imageHere we are, at the beginning of August and it’s time for an Update on The Big Move.

Last week we had help from two of our high school students (one a graduate who is now going to Frostburg University). What did we do?

Take a look at the new special ed suite – in process – but definitely starting to feel like something. Once the teachers return we will focus on how this space will be used and do more work here.   (More later on the special ed suite.)image

We decided to make the music room a lot nicer for when the wonderful music teacher comes back next week. So the boys did the great organization project of 2016. Music room went from this:


to this:



And check out the drum closet!


Our new 4/5 grade teacher is beginning to get her room together and her priorities are evident.  She began with what she feels is most important:


And, we even started to discuss the idea or creating spaces around the room for conferencing, reading, independent work:


More soon on this work.  For now, the summer continues….

When the faculty and staff return we hope The Big Move will give them new inspiration as they create spaces that allow for the workshop model, arts integration, project based learning, and a Reggio Emilia inspiration.


Today we made great strides in The Big Move. We shuffled furniture between floors and between our three schools. We filled a dumpster with broken and old items, and we touched up paint and began in the basement with some deep cleaning.

Amazing! Suddenly, there is a feeling of space – new space – the very same rooms that felt small – feel bigger. Is it the flooring? The paint? The fact that everything is piled in the middle of the room and in boxes? This summer we are renewing our spaces – and we can already feel something has changed. After 11 school years of teaching and learning and growing – it feels good to be starting anew.

Now, you may remember that Ms. Davis has a vision for a classroom without desks and chairs – so today there was a furniture stampede on her behalf.  Thanks to our CNHS helpers: Ace, Rayshaun, and Shaheim for all the help!  I think they got a little bit exhausted today in the heat – and that prompted a trip to Mastellones on Harford Road where I made each of them try some apricot nectar (they liked it!) and bought them some lunch.  Here are a few pictures of where we stand here at the end of week two in “The Big Move.”

IMG_6979 IMG_6981 IMG_6978 IMG_6980 IMG_6977


Today I worked with a few of our awesome City Neighbors High School students over at our founding school. This summer they are helping us with The Big Move. I admit, today I wasn’t sure what to name it – The Big Mess seemed like an understatement.  Somehow we pushed through and cleared the hallways.

So, now that we have new flooring in two of our classrooms complete, we are putting things back in the rooms. And, just like a home, once you get one thing new (like a new floor), then you realize – now we need some touch up painting! Well, at least we have most everything in the right space where it goes.

There are so many inspirational schools that care about the physical environment!  One of the websites to check out is the Fielding Nair International website.  Randall Fielding and Praknash Nair are educators and architects  – working together to improve learning.  Take a look at some of their projects.

Next steps at CNCS – we will be adding some painted on white boards, moving bulletin boards, doing maintenance and fixing of furniture.  This week we will bring over some furniture for the the newly inspired middle school classroom for Ms. Davis – more about that later in the week.  All of this work is getting ready for the last step- the careful arranging and unpacking with the teachers. Here are a few pictures from our work today:










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