Over the weekend, the Secondary School administration hosted a parent on-site coffee for Secondary School parents on the topic of Innovative Learning Spaces at AISG. We were pleased to be able to invite parents onto campus for one of the first times this school year! We finally got a chance to show off our newest addition to the Science Park campus, as well as our current construction zone for our new building that will be completed later this year.
The main objective of this visit was to help parents understand the role that space and furniture have in learning. Our newest building (designated ‘A Block’) was designed to be flexible and innovative, with walls that can open to create larger classrooms, if needed. We also showed off our Pathfinder design, the space outside of classrooms where students can break out of the classroom into small groups to work together. Education is changing in the 21st century and we must change along with it, finding ways to adapt and be creative in our approach to help children find how they learn the best.
Members of our administration shared and demonstrated how our innovative learning spaces are designed to be collaborative among students and our Secondary Assistant Principal, Trixie Siemens, even gave the attendees a math problem to figure out! Parents were given time to work individually on our whiteboard tables, then wheeled them together to share and discuss the learning. This perfectly mirrors how our students use the same tables during their classes.
Our Deputy Director of Academics, Jamie Robb, and our Director of Curriculum and Learning, Ruth Herrin, focused on our flexible furniture in the classrooms. Parents had an opportunity to explore flexible furniture and were presented various classrooms scenarios to see how they could collaboratively design classroom environments in response to them. We were impressed by the many different arrangements and configurations parents created, allowing them to experience the varying learning experiences and needs of our students in our classrooms.
Parents also got the chance to enter the construction site where our previous building existed and where our Secondary School students, Grades 6-12, will be eventually located. Our Secondary Principal, Dr. Amos Lyso, shared some of the plans of the new building (designated ‘B Block’), which includes the adoption of innovative and collaborative spaces and showed off the new staircase design and library plan that will be its central hub. We plan to complete this second phase of our Master Facilities Plan by the end of the year and we can’t wait to show off our new building.
We are so pleased to be able to show our new building and classroom spaces to parents and are glad that parents had a good time learning and understanding why we are breaking out of the traditional classroom structure. One parent said, "As parents, it was a great day of educating ourselves on how our children are learning at AISG and it was mind blowing! I love the use of space and wish I had been at a school like AISG."