In February and March of 2017, the district worked with researchers Laura Connelly and Ed Zabinski of Untapped, Inc. to complete a Student-Centered Design project with elementary students. Student Centered Design is constructed to let the people impacted by a project make decisions on what the end product looks like. In this case, they examined the methods in which students can best learn, as well as what environments are most conducive to learning.

The goal of the project was to gain a deeper understanding regarding students’ needs and values in relation to their learning spaces. To achieve this deeper understanding, Ed and Laura both observed and actively engaged 1,087 students in dialogue and projects.

The students brought a wealth of knowledge, creativity, and energy to the project. There are hundreds of drawings depicting their “dream school;” stacks of note cards stating what they love and what they would change about their school or classroom; and notebook pages full of student quotes and observation notes. You can view a summary of their research in this report: Student Input on ISD 318 Elementary School Learning Spaces Final Report.