Learning Commons Project

From School Library to Learning Commons:
Transforming this space into a versatile learning environment for
Connaught Students

This project is now completed. Many thanks to our families and the wider community for their support and help in making our vision into reality. Our official ribbon cutting ceremony occurred on September 28, 2023 and was covered by the Kichissippi Times.

What is a learning commons?
It’s a space to encourage participatory learning at school with both physical and virtual components. Learning commons emphasize creativity, collaboration, innovation and opportunity to enhance teaching and learning outcomes. How people access information has changed even in the relatively short time since our school was built. Information is no longer confined to printed materials accessible only in a single, physical location. As such, we’d like to shift the purpose of our library from a focus on housing books to one of connecting learners and constructing understanding/knowledge-building in a versatile and engaging space.

What we hope to achieve:

  • A safe and welcoming space that provides inclusive and equitable access to physical and virtual resources
  • Reflective of the diversity of students/families in our community
  • Fosters student collaboration, inquiry and creation; engages students in hands-on/active learning
  • Promotes a culture of reading, literacy, and tech integration; merges digital and physical resources
  • Is a flexible space which meets the needs of individuals, groups, and whole classes 
  • Includes vertical learning opportunities 
  • Allows for opportunities to adapt the space over time as needs/uses evolve

Specific elements we plan to include:

  • Replace traditional tables and chairs with modular furniture that can be rearranged for a variety of purposes
  • Vertical white board spaces for shared learning
  • Designated zones or spaces for collaborative and independent work, quiet reading, story-time and group learning activities as well as the more traditional library functions
  • Green screen
  • Tech/media resources
  • Potential repainting (neutral if bright new furniture)
  • Replace the circulation desk and central stacks with more modular/movable alternatives

Total cost: ~$42,000
Project completion date: September 2023
library floorplan divided into zones 

Floor Plan with designated activity zones (Credit: Elizabeth Eagen)

Phase One (Spring 2022)
Status: Completed

Phase 1: floor plan with tables chairs and circulation desk highlighted
(credit: Elizabeth Eagen)

Highlights for this phase include: height adjustable trapezoid tables allows for many different configurations and seating in various heights for our growing learners. The circulation desk on wheels can now be moved around as needed.

This phase also includes the installation of new flooring, a ceiling projector and one white board.

School Council contribution for phase one: $3,800
School contribution: $2000

Phase 2 (Summer 2022 )
Status: Complete

floor plan showing purchases to date

(credit: Elizabeth Eagen)

Purchases with funds raised in Spring 2022 include a standing computer table, a mobile book drop, a book cart, under window bench seating, a music cart, and a bookshelf system with integrated nook seating.

School council contribution for phase 2: $10,100

Phase 3 (Fall 2022/Winter 2023)
Status: Complete
Phase 3
(credit: Elizabeth Eagen)

Priorities for this phase include the low height central bookcases to improve visibility and the various soft touch seating elements in the book and technology zones. Two additional chairs were purchased for the nook near the Kindergarten classrooms as well.

School Council contribution for phase 3: $22,332

Phase 4: Technology (Spring/Fall 2023)
Status: Completed

Priorities for this phase will include various technology elements to enhance learning opportunities such as video/filming equipment, green screen, coding robots,  etc.  Board has provided three wall mounted white boards and a new projector system for the space.

School Council contribution for phase 4: ~$8000

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