Monday, October 14, 2013

Creating a Learning Space that Meets Student Needs

The mission of Van Meter Schools is to personalize learning for each students' success today and tomorrow. When you think about truly personalizing learning for students, it is a daunting task. The current school system was not designed with individuals in mind, but rather the masses. The factory model educational system was created to standardize learning, not to customize it to each individual's needs. So creating a learning system to help all students learn at high levels in an efficient way that works for all students is hard work.

We love what we have developed at Van Meter. Students are given more flexibility to demonstrate their learning here than in many other schools in the U.S., but we are far from where we hope to be in the future. Our vision is to empower students to be learners who:
  • Communicate
  • Collaborate
  • Create
  • Innovate
  • Solve Problems
  • Adapt
  • Think Globally
  • Live Ethically
  • Persist (Grit)

We believe we have the foundation established to continue to develop a system that encompasses our mission and makes our vision come to life, but we need a learning space that better enables our teachers to help our students learn in a system customized and personalized to meet each of their needs. That is why we have worked hard to design the type of building structure that is flexible, encourages collaboration, and allows students to create and innovate to solve problems in this ever changing world.  
With the support of our community backed bond issue in April of 2013, Van Meter Schools has started to transform the district's facilities.  Work has already begun on moving the baseball and softball fields.  As many people have noticed as they drive by our facilities, the fields are well on their way to being completed by next spring.  Photos of the project can be viewed here.  As is viewable from the photos or by just driving by, the fields turf is in and the grass seed is planted. We plan on getting the sod put in and the fences installed later this week. By the end of October, we should be about two-thirds of the way done with the project.

While work on the East Athletic Complex needed to start prior to the school building renovations, we are most excited about the changes that will be taking place in the late winter and early spring to our secondary building.  The project is expected to start shortly after the new year and will continue through the summer of 2015 with plans for completion by the start of the 2015-2016 school year.  Though the building plans have not been formally approved by the Van Meter School Board, you can preview what has been developed by the design team below.  

Main Floor- Download as a PDF to zoom in 
2nd Floor- Download as a PDF to zoom in

There are several key design features in these plans, but ultimately, we are hoping to create a learning space that matches our philosophy of learning. Students and teachers need spaces that are adaptable to the type of learning required for a personalized, innovative and global educational experience.

We are grateful for the support of our school. With one in five students open enrolled into our growing district, it is apparent that Van Meter Schools is a place that people want their kids to attend. Personalized, Innovative and Global is just not a phrase we put on our website or in promotional tools, but it is how we operate on a daily basis. We look forward to the continued progress of our facilities and we are confident when complete, the learning experiences of our students will only be improved.

No comments:

Post a Comment