Why do we need a
separate space for our Early Childhood Program?
Our child-centered, play-based curriculum requires
little children have as much independence as possible. Current classrooms have
been structured to accommodate this in many ways, but certainly not to the
extent new spaces will when designed specifically for ages three to seven. Lab+
and the Schools’ plans for growth and ongoing diversity presented an
opportunity never available before to create spaces specifically designed to
meet the needs of these littlest learners.
How will Lab
traditions (Lobby Sing, Buddy Program, etc.) continue?
The Schools are committed to finding ways to make
sure the children at the ECC (and at the Main Campus) benefit from all the
traditions and experiences that Lab has valued these many years. That said,
logistics do need attention and are being addressed with faculty input. For
example, the use of a shuttle bus is under exploration.
Lobby sings may be able to occur in a location that
actually accommodates all who want to attend (Blaine Lobby is too small for the
level of current interest). And of course, the Halloween parade and buddy
programs will continue to be a part of the Lab experience.
Will there be
enough playground/outdoor space at the new ECC?
There will be numerous areas for outdoor play space
at the new Early Childhood Campus:
The West Lawn play
area (approximately 12,000 sq ft), located behind the ECC building, will be specially suited to our smallest students. Designed by
landscape architects, the green space may include play courts for wall ball and
basketball; four square and jump rope space; a chalk drawing play court; seed
and nut collecting and worm digging space; and a soccer and kickball play area; as well as frog and winter ice ponds and fountains.
A second floor play space (approximately 4,500 sq ft) will be located adjacent to the first grade classrooms and will include appropriate landscaping and play equipment targeted at large motor skills development.
The third floor play space (approximately 18,600 sq ft), located on the roof atop the ECC east classrooms, will be a showcase play space that may include a butterfly garden, a science lab, a weather station, wind socks, a story circle, a community garden, a vermiculture area, a chalk drawing space, a pebble garden, a play field for soccer and flag football, and seating space.
The ECC interior courtyards (approximately 2,200 sq ft each), situated between the N/K classrooms and learning labs on the first floor, will be designed by landscape architects and may include appropriate equipment for play, exploration, and other outdoor learning activities.