Encouraging curiosity and empathy in a community-focused school

Boulder Valley School District, Creekside Elementary School PK-5, Boulder, CO

Creekside Elementary School’s mission is to inspire students to be a community of curious, empathetic, self-confident learners who engage positively with the world around them. Its surrounding community is comprised of students from more than 45 countries, representing a cross-section of socioeconomic and ethnic groups. The two-story replacement PK-5 school needed to provide spaces to support a curriculum focused on challenging students’ intellectual and social-emotional potential—to engage both their minds and their hearts.

The school is organized in three learning studios adjoining a large, open space known as the “Heart.” This space serves as the centralized node of the educational environment, and is split into different learning zones for multiple learning modalities. It contains a cafe to encourage engagement among students, teachers, and community members.

In addition to creating a “heart” for the community, the school also adheres to strict environmental standards. The facility is designed to meet LEED Platinum, and is set for Net Zero.