12 July . 2017
Indoor playground, moveable furniture among innovations at new Rancho Sienna Elementary School
The August 17 grand opening ceremony for Rancho Sienna Elementary School will offer residents and the public their first glimpse of many innovations in this new $29 million Liberty Hill ISD campus.
One of the most unique features is the indoor playground, located near the Pre-K and special needs classrooms. The size of two classrooms, this glass-enclosed playground will allow teachers to keep a watchful eye on the school’s youngest students.
Equipped with a soft surface playscape, the playground will also provide a rainy day alternative for students in other grades.
“The district has prioritized health and wellness for our students, and the indoor playground will help us make sure that all students enjoy daily exercise,” said Melanie Bowman, principal of Rancho Sienna Elementary.
The indoor playground opens to the school’s central courtyard, which is partly covered to provide more play areas. Bowman said that courtyard also provides space for exciting projects, including a planned science garden.
Visitors may notice the wheels on many pieces of the new classroom furniture – one of the most visible signs of the school’s emphasis on collaborative learning.
“Giving students the freedom to find what works best for them is crucial to keeping them engaged and paying attention,” said Bowman. “The moveable furniture provides complete freedom and mobility. Students can work in small groups one day, then in different groups or as a class the next day.”
Overall, classrooms are open and flexible, with collaborative workspaces and walls covered with dry erase boards.
“We’re really embracing the ‘maker space’ concept as part of our culture, to give students the opportunity to think creatively and come up with real world solutions to challenges,” Bowman said.
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