Envision What School's Media Center Can Be

MHS Students, Staff, Parents Envision What School's Media Center Can Be
Posted on 05/02/2019

MHS Students, Staff, Parents Envision What School's Media Center Can BeMason High School's Media Center has already gone through several evolutions. When the school was built in 2002, staff knew it needed to be a library, but also needed to have lots of access to computer labs and printers. Over the years, it has also become the home for the school's peer tutoring programs and a Writing Center. But, students have struggled to find the "just right" space to create and practice presentations, work on group projects, and ideate and create, and study after school. With support from the Mason Schools Foundation, MHS and district leaders brought in experienced educator/designer David Jakes to help develop and refine MHS's vision for creative and innovative spaces. Jakes' focus was on raising the bar in the MHS Media Center to a space that supports all learners in creative endeavors of all types. Jakes also explored classrooms, hallways, and athletic facilities as a reminder that every space a student ventures is a space for learning.

Jakes taught high school biology for 15 years and was an administrator for 12 years. The 27 years in education taught him a great deal about the organization of schools and how schools could serve their community by supporting the growth and development of children.

"My practice at David Jakes Designs focuses on supporting organizations with their change efforts," shared Jakes. "That's a simple statement, but education is a complex entity and shifting perspectives, mindsets and actions is complex and messy. Sometimes an outside perspective is necessary to lend clarity and experience so that the opportunity has the greatest potential for a successful outcome."

Jakes met with students, teachers, administrators, instructional coaches, Media Center staff, representatives of the Mason Schools Foundation, and parents. Each group provided feedback on what they would like to see in our learning spaces. In general, all groups agree that future spaces should be flexible, multi-purpose, and focused on creativity and other future-ready skills. 

"Now that Jakes has gathered feedback from all these stakeholder groups, he is working to match space recommendations to Mason’s future vision of learning - our locally developed Five Elements of Personalized Learning," shared MHS Innovation Learning Coach Aaron Roberts. "He is even considering feedback gathered by the ReIMAGINE Learning sessions that took place over the course of the 2018-19 school year." 

His final report will include ideas for improving Mason's spaces, examples to consider when redesigning spaces, and 60 “design driver” statements that will guide decisions about furniture and spaces and their impact on learning moving forward. 

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