By Amy Bounds, Staff Writer
The biggest projects — along with the new Erie pre-K-8 campus — are replacements for Creekside, Douglass and Emerald elementary schools. Construction on all four is expected to continue through next school year and be complete by August 2017. For those schools, the district is working with architectural consulting firm Fielding Nair International and using a learning communities design. The learning communities group together about 150 students in two grades and include classroom spaces, small-group spaces and flexible studios that could be used for science, maker spaces or other projects.
The learning community design also reflects a trend away from a teacher “owning” a single classroom to teachers working more collaboratively. Each learning community area includes a collaborative teacher work space. “It’s going to be really transformational,” said Kiffany Lychock, the district’s director of innovation of Innovation. “The idea is that learning is inherently a social process.”