Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Creating a broader context . . .

The Education Specifications Committee met again this evening to continue conversations about a new comprehensive grade 9-12 high school.  I blogged about the work of this committee here and here that is designed to alleviate the over crowded conditions in each of our buildings.  It is a generative process where individuals share ideas designed to provide the architects with direction and a framework to begin the design phase.  Tonight was focused on designs to meet specific functions identified in prior discussions including core classroom spaces, project and applied learning spaces, media/library, administrative, fitness, and other spaces.

We started the meeting this evening, however, trying to create a broader context for the work.  Yes, we are bringing an aspiration to life, but the driver behind this effort is the need for additional student housing capacity.  As we continue this effort, it will be important for the Committee and for all of us to keep this broader context in the conversation.  We shared the slide below to visually capture the number of students we are currently housing in our schools compared to the designed capacity of our buildings.  Though the graph shows we are over capacity, it does not convey the tension it is creating in our school system.  As the work continues it will be important for us to identify vehicles to share stories that truly capture the tension and stress that over crowding brings to our learning environments.  In the absence of addition capacity, we will be forced to make difficult decisions with significant program implications.

The remainder of the meeting

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