaged in activities on the floor or sitting with their Chromebooks on a couch. You may have spotted a teacher working among a small group of students engaged in solving a problem, instead of standing at the front of the room in a lecture-style format.
These are some indicators of how education has changed; how a one-size-fits-all approach to learning no longer applies. Gone are the days when every student is working on the same thing, in the same way. As we design new schools, and reinvent spaces at our existing schools, we do so with a focus on better positioning our students for college admissions and academic and athletic scholarships and, beyond that, preparing them for the demands of a modern workforce and ever-evolving society.  
Dan Seegmiller                          
Superintendent, Weld RE-4 School District