Reinventing Education for the Third Millennium
North Shore Country Day School (NSCDS) is a Pre K-12 community rooted in a tradition that challenges each member to develop a passion for active, lifelong learning and respect for others. CannonDesign’s education team held a summit at NSCDS that brought together design and education experts to discuss NSCDS’s facilities in a broader context. Our philosophy believes that the educational environment should be a learning tool both within the classroom and outside the classroom, and on the campus as a whole. It was, and is, important for the facility to enable educators to prepare students for living in the 21st century. The design solutions we provided, driven by a balance between tradition and progressive education, address NSCDS’ educational goals, site development and building needs, and reflect outside influences.
The collaborative planning process gave form to five unifying themes. These themes informed a design that aligns NSCDS’s pedagogy with 21st–century learning:
- creating agile and flexible community spaces
- reinforcing outdoor connections
- creating diverse and customizable teaching and learning styles
- designing interdisciplinary and collaborative areas that merge science with the arts, innovation and technology
- establishing spaces that nurture relationships and interaction among teachers and learners
The LEED Silver building – originally built in 1922 – now provides spaces that reflect the unique teaching and learning model specific to NSCDS that accommodate student body growth, and transform the physical environment. The “classrooms of the future” more fully support and leverage the school’s unique pedagogical model of rigorous individualized and holistic learning. The Upper School was also reconfigured with flexible and modern room arrangements and classrooms that facilitate cross-curricular dialogues.
Faculty, staff and students participated in the process. The end result are classrooms of the future that better leverage the educational dynamic that currently distinguishes North Shore—highly interactive environments that facilitate personal connections, thoughtful analysis, discussion and debate.
Tom Doar III, Head of School