Bronxville Union Free School District

District and Community Work on Collaborative Design Process

Bronxville School administrators are collaborating with district stakeholders to reimagine space within the high school and generate ideas about its use and benefits.

Supported by a grant from the Bronxville School Foundation, representatives from Fielding Nair International, a planning and architectural design firm, recently met with members of the high school council, students, teachers and administrators to discuss the next steps and prioritize the district’s needs. The firm designed three innovative state-of-the-art classrooms in the district last September and two additional ones this year – a math and science classroom – which were funded through the Foundation.

As the district’s five-year plan progresses, administrators said it was an opportunity to share ideas and to further support student development through the use of innovative learning spaces. They discussed redesigning three spaces within the high school – the art room, special education wing and a not yet determined third location.

“As our students continue to develop the capacity for the kind of work that relates to the four Bronxville Promise dispositions – engaged citizenship, critical thinking, leadership and innovation – we’re really moving toward them directing their own learning,” Bronxville High School Principal Ann Meyer said. “The outdated design of a teacher at the front of the classroom with desks in rows does not facilitate student-led inquiry. The reason why we’re looking at those spaces is because the way in which teachers educate is no longer being served by the traditional design.”

Meyer said the district is looking to provide students with access to areas that are flexible, conducive to interdisciplinary projects, student interactions and teacher collaboration, as well as spaces that allow for the teacher to be the facilitator of the learning.

“It’s exciting that we have the curriculum work occurring side-by-side with the space updates because the two are intertwined,” she said. “We’re helping teachers reimagine what they’re doing in the classroom, we’re training them on these new roles of being a facilitator and now we want to provide them with the space that allows for that to happen.”

The district’s goal is to realize flexible learning spaces that will support and enhance a creative and innovative environment and continue to provide students with the tools to develop their critical thinking and leadership skills as they engage with the world around them.

“The ideas that are being generated are exciting,” Meyer said. “The teachers see our commitment to this work because we’re actually changing the physical environment in which they’re working and it helps to solidify our movement in this direction.”

  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image
  • Bronxville Union Free School District - Image