Latest News – January 9
Grand Re-Opening of LCHS Auditorium Begins Tonight!
When was the last time you were in the Lake County High School Auditorium? Maybe for last year’s Class Day? Or a school play? As most know, the high school is undergoing a $26 million dollar renovation, scheduled to be complete this August 2014.It’s “Lights! Camera! Action!” at Tonight’s Grand Re-Opening of the LCHS Auditorium.
Tonight, part of that remodel will be unveiled at The Grand Re-Opening of the Lake County High School (LCHS) Auditorium. The Lake County School District invites the community to celebrate this benchmark with two concert events.
The first one is tonight in the newly renovated auditorium. The evening will start with an Art Show in the LCHS Foyer at 6:30 p.m. Then, the doors to the auditorium will open at 6:50, for the Grand Re-Opening, followed by the Lake County Middle School Music Concert at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
If you are unable to attend tonight’s event, you’ll have another opportunity next Tuesday, January 14 as the Lake County High School band will present their music concert, following the same format and time schedule as tonight’s event.
A video tour of the new LCHS Auditorium
The Grand Re-Opening of the Auditorium should be an uplifting ceremony and just the tip of the Panther Pride iceberg that’s headed into the lives of Leadville students. A few weeks ago, Leadville Today got a sneak peak of the LCHS Renovation Project during a tour of the facility. In this post are some details along with a video of the renovated auditorium.
In the beginning, as architects and other design professionals studied what the best way to maximize the facilities’ upgrades while staying in budget, it was clear that the auditorium would be an anchor in the project. After all it’s a big, beautiful space with lots of history and memories. So many folks were glad to know that while the room would remain, more or less intact, it would be getting a well-deserved face-lift.
Today, the LCHS Auditorium’s got a new spring in its step, a new tap in its musical toes, a fresh dramatic flair that captures your attention. Underfoot is new carpet, a well-deserved upgrade after decades of enduring the harsh Leadville elements that have been brought in boot after boot, year after year.
Next is the refurbished chairs. There’s not a bad seat in the house anymore! One of the added touches in the front rows of seating, are the chairs which have slide up desk components, turning the auditorium into a learning environment by providing students a workspace for their tablets and laptops.
During a recent tour with a group of LCHS students, Chris Guarino with Consilium Partners (the district’s owner representative for the project) explained that once the project was underway, it became clear that the auditorium’s old ceiling contained asbestos and had to be replaced. So, look up and take note of the “icing on the cake,” complete with modern, environmentally friendly LED lights.
And finally, as any respectable auditorium should have – a good curtain call. Now that theatrical fete can be done with new floor to ceiling stage curtains, assets that also meet all current fire codes. Tonight’s Grand Re-Opening will also highlight the facility’s new sound system, so come and give a listen.
No doubt, this 500+ seat facility will become the setting for many Lake County High School memories in the future. So, job well done, and a sign of things to come as the renovation project ramps up – several weeks ahead of schedule, according to contractors – into the homestretch of its August 2014 completion date.
In the coming days, LT will share some of the footage from the new high school and middle school classroom wings and students’ reactions to their new school. Stay Tuned!
In Other School News
School District Adopts Expeditionary Learning
Last month, December 2013, Lake County School District (LCSD) teachers and administrators voted to officially adopt Expeditionary Learning (EL) in kindergarten through 6th grades. Planning for implementation will start this January and will continue in the 2014-2015 school year.
Expeditionary Learning is an educational model that focuses on transforming schools by focusing on student and teacher engagement. The employee vote was the culmination of a year of exploration during which officials from EL evaluated the district’s readiness to adopt the model, and teachers and administrators learned about and considered the EL approach.
Expeditionary Learning is one of several providers that the Colorado Department of Education has approved to work with schools in the state with a status of turnaround or priority improvement status. Both West Park Elementary and the Lake County Middle School currently have status of turnaround.
“We are undertaking broad and fundamental transformation of our schools. EL schools have a demonstrated track record of showing improved student achievement. Because of its focus on student engagement and teacher professional development, EL is an ideal partner to help us succeed in this work,” said LCSD Superintendent Wendy Wyman.Student engagement is a key factor in Expeditionary Learning being adopted by the Lake County School District. Photo: Expeditionary Learning brochure.
The school district will contract to work with EL to train teachers, design schools, and put reforms in place over the course of the next 4-5 years. The district will fund this work through a variety of sources, including a Targeted District Improvement Program (TDIP) grant and a School Improvement Grant (SIG), both awarded through the Colorado Department of Education. The district is also pursuing additional grantors to help fund the extensive professional development that EL will involve. The district may allocate federal or general fund resources to its work with EL, though its goal is to fund as much of the work as possible through grants.
A bit of background:
There are currently 30 EL schools in Colorado and 165 nationwide. Expeditionary Learning was founded in the mid-1980s as a partnership between the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Outward Bound. Many of the principles of experiential learning inherent in the long-time work of Outward Bound are fundamental to the EL approach, including a connection to the natural world; solitude and reflection; and service and compassion. “Learning Expeditions” are the primary curricular structure in EL schools. The concept, according to EL literature, is that “These long-term, in-depth studies offer real-world connections that inspire students toward higher levels of academic achievement. Learning expeditions involve students in original research, critical thinking, and problem solving, and they build character along with academic skills.”
Many LCSD teachers cite this type of learning and instruction as one of the primary draws to adopting the EL model. First grade teacher Lauren Sabuco says, “It’s really exciting to be doing something that involves the community and is so hands-on for our students.”
Sabuco credits the district for pursuing a new path. “Some schools aren’t willing to change or put forth the effort to do what’s best for kids. We’re really fortunate that Lake County is willing to change, and support us in trying something new.”