A key guiding principle of engaging learners selected by stakeholders was noted as being hindered by the size of classrooms and absence of programmatic spaces. In addition, the results of the Educational Environment Assessment identified the lowest scores for the district as classroom size and project-based and student-centered spaces.
The current space of the academic classrooms at Hays High School falls short of this need; the core classroom size on average is approximately 681 square feet compared to the recommended 850 square feet.
The average square footage of the current academic classrooms simply do not meet the recommendation for 21st century learning. The students of the present and future need far different skills than were needed in the past, requiring educators to redesign learning environments for post-graduation success.
Many Hays High School teachers understand this and identified the right-sizing of classroom space as their top priority when surveyed on building needs. The district vision of providing a quality learning experience for every child in every classroom every day can be better met with learning environments that allow for project workspaces, independent work areas and collaboration spaces. Active exploration, deep inquiry and student-centered approaches require well-designed learning environments that are part of the high school and elementary renovations on the ballot Nov. 7.
Assistant Superintendent, Hays USD 489