Construction on the Lower School classrooms was completed in time, with the exception of a few remaining aesthetic details that did not impede our ability to open the doors for the first day of school. The progress made over the course of the summer was simply amazing, and it was so exciting to see the students’ faces as they walked into their new classrooms for the first time.
Those Lower School classrooms had been gutted and reimagined to better incorporate project-based learning. They had been painted; carpeting, shelving, and windows were installed, and new lighting was put in place. The existing windows were removed and replaced with high-tech panels that better help our teachers regulate temperature and light exposure without eliminating the views of our natural surroundings. Seismic and electrical upgrades were also completed, and new, flexible furniture has been introduced to meet every child’s learning style.
Our teachers are just as excited as our students for the endless possibilities these new spaces will bring. “I am truly amazed by my new classroom! Our new Lower School spaces are the physical embodiment of what it means to educate, encourage, and empower girls,” said Emily Banks, lead teacher in 3B. “From flexible seating to new technology, to breakout spaces for individual and group work, my classroom allows me to support the unique and diverse needs of each of my students. I am beyond grateful each morning to walk into my beautiful new space.”
In the past few years, the first- and fourth-grade classes piloted the furniture that was eventually purchased for all Lower School classrooms. Anjali Ramisetti was one of those lucky first-grade teachers who took the prospective furniture out for a test-drive. She said she appreciates “the different style chairs [that] have been a wonderful part of the classroom because the girls can choose to sit in them in ways to help them do their best learning.”
The Lower School courtyards also received a facelift with newly constructed benches as part of the plans to transform them into outdoor learning spaces. In the coming weeks, we are looking forward to finishing off these areas with the installation of activity boards and fresh landscaping.
Meanwhile, the Lunchroom has been stripped and the wall behind the stage opened up to the Lincoln Park Golf Course next door. Work on the Campus Center space will likely continue into mid-spring 2019. As construction of the Lunchroom and music room progresses, it’s remarkable to see this huge space at the center of the campus stripped down to its bare bones to make way for our new Campus Center. And at the back of the campus, the lunch tent and temporary kitchen are in place and were also ready for our girls’ return on September 5. Our catering company is happy with the new kitchen space, which is actually bigger than our regular kitchen!
We hope a little extra dust and workers on campus or the presence of the dining tent don’t discourage our very active grandparents from volunteering for lunch duty and in the Library! Our girls, faculty, and staff look forward to seeing you throughout the school year and hope you can all find a way to make it on to campus at some point this year.