Lake Trail Community School principal Gerald Fussell gave the Comox Valley Record a guided tour of all the upgrades to the new facility, and seeing is believing.
“Six years ago we started doing the research, to find out what good learning environments were… we worked with the architects, we then had teacher teams, from the school, who sat on focus groups, in terms of working on the design, and what we wanted for a learning environment,” said Fussell. “Then when the designs came out, we as staff got to look at them and give more feedback, students and parents had feedback, then the architects went back to work. So it’s been a long journey to get here.”
Long, but worthwhile, according to the feedback he has received halfway through the first month of the 2021-2022 schoolyear.
“Conceptually, the innovation is phenomenal,” said Fussell. “There have already been a lot of good things… the kids are feeling at home; they have been looking forward to this school.”
Fussell added that the environment is not only new for the students, but for the educators as well. There has been a lot of time and effort put into understanding how to make the best use of the new learning space.
“Four years ago our staff said ‘we are moving into this new school, we’ve designed it for new learning, based on research, so we need to learn how to use it,’” said Fussell. “So over the last four years, we invested heavily in that, so that we were ready to move into this space and use it effectively.
“If we take traditional practice and put it in here, it’s going to fail. But by developing our skills before we move in, we have the chance to take advantage of the space. So our teachers worked really, really hard to get ready for this.”