We often hear of the need to redesign schools to support modern learning environments, and yes, we should. But how often does a school’s investment in these spaces clearly support and enable a shift towards innovative, student-centered practices? Not so much. That is why when I had the chance to visit Montour Public Schools last Spring, I jumped at the opportunity. I have followed the work of Dr. Justin Aglio and Montour for a few years now and had the pleasure of connecting with Justin a few times at our Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools (DPLIS) meetings, most recently in Charlotte. I learned about the partnerships that they developed with universities and local businesses to help reimagine learning experiences for their student. The school visit was nothing short of inspiring, and a huge thanks Justin for graciously hosting and providing the tour of Montour Elementary. Below is a visual recap from my visit with some notes for context. (All Photos Here)
LIBRARY MEDIA CENTER
Brick Makerspace Powered by LEGO Education Solutions
The STEM course is integrated into each grade level. There are currently 20 lessons ready to go for this space tied to standards. (Teachers are encouraged to design their own as well.) High school students helped develop the lessons for the elementary students.
Minecraft Education Lab
Minecraft edu lab includes ready-made lessons for educators. Many teachers are now comfortable setting some parameters for ELA and STEM lessons and letting students build. Assessments are typically presentations or reflections on the learning experience.
"Lunch and Learns" are provided by the district to model best practices with Minecraft Education.
Collaborative locations outside of each classroom.
Love the Shift in Language and Mindset Here...
Makerspace room that leverages the Project Lead the Way curriculum. Schedule is 11 days in a row each trimester, each student in the school experiences.
MIT helped design this "FabLab." This space is used for students to refine prototypes that are first developed in the STEAM room (See Above).
As you can see, I tried to talk less and show more in this post. If you have any questions, just reach out to me (@mr_driscoll / firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dr. Justin Aglio of Montour to learn more about the exciting work that Montour Schools are embarking on. (For Example, check out their new AI program here!)