To create more student choice, Advanced Placement English students proposed redesign plans for the library at Highland High School in early February.
Highland has emphasized student choice this 2015-16 school year. Nate Huffman, principal at Highland, says that “students and teachers have the most input” for the redesign because they will be using the space the most.
The Highland library in its current state is ineffective, and some students never enter the space except for study halls. “The library did not have what students needed,” said Highland High School student Samantha Bailey. Many classrooms currently have more resources for student use like chromebooks and smartboards.
In an effort to combat the outdated library, Highland has decided to transform the space into a multi-media center, a 21st century library — a design that is almost fully dependent on students.
Highland Advanced Placement (AP) English classes have researched and synthesized information pertaining to the library, coming up with multiple designs that will influence library reconstruction this summer. ‘
Amber Clay-Mowry, curriculum director at Highland says, “We want this space to be flexible, and we want it to honor student voice; it should be a reflection of learning needs, and it should evolve as we evolve.”
To expose students to similar projects, AP students went to Big Walnut High School and Middle School to tour their recently redesigned libraries.
Some students are even writing a grant proposal to Steelcase Inc. for $60,000 worth of furniture for the library.
This project demonstrates the trust Highland’s Administration has in its students. At the core is Highland’s mission to empower learners to achieve success through student-driven collaboration.
“The project is one example of how students can become partners in learning and partners in the development of Highland,” Clay-Mowry said.
Highland High School students working on their redesign plans for the library.
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