Innovation Bond: K-8 Renovation Projects
WHY the push for renovations?
As professional standards and requirements continue to evolve, so should the traditional classroom. When Cherry Creek School District stakeholders were asked how children and students can be better prepare for the future, they identified the following necessary skills:
- critical thinking,
- working in teams,
- project-based learning,
- real world experience.
This skill set requires leaders, teachers, students, families and community members to shift their notions of traditional education to embrace innovation. Our newly renovated spaces can be seen across the school district and provide learning environments that spark innovative mind-sets. In these spaces, every student is inspired to think, to learn, to achieve and to care.
WHAT role did the bond play?
With the help of 2016’s 3A and 3B bond measure, taxpayers brought $250 million to Cherry Creek Schools. From that $250 million, the district dedicated $77,700,000 specifically to Career and Innovation/Technology. Within the Career and Innovation allocation, each elementary school was designated $500,000, and each middle school was designated $750,000 to renovate key areas in the building to align with the district’s approach to systemic implementation of 21st-century teaching and learning. The bond also afforded the district the opportunity to build a new elementary school and middle school, as well as the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus, a career- and innovation-focused high school.
WHICH schools received renovations?
With 53 elementary and middle schools, each K-8 building was placed into one of three phases. Phase One schools were renovated over the summer of 2018, while Phase Two and Phase Three schools will receive renovations during the summer of 2019.
In addition to K-8 renovations, innovation was at the foundation of our three newest buildings. The district’s newest elementary school, Altitude Elementary, opened in fall 2018, as did the district's newest middle school, Infinity Middle School. In the fall of 2019, the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus (CCIC) will open its doors to high school students from across the district. Unlike the district’s existing comprehensive high schools, the CCIC will provide an innovative, streamlined focus on career preparedness through Career and Technical Education (CTE) programming. This state-of-the-art, immersive and innovative campus is designed to connect CCSD students with applicable, professional skills needed to succeed in the professional landscape of the 21st century.
WHO was involved in the decisions and details?
Cherry Creek Schools recognizes and supports the individual needs at each building. Using the district’s vision of innovation as its guide, each elementary and middle school formed a Site Advisory Team (SAT) that served as the oversight committee for each of the renovated spaces. Members of the SAT included school stakeholders such as administrators, teachers, parents and students. Other members of the SAT included district partners such as project managers, architectural firms and furniture vendors.
SAT members had opportunities to view and tour recently renovated buildings to help envision what innovation could potentially look like in their respective buildings. Then, each building’s SAT met over a series of six to eight meetings to discuss areas of needs, innovative solutions for those needs and next steps forward.
Bond money earmarked solely for innovation can only be used for construction, furniture, fixtures and equipment. Although similar furniture might be seen in innovation spaces across the district, it’s in how the furniture and space is used that illustrates a 21st-century approach in each building.