Thank you very much to Michael Sharrow, Brigid Hockmeyer, Brian Brutyn and other staff members for the joint LWV and AAUW tour of Central Park Elementary School. This mostly new school (there are parts of the old Central Intermediate still there) has been designed and built as a STEM learning center. The design is flexible, with grade level pods that allow classrooms to be open or closed to a central maker space. The building is open design - leaving open the infrastructure for students to see and learn from.
Technology is in use everywhere. Teachers wear microphones to be heard by the very last student in the row. There are projectors and screens for every area - teachers and students can easily project any content from their classroom computers or Chromebooks. Every student has a Chromebook with a keyboard and a touch screen. Keyboarding is still a required (and necessary) skill.
Furniture is designed to be flexible and child-friendly. Puzzle tables are designed to be reconfigured as necessary for different group sizes. Wobble stools allow movement - no more sitting completely still!
This school is using the Project Lead the Way a STEM-based curriculum. Sharrow hopes to expand this to all of the elementary schools.
The extras have not been left behind - there is art, music, gym, world languages. The school also consolidates all of the other services - social worker, psychologist, health, etc. There are also special education classrooms.
Thank you very much Mr. Sharrow and Midland for taking this cutting edge leap to a new form of elementary education. I'm ready to go back ...
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