District Administration June 2017 - 13

vate and transform the middle school's
storage room and to restore the computer lab during summer 2015.
The media center was updated the
following summer, in time for the first
day of school in August 2016. Walls
were repainted, and windows, carpets
and more energy-efficient lights were
installed in classrooms.
Architects also modernized the
computer lab's heating and cooling
vents and replaced a wall in the media
center with sliding doors so the rooms
would flow together, says Shanahan.

FREMONT SCHOOL DISTRICT 79
Preschool through grade 8
Enrollment: 2,200
Attendance rate: 95%
Special ed services: 12%
Free and reduced-price
lunch eligibility: 11%

Knocking down every wall wasn't
an option. The school, built in 1956,
contains many load-bearing walls.
But architects used them in a creative
way-they built tables into the walls so
students could have more space to work,
and they had to remove about 50 lockers
to make room.
A good problem to have
The DEN is now the hub of the building, with about 50 of the school's 700
students staying after school to work
there each day.
One to two staff members arrive to
Fremont early or stay late after classes
to supervise students, and a new bus is
scheduled to bring students home after
most other students have already gone.
Administration also had to limit
when certain grades could use the
DEN because there weren't enough
supervisors to handle the increased
flow of students using the space.

Looking forward
To emulate the project on a low budget, districts should start small by
transforming the corner of a classroom
with a new couch, yoga ball or wobbly chair, Shanahan says. "Students
want to stand up and move around like
teachers do," she explains.
Next, teachers should think about
including high-tech devices to engage
learners. If students react positively to
these changes, then it could be time to
start thinking bigger.
Fremont plans to expand DEN,
and administrators will get input from
students-who usually want additional
space and different types of furniture.
"It doesn't mean they're going to drive
the project," says Motsenbocker, "but
we need to stay focused on their needs.
It's why we're here."
Steven Wyman-Blackburn is web editor.

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4/18/17 9:56 AM

June 2017 13


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration June 2017

District Administration June 2017 - Cover1
District Administration June 2017 - Cover2
District Administration June 2017 - 1
District Administration June 2017 - 2
District Administration June 2017 - 3
District Administration June 2017 - 4
District Administration June 2017 - 5
District Administration June 2017 - 6
District Administration June 2017 - 7
District Administration June 2017 - 8
District Administration June 2017 - 9
District Administration June 2017 - 10
District Administration June 2017 - 11
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District Administration June 2017 - 13
District Administration June 2017 - 14
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District Administration June 2017 - 19
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District Administration June 2017 - 21
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District Administration June 2017 - Cover3
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