Sherwood Park’s newest elementary school opened its doors to over 500 students on Tuesday (Sept.4).
One of the big hits so far in the new Sherwood Park building is the school's learning commons. The area has windows from floor to ceiling, allowing the students to enjoy the sunshine while in school. Many of the classrooms have a similar set up.
The school is also attempting a new set-up for classrooms to help students learn.
"What we're trying to do is think of educating children differently. Of course it's still the Alberta curriculum but we're being really thoughtful when we think about how children learn and where they learn. So flexible seating is something that the staff have all agreed upon," principal Kaye Schindeler explained.
There are no desks in Davidson Creek. Instead, the school is filled with tables, standing tables, carpet and soft-seating for the students to use. The children can go where they feel most comfortable to learn. Schindeler says that students have responded very positively to the change, enjoying the flexibility and the ability to move around.
According to Schindeler, creating a school from the ground up is a very unique opportunity.
"We're building a culture, we're building the vision and the mission whereas you usually inherit that from a school. This time we're setting that direction which is incredibly exciting."
The biggest challenge the staff have faced so far is the keys for the building. The doors are programmed, so getting them to open at the right time to let kids in has caused a few problems during the first week.
"If you think about it, if that's our biggest challenge, that's not so bad."
Schindeler says she is excited to see what the future holds for the school.
"I have this incredible staff that's been hired. It has been a delight working with them. The parents and the kids, although we're just getting to know them, are just excited to be here. It's just a wonderful place to come and be," added Schindeler. "The teachers and kids are really developing that connection even within that first week and the kids are excited. There's a lot of joy and a lot of happiness going on around here at Davidson Creek."