Learning Commons Project

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

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

Projected total cost: ~$25,000
Anticipated project completion date: 2023-2024 school year
library floorplan divided into zones 

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

Phase One (Spring 2022)
Status: In Progress

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 projector and one white board.

School Council contribution for phase one: $3,800

Future Phases (Fall 2022 onward)

Floor plan highlighting modular bookcases and soft touch furniture
(credit: Elizabeth Eagen)

Specific objectives for future phases will be determined as fundraising targets are achieved. Future phases will include, soft touch and modular seating, bookcases with integrated benches, a window bench, a standing work station for consulting computers, a green screen and additional white board surfaces for vertical learning.

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