Renovation at Kennedy Elementary School

District 81’s mission is to ensure success in all areas of development and to provide a child-centered environment. The design team focused every aspect of the renovation toward that goal.

Renovations of the Special Education spaces align with the continuum of services offered in the District. These highly structured environments are tailored to meet the specialized academic and therapeutic learning needs of students. Communication, motor skills, sensory needs, and activities of daily living are all embedded in the learning experience within these newly renovated spaces.

Each learning studio in the newly remodeled 2nd Grade Cohort features

  • a shared breakout space for independent and collaborative learning,
  • access to technology,
  • flexible furniture that enables movement,
  • generous storage for the supplies STEM projects often require,
  • and coveted window seats that allow independent learners to read a book or observe the world outside.

Teachers and staff gained access to multiple spaces for professional development.

Moving the lockers from the corridor to the classrooms created a learning environment along circulation paths. These open breakout spaces provide more opportunities for collaborative, group work.

The renovation expanded the innovative “learning corridor”. Space is not differentiated between circulation and the media center, instead they blend together and become a functional learning space.

Cohorts and different zones throughout the school are identified by color. In the media center, and other shared spaces like the project space and the presentation space, all colors come together and suggest a sense of community.
Before remodeling, the existing classroom wing resembled the typical model that defined early 20th Century Educational environments. Interior corridor spaces were simply avenues for circulation and student lockers, disconnected from the outdoors. The renovation expanded the innovative “learning corridor”. Space is not differentiated between circulation and the media center, instead, they blend together and become a functional learning space.
The 2nd floor Professional Development space offers staff a place to collaborate or work independently.
The 2nd floor Professional Development space offers staff a place to collaborate or work independently.
The 2nd floor Professional Development corridor offers an open breakoutspace along circulation paths. Students may even see the adults collaborating and working together.
The 2nd floor Professional Development corridor offers an open breakoutspace along circulation paths. Students may even see the adults collaborating and working together.
In the 1st floor Staff Lounge, professionals refocus or relax, with various seating options, natural lighting and views to the outdoors.
In the 1st floor Staff Lounge, professionals refocus or relax, with various seating options, natural lighting and views to the outdoors.
A breakout space in the corridor off the Special Ed. Resource Room and the OT/PT Room provides a collaboration/meeting space for the entire school community. It’s used for everything from 1 to 1 tutoring to parent-teacher conferences. The transparency provides an additional level of safety and security.
The Motor Skills Room is designed to meet multiple objectives depending on each student's needs, with equipment to help children develop large motor muscles and practice larger motor skills.
The Motor Skills Room is designed to meet multiple objectives depending on each student's needs, with equipment to help children develop large motor muscles and practice larger motor skills.
The Sensory Room is a safe, quiet room where students learn to calm their bodies using varied techniques including light therapy.
The Sensory Room is a safe, quiet room where students learn to calm their bodies using varied techniques including light therapy.
Each classroom features generousstorage, a shared breakout space, access to technology, flexible furniture, and coveted window seats that allow opportunities for a variety of learning styles.
By moving the student lockers into the classrooms, the corridors themselves become a learning environment for small and large group collaboration. Layers of transparency bring natural light deep into the space while maintaining adequate supervision and direction from teachers and facilitators.

Work at Kennedy Elementary is being completed over multiple phases. All of the projects include:

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