Ideas for the New FHS
The Sprint campus in Kansas City, from a site visit on November 5th. View a slide show from the campus visit by clicking here.
Working Together to Build a High School for the 21st Century
New slide shows added: 2/11/09
The School Board voted to build a new, world-class high school on the high school's current 40 acre location. Our district faces the challenge of building a new high school on the same site as the current hich school, while maintaining an environment conducive to learning. The new high school will be built for 3,000 students (current enrollment including 9th grade is approximately 2,500). As we look ahead to creating a 21st century high school, here are some other innovative campuses district staff are visiting for ideas.
Hudson High School's mission is focused on fostering responsibility and building community. Students are clustered into groups of 100 to 150 students based on career interest, and the building's design reflects this. The school was built with an eight cluster configuration, each of which includes a large central meeting space surrounded by classrooms. Community engagement in the school's design led to a facility that serves as a community center for concerts, a recreation center for children, a day-care/pre-school program, a conference center for education and community groups. View a slide show of the Hudson High School visit here.
Lawrence High School (Lawrence Public Schools) in Lawrence, Massachusets offers its 3,000 students (the same number of students the new FHS will be built for) college level facilities including a 35,000 sf field house, a 20,000 sf library, 1,200 seat performing arts center, and a 10,000 sf dining commons. Their total campus is 42 acres, very similar to FHS' 40 acres. A second level promenade connects six "academies" (essentially six separate high schools) that encircle these common spaces fostering a sense of campus. View a slide show of the Lawrence High School visit here.
According to their web site, "San Diego's High Tech High combats the twin problems of student disengagement and low academic achievemnet by creating personalized, project-based learning environments where all students are known well and challenged to meet high expectations. HTH schools attempt to show how education can be redesigned to ensure that all students graduate well prepared for college, work, and citizenship." View a slide show of pictures from the High Tech High School visit here.
Todd Beamer High School, just south of Seattle, presents a unique and personalized design that breaks students into smaller groups called “academies” (like pods at our middle schools). The academies share the library, commons, fitness and arts facilities. The philosophy of the school is student-centric, and the school belongs to the students. The design team directed its efforts to ensure the new school would flexibly serve multiple educational approaches and teaching and learning styles. View a slide show of pictures from the Todd Beamer High School visit here.
District staff visited the Sprint campus in Kansas City on November 5th. Because 21st century teaching and learning stresses a collaborative work environment, a critical design element of the new high school will be to capture features of a 21st century workplace. The school IS our students' workplace! FHS Broadcast teacher Peggy James participated in the site visit, and she writes: "The most important thing I saw was the 'campus' feel. If we want small communities within a large school - then there is a lot to learn from Sprint." See more of Ms. James' thoughts about her visit to the Sprint Campus on our Community Blog. View a slide show of pictures from the Sprint Visit by clicking here.
Other sites will continue to be identified and reports will be listed here in the weeks to come. Also being considered are school sites recognized as 21st century environments by the National School Board Association.
As we move forward in developing ideas for our new high school, we welcome the thoughts, suggestions, ideas, and critiques from everyone in the community. You can share your thoughts easily through our community blog.