Superintendent’s pledge grants Cedar Valley students flexible learning space

img_6262Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Flores surprised Cedar Valley Middle School Language Arts Teacher Amy Margulies twice in one day. The first surprise happened when he dropped by her classroom unexpectedly. The second came in the form of a pledge to help her classroom purchase new furniture for a flexible learning space.

Already a cozy environment, Margulies’ language arts classroom is decorated with soft lighting, inspirational artwork, bookshelves stacked from cement blocks, a colorful rug and a leather wingback chair with matching loveseat.

“Dr. Flores was impressed that I’d done so much with so little,” said Margulies. “He expressed that the traditional classroom desks didn’t match the ambiance of the room, so he was going to sponsor the resources for it to develop into a flexible learning space.”

Bringing flexible learning to campuses, aligns with Goal 5 of the Round Rock ISD Strategic Plan, which states “We will design our schools by creating flexible programs and learning environments.”

The following day Margulies received an email requesting a design plan and itemized list of furniture her students would want, up to $5,000.

Margulies asked her students in each of her five language arts classes to help create the flexible learning space plan.

“A flexible learning space is about how students learn best,” said Margulies. “Sitting where they need to sit, how they need to sit, with some students needing to stand.”

In the end, Margulies and her students selected a lot of floor seating, cushions, bean bag chairs with arms and backs, low rocking chairs and coffee tables that groups of six can sit around. Other items chosen were new rugs, some regular level seating, adjustable standing desks, and stools. After making final selections, Margulies and her students will spend $4,936.

Several students in Margulies’s ninth period class have volunteered to help set up the room when the furniture arrives.

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