For some time now, the Chappaqua Central School District has been on a journey of creating active learning environments for teaching and learning–environments where 21st century students can apply the content they learn to authentic projects, build new knowledge, and work together to design new thinking. We want students to explore their passions and solve relevant, complex problems both individually and collaboratively by using varied approaches, providing accurate feedback to each other, and by setting their own learning goals.
To assist us in achieving our learning goals for students, we are seeking to provide larger, purposefully designed, more flexible learning spaces that serve the needs of all students as they participate in multi-disciplinary projects. Traditional classroom spaces are confining and include less flexibility for teaching and learning.
Recently, the Board of Education passed a resolution calling for a $42.5M capital projects bond referendum on Tuesday, June 14, 2016. This project is considered a “no marginal increase project.” That is, the tax levy will not increase as a result of this bond.
If the bond referendum is approved, the monies would be expended to improve our infrastructure, upgrade our fields, build flexible, research-supported, intentionally-designed learning environments, and improve the Chappaqua Public Library.
Our Children and Our Schools
Buildings and resources have a natural lifespan, and most of our buildings are more than 40 years old. This bond will enable us to address aging infrastructure and bring our buildings in compliance with the governmental codes. There are numerous infrastructure projects that will help preserve the basic integrity of our buildings and create safer school environments through various health and safety upgrades and improvements.
We also will renovate and upgrade present space with:
- Global learning centers at each elementary school and the high school, which are 21st century libraries with work spaces intentionally designed to address how students learn and collaborate in today’s world.
- STEAM learning centers at each middle school and the high school (the STEAM center at Greeley is the only new construction). STEAM centers typically include a design studio and labs for fabrication, robotics, and 3D modeling and printing. Students across grade levels will participate in project-based learning and bring ideas from conception through design to production leading to a deeper understanding of academic content.
- Instructional centers at Horace Greeley High School, which are deliberately designed learning environments that promote the development of critical skills. These new, larger flexible environments contain classroom spaces and common areas that are designed to allow for multi-disciplinary project-based learning across all subjects, from the humanities to the sciences.
The Chappaqua Central School District is one of a few districts in New York State that is responsible for the operation and maintenance of a public library. The Chappaqua Public Library site opened in 1978 and not much has changed structurally since. This bond will support the community’s public library and its Master Plan by providing an adult quiet area, expanded children’s area, meeting/study rooms, enclosed teen zone, café, more instructional space, and family bathrooms.
There are 18 fields throughout the District that are used extensively by our schools and our Chappaqua community. This bond will allow us to make upgrades and improvements such as installing sprinklers at Seven Bridges, improving drainage and replacing sod at Greeley’s Field C, installing an environmentally-friendly modern turf field with lights and a walking path at Bell, and installing an environmentally-friendly modern turf field with lights, along with track renovations and the addition of bathrooms, at Greeley’s Competition Field. The modern turf fields will exponentially increase playing and practice time and increase their availability for use by the community.
Voting on this bond referendum will take place on Tuesday, June 14th between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. at Horace Greeley High School. Until then, I invite you to visit the bond referendum webpage we have created at www.ccsd.ws/bond. There you will find much more detailed information including presentations and videos, a list of proposed projects, conceptual drawings, videos of students and teachers discussing the benefits of larger, flexible, learning spaces equipped with advanced technology, a list of resources, answers to frequently asked questions, time lines, and an online form that you can use to submit questions and comments. Please remember to check this page often as new items will be posted as they become available, and please remember to vote on Tuesday, June 14, 2016.
Superintendent of Chappaqua Schools