The Colorado Sun published a recent article about how Colorado Springs students envision coming back to school. Outdoor classrooms, relaxation spaces, plants, water features, comfortable couches and more. These and other ideas were discussed in a virtual listening session that took place on July 8, in which kids from across Colorado could participate and share their ideas regarding how the Colorado Department of Education could best spend its budget to help schools and academia in general.
Investments need to respond to all the new requirements that students have after the pandemic. After more than a year in confinement, students seek to feel more ‘at home’ instead of ‘at school’.
“Students want to see free breakfasts and lunches continue to be available at their schools. They're eager for more outdoor learning spaces and investment in infrastructure that will support a reliable internet connection. They want their teachers to be trained to respond to student stress and trauma. They're asking for more programs that prioritize after-school learning, more support when it comes to applying to college, and more flexible schedules that allow students to hold jobs and internships”.
Why listen to them? Students are for sure the ones that need to be heard since they spendmost of their time in classrooms. They should have the loudest voices when it comes to exploring different initiatives on how best to use federal stimulus dollars, guided by expert input and data
“So while parents and teachers can offer a perspective and offer what they experienced, there is nothing that replaces direct student voice on what they experienced, what they saw their peers experience and what would be helpful to them and their friends going forward.”
It is clear that new demands regarding learning environments have a lot to do with healthier spaces and how leisure time can also be as important as classes. At MKThink we are also looking at how learning environments can adapt to our evolving needs over time and how those spaces are designed considering factors such as wellbeing and safety.
To read more about the article discussed above: https://parkerchronicle.net/stories/students-share-ideas-on-use-of-stimulus-funds,379313