Gone are the days of assigned seats at Canyon Creek Elementary School. With the $30,000 allocation from the campus PTA, each Canyon Creek classroom was outfitted with brand new flexible furniture for all students.
The Canyon Creek PTA, led by President Jessica Loewy, utilized nearly all of the organization’s surplus funds to bring flexible learning to the campus, in alignment with the Round Rock ISD Strategic Plan. The flexible learning aligns with Goal 5 of the Strategic Plan, which states “We will design our schools by creating flexible programs and learning environments.”
PTA Council members visited flexible work environments, like Google, and ordered test furniture to ensure the purchases would be well utilized by students.
“It’s really important as parents and as advocates for our children that we do what we can so they succeed in life,” Loewy said. “We planned the process with intention to impact as many kids as possible. Canyon Creek has an excitement and brightness now that you can’t understand without walking the halls.”
Each of the 25 classrooms received $450, which funded two Hokki Stools in kindergarten, first and second grade classrooms and two standing desks in third, fourth and fifth grade classes. Additional funding was proposed to staff through a grant program. Teachers were invited to apply for grants to fulfill their flexible classroom wish lists and nearly 20 grants were approved.
“I wish I had done this 20 years ago,” said Nancy Desjardins, Canyon Creek second-grade teacher. “Flexible spaces have brought a new lease on life to the children and to me. They get to pick a spot that’s comfortable for them that’s really going to optimize their learning.”
The schoolwide flexible learning spaces also challenged staff to get creative and decorate classrooms with inviting furniture and colors, further supporting the student’s willingness to take ownership of their classroom and space within the school.
“Flexible spaces are really about open communication,” Canyon Creek Principal April Crawford said. “It’s not just about the flexible seating, but it opens up the student-to-student communication because they’re not confined to a desk and chair. It’s a new way of being together, communicating and collaborating.”
The Canyon Creek PTA also supports the campus staff through start up programs at the beginning of each year. Returning teachers each receive $200 and new teachers receive $300 for any classrooms supplies needed. The PTA also allocates $15 for each student on campus who participates in enrichment to ensure all students have equal opportunities to take field trips and engage in projects.