District Takes Part in Educational Visioning as Part of the New Facilities Project


A group of teachers, administrators, students and community members all participated in a three day educational visioning process at the Spitzer Center of Lorain County Community College. Educational Visioning is a comprehensive long-term planning tool for a school or a district. This workshop served as a kick off to the design phase of the new 3-8 school building.

Focused on 21st century learning techniques, the visioning was facilitated by Dr. Frank Locker. Dr. Locker is a trained facilitator and a registered architect. He conceived and co-teaches the Harvard University School of Education/School of Design course for educators and architects. He was honored as a Planner of the Year by the Council of Educational Facilities Planners, International.

Director of Curriculum and Instruction David Pritt said this workshop is a key element for the new facilities.

“It’s important to have a 21st century learning environment in our district. We have to be constantly adapting and tailoring our curriculum to meet the learning needs of our students. This new school is going to provide great opportunities for our students today and in the future,” he stated.

The first two days of the visioning were focused on education. The group discussed what teaching and learning strategies currently work in North Ridgeville, and what areas the District could improve upon. The participants had group discussions about a variety of topics including student learning styles, student success and integrating curriculum.

Third grade teacher Katie Clapham said it was exciting to be a part of the workshop and to see the direction the district is headed towards.

“The visioning process is opening our eyes as a community to the need to teach to 21st century skills. It’s clear that the District is making very progressive and innovative decisions that will foster critical thinking and creativity in our students. We are all advocates for the students in North Ridgeville and I think it's going to be exciting to invest in the new educational deliveries that will be taking place and that will be supported by our new facilities,” Clapham said.

Sixth grade Language Arts teacher Amy Smith quickly began implementing some of the discussion points in her teaching.

“After the first day, I immediately went back to my classroom and instilled the practices we learned about. Students' desks were moved into groups and I focused on students collaborating with each other to discover their own learning,” Smith explained. “We did an activity with a book we are reading and the learning target of indirect and direct characterization.  The first block of students drew a character with their group and the other classes added to the posters throughout the day.  It was amazing to hear the discussion as to why the other classes put some of the traits,” she added.

The final day the group discussed how those educational trends and learning practices impact how the facility operates and looks. ThenDesign Architecture and the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission were also part of the visioning workshop.

“This was great for the District to go through,” said Chris Smith of ThenDesign Architecture. “Knowing the District’s vision for 21st century learning and how they plan on using the facility really helps drive the design of the school,” he added.

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