15 Mar

Summit Sierra Named a Finalist for a Top School Design Award

Summit Sierra High School finished as one of the finalists for the 2018 Learn By Design competition at SXSWedu.

“We’re incredibly honored by this recognition,” said Myron Kong, Director of Real Estate and Facilities for Summit Public Schools. He went on to add, “we spend a lot of time thinking about how to create a diverse array of educational spaces that support our students and Summit Learning. This recognition is strong affirmation that we are designing innovative spaces.”

Ten projects from Seattle to Japan were selected as finalists for the 2018 Learn by Design competition. The competition spans PreK- 12 to higher education and recognizes groundbreaking work in the design of physical learning environments and how it impacts pedagogy and learning outcomes.

“One of the things I enjoy most about this school is how it was set up to support students whether collaborating, learning, or bonding with their teachers and classmates,” said Malia Burns, founding principal of the school. “It’s a space that enhances community, teaching and learning.”

Jeffrey Vu an 11th grader and founding student at Summit Sierra added, “The design of the school makes the environment extremely welcoming. I really like this school. I like the bright colors and the open spaces feel comfortable.”

Summit Sierra High School offers a personalized learning model, where students work at their own pace, progressing once they’ve shown competency in a subject. Summit Sierra is a charter public high school. All Summit schools are state approved, tuition-free and open to all students. Personalized learning is supported through design of spaces in the school that encourage a diverse, dynamic spectrum of activities including:

•In class, students experience adaptable learning environments that can shift from collaboration to individual teaching and learning. Large glass garage doors can connect individual classrooms with the open spaces.
•Larger collaborative spaces are complemented by seminar rooms and smaller rooms, which are used for a wide array of individual quiet study time and small group activities.

“Collaborating with Summit Public Schools helped produce a space that stimulates active learning,” said Philip Riedel, principal architect at NAC Architecture. “The design of Summit Sierra High School compliments the great teaching, sparks creativity and supports impromptu collaboration.”

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