September 3, 2008

Forest Avenue Awaits Redesigned Cluster Classrooms

MIDDLETOWN -- The new school year means a new look for one wing of Forest Avenue Elementary School.

The school's youngest students will learn in a "flexible" learning community. The open design of the four classrooms provides teachers with opportunities for group instruction and collaboration. The "learning studio" classrooms will surround a central "commons" area used for group presentations and hands-on learning.

The changes at Forest Avenue were inspired by the recommendations of the schools' consultant, Fielding Nair International, which has proposed an ambitious timeline for overhauling the district's buildings. This project follows the transformation of the Gaudet Middle School library into a sort of Internet cafe.

The reconfigured classrooms won't be finished for another couple of weeks, however. Until then, Forest Avenue's kindergartners and first graders will be taught in the school's art classroom.

Teachers report to school today and will attend workshops on curriculum development, student assessment and communication. This year, teachers will use two programs -- iParent and FinalSite -- to communicate with parents and collaborate with fellow teachers, schools Supt. Rosemarie K. Kraeger said.

MIDDLETOWN [email protected] / (401) 277-7582

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