Share your thoughts: How can we improve Vancouver schools?

Feb 24 2020, 7:23 pm

Did you know that half of the school buildings in Vancouver are over 70 years old?

In an ideal world, our schools should be the latest and greatest — and include flexible and modern learning spaces.

The provincial government has launched a seismic program to upgrade schools for every student across BC, and the Vancouver School Board (VSB) wants to leverage this program to create more modern learning spaces. But first, they want to hear your thoughts on the best way to make that happen.

On their own, the funds given by the provincial government may not be enough to cover the costs of these new learning environments. So VSB is engaging the public — both online and in-person — to learn how to raise money to make this dream happen. You can get online from now to March 11 to have your say.

The VSB wants to build more modern learning spaces that meet needs of students and community members, both now and into the future. Here are some of the opportunities for what our schools could look like in the future, outlined in VSB’s Building for Modern Learning engagement.

Greater access to technology

Technology at school/Shutterstock

Technology is a no-brainer when it comes to succeeding in today’s world, so it makes sense that schools should be equipped with the latest (and often rapidly-changing) tech.

But the best technology is most useful if it’s in a modern, student-friendly environment. VSB has proposed that, in addition to current technology, we need common spaces for students to learn in — with activity zones, breakout spaces with quiet areas to study, and furniture that is flexible for different learning styles and classroom situations.

Sustainable spaces

Bicycles at school/Shutterstock

For schools to be functioning at their optimal level, they need to keep up with today’s rapidly increasing focus on sustainability and climate change. By building schools with sustainable practices in mind, Vancouver schools can teach students a valuable lesson about caring for the environment.

Think energy conservation and more sustainable school grounds. Students can also get closer to nature with school gardens and food production classes — as long as we build the facilities to support them.

More culture and creativity

Art class/Shutterstock

To enhance learning, VSB aims to create more culturally responsive learning environments that reflect Indigenous and multicultural values.

VSB has also asked Vancouverites if spaces that focus on creativity and self-expression through the arts should be a priority. Think music rooms and art classrooms.

Times are changing, and schools need to reflect the modern needs of today’s times. Vancouver’s schools have a lot of potential to create an ideal learning environment for students, and VSB is well on its way with funding provided by the government.

But the Vancouver School Board wants to hear from you about what you think is the best way to make this happen.

Don’t delay! To get involved and have your voice heard, participate online or in-person at various in-person events in April. The online engagement is currently live and will run until March 11.

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