BI school wins award for designing learning environment

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Blakely Elementary School received the James D. MacConnell Award from the Association for Learning Environments 2021 at the recent LearningSCAPES conference.

This international awards program recognizes excellence in the planning of educational institutions, with an emphasis on the link between the planning process and the end result.

The nine-member jury underlined the ‘strong vision of school design that seamlessly integrated the landscape with shared collaborative experiences that amplify student outcomes and reinforce innovation … Very simply, it s’ is a project of exquisite beauty. “

In his appointment video, Superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen said the process included collaboration with teachers, the community and students.

The design includes a shared learning space inside and out.

“It inspires a different way of teaching,” says Tamela Van Winkle, former executive director of facilities, in the video.

The favorite place for students is the library.

“I still can’t get over the difference in children’s behavior when I read to them in this room. They’re just calmer, ”says librarian Kathleen Pool.

Bang-Knudsen said the school was designed with flexibility in mind.

“We don’t know what education will look like” in the future, he said, adding that they already know that it is moving from a teacher-centered orientation to a student-centered orientation “for meet the needs of an evolving child “.

Surrounded by trees, the campus was built to connect children with multiple senses. Bang-Knudsen said it inspires engagement, interaction and socialization.

“It’s a beacon of hope and… pride for the whole community,” he says.

Many windows allow students to see others enjoying the outdoors.

The school landscape is gently sloping from meadows to trees.

The school landscape is gently sloping from meadows to trees.



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