High School Renovation Vision and Purpose
The Nanuet School District is committed to the personal development of each student so that upon graduation, he or she is prepared and inspired to apply learning in a *changing, complex and interdependent world.
*If the world is changing, so must we!
Vision and Purpose:
Education has shifted dramatically in recent decades, from an emphasis on fact memorization to a focus on higher-order thinking and future-ready skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, communication and problem solving. Pedagogy in The Nanuet Union Free School District has always rested on the foundational belief that students should acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to thrive in their studies, careers, and adult lives.
Over the past few years NUFSD began transitioning to a more modern learning environment in an effort to better align our physical spaces with a more contemporary pedagogical philosophy. In a modern learning environment, flexible classroom spaces organically integrate technology, helping teachers to better engage students and facilitate a mix of independent, small-group and whole-class learning that is now viewed as essential to student success.
This movement started in 2013 when the Academy/Barr School’s traditional library was redesigned into an active media center equipped with new instructional technologies, collaborative zones for group projects, and soft seating for small group meetings and research activities. Student and teacher teams from 5th grade to 8th grade have successfully utilized this common classroom as the central hub for creative lesson designs, public presentations and celebrations, and cross curricular projects.
GW Miller and Highview:
The next phase focused on our elementary schools as we designed STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Labs in both GW Miller and Highview Schools. These labs offer our youngest learners the opportunities to create, design, invent, present, and explore in a more collaborative and modern way. Here students blend multiple academic content areas with the overarching learning themes of “learn by doing” and “hands-on learning.” These classrooms are the favorites among all elementary students!
The last step in converting our learning environment is The Nanuet Senior High School Global Learning Commons renovation project. The library, cafeteria, and school store are all being converted to spaces that are more conducive to creative teaching practices and superior student learning opportunities. This design coincides with the new NSHS master schedule that provides longer instructional periods for core subjects, intervention and enrichment, professional learning communities and one common lunch period for both students and faculty. The Learning Commons and Café’-School Store will serve as the “Social Heart” of the school. The modern central media/library community space, faculty and staff support areas and student instruction-collaboration areas comprise the Learning Commons. This inventive space will not only host our Board meetings, community events, and high school celebration ceremonies, but will provide our high school students with the same level of innovative, collaborative, and experiential rigor they will experience in college.
The Café’-School Store will become a more visible and vibrant program piece among the other Global Learning Commons elements. The School Store is run by the life-skills students (managing / keeping the books / scheduling / inventory / etc.) and is a proud component of the NSHS program. This will allow us to better promote and expand the wonderful work of this award winning program. The Café’ has becoming a multipurpose space with bistro areas and booth seating. Learning is not limited by location in a 21st century school. Not only will our students have the chance to stretch their legs, their interest will be piqued, heightening their propensity to absorb whatever lesson comes next.
The portion of students who reported better grades, better attendance or improved creativity in newly designed active learning environments.
Source: Mark Fehlandt, Hamline University, “Flexible Classroom Design and Its Effects on Student-Centered Teaching and Learning,” August 2017