2010-11 Bert Church - Learning Commons




Stage 1 – Desired Results

Goal(s): to transform our 20th Century library into a dynamic and interactive 21st Century Learning Commons which would promote, support and facilitate critical thinking, inquiry, action research, knowledge building, and authentic learning.  This would be available to all learners (students, staff, parents) by using active, real time and on-line learning opportunities with physical and virtual collections.




Programming is pivotal to the Learning Commons.


Collaboration with outside agencies and community libraries is vital to the success of a Learning Commons.


A Learning Commons should be a showcase for high-quality teaching and learning – a place to develop and demonstrate exemplary educational practice.


There is a need to create 21C dynamic learning spaces in schools where knowledge can be gained through inquiry.


Learners need access to information, resources and support; learners include students, staff, and community.


Learners need opportunities for synchronous and asynchronous learning.


Although subordinate, the physical space should also promote social skills developed through collaboration and networking.


Essential Question(s):


What is a Learning Commons?


What are the most effective tools to facilitate 21st C teaching and learning?


How can we achieve creation of such a Learning Commons in Bert Church High School?


What does it mean to be literate in the 21st Century?









Stage 2 - Assessment

Direct Evidence/indicators:


·        Complete action plan

·        Complete Stage One

·        Complete Stage Two

·        Continue reflecting and revising and building for Stage Three

·        Input/ Feedback from stakeholders

·        Increased use of space by staff and students

·        Diverse representation, expression and engagement of learning

·        New/existing resources available online 24/7


Indirect evidence


·        Changing attitudes towards diversifying learning

·        Impact on pedagogy (measurable)

·        Increased student engagement

·        Self-directed learning

·        Responsible behaviour

·        School pride

·        Community attitudes toward the school

Stage 3 – Action Plan

Key Actions:


Meeting (Nancy Adams, Brent Parrish, Shawna Neis)



Meeting arranged by Nancy - preliminary discussion

Areas of Growth:


Need to include all members of the committee




Phone call to Shawna Neis (Tracey)

Shawna agreed to set-up a meeting, via email, for members of the committee to RSVP to.

Shawna explained the UBD approach and building the ‘dam’ through which the ideas will flow



Meeting of Learning Commons Committee (Nancy, Jeff, Monique, Brent, Tracey)

November 27, 2010 – will search for articles and organize site visits.  Nancy to arrange for time on PD day in January.

Develop a comprehensive understanding of a Learning Commons. How to further develop this understanding with staff who seem to balk at the notion of change. Develop a plan (short/long term) and must include Learning Commons in School Education Plan.

Ongoing – articles shared via email

All ongoing.

Site Visits

-Monique, Jeff, Shawna and Chris Gartner went out to Centennial, Belfast, Samuel Shaw and Queen Elizabeth

Came back with an understanding that a Learning Commons is school specific – each site was different

What will be the specific needs of our school community and how will we solicit input and engage our staff?



Meeting of Jeff, Brent and Tracey to review understandings from articles

Discussion of ‘iPad Bar’ and challenge of supply/demand.

How to share/discuss/excite staff?


Brent and Tracey meet in preparation of Committee Meeting

Discuss a possible process of how to best proceed and include all stake-holders.

Knowing the best way to proceed is difficult, especially when one is ‘leading from the middle’.


Meeting of “Stage One” Learning Commons Committee (Monique, Brent, Shawna, Tracey – Nancy pulled out & Jeff could not attend b/c of student issues.)

January 12, 2011 – Planning for next steps, developing a stage one purchase list, fleshing out a timeline for stages two and three and a budget divided into thirds.  Tracey prepares for PD day :  powerpoint, professional readings organized for staff, handout/planning guide for … Brent and Tracey are enthusiastic!!

For reasons unknown, time was not built in to the Professional Development day to review/discuss the Learning Commons.  Shawna negotiated a half-hour during the PD day, which was then basically turned down by the PD committee after the fact; that it might be better to have a meeting that would involve only those who are interested.


Brief Presentation to Staff


January 17, 2011-explained process to date.  Stage One technology to be purchased – now open up to staff for collaboration

-The Library of the Future video


Feel our presentation is met with general apathy, PD committee has not yet consented to the half-hour so we cannot speak to this.  Email with links to professional readings are withheld until opportunity to discuss ‘revised’ next steps.


Phone call to Shawna Neis (Tracey)

January 19, 2011 – relayed issues with regards to PD day.  Asked for next steps?  Suggestion of email to group for feedback/set date and time and once agreed upon, send to staff.  Tracey wrote and sent email to committee asking for a date/time to meet.

Clarity of issues: need to share professional readings, must proceed with moving forward and to build foundation of understanding and provide opportunity for staff to further discuss and in a timely manner.














Document Actions