Notes from Dr. Montejano | Re-imagining Learning Spaces

Holy Family School is embarking on a renovation project that will significantly enhance student learning and meet the growing needs of the school and parish community. The target renovation areas include the playground, Education Center (classrooms) and the addition of a sports court in the hall. Your input is very important to us! Please take a few minutes to read the FAQ’s about the project and complete the short survey.


Will the size of the open “turf” area be comparable to the current size?
Yes. The open play space (turf or padded surfacing) will actually be slightly larger in square footage due to the filling of the play area and, consequently, removal of ADA ramping surrounding the playground.

Will the new playground have shade?
Yes. Shade structures will be placed throughout the space, and areas of the blacktop, for optimum UV protection.

Will the playground be designed for all ages?
Yes. The play-structures that we are currently looking at are designed for ages 5-14.

What modifications will be made to the classrooms?
At our maximum enrollment of 36 students per class, our goal is to optimize space and provide greater opportunity for student-teacher interaction. We are working with education and design experts to develop a school-wide plan that focuses on the physical environment including improved flooring, lighting, color, furniture, increase presentation space and integrated technology features.

What are the educational benefits of the classroom upgrades?
This past fall, our fifth grade teacher piloted elements of the new classroom design. This successful model includes reconfigurable desks, interactive technology options, increased presentation space and collaborative work stations. The new design moves away from a stagnant learning environment to one that encourages transition, communication and active learning. Parent and teacher observations and feedback regarding the pilot classroom design have been extremely favorable.

Are the elements of the new classroom design well researched?
Yes. There is a vast body of research supporting the benefits of innovative learning spaces in primary education. Much of this work discusses the enormous changes in the world, the increasing pace of that change and how schools need to change their approach to better equip young learners for the world in which they will live. Twenty-first century learning requires environments where the learner is engaged in self-directed and cooperative learning environments, and the physical environment is calming, engaging and sacred.

Will all the classrooms be impacted?
Yes. Phase 1 (summer 2015) will focus on upgrades for grades 1-5. Phase 2 will impact K & 6-8 as well as multi-purpose rooms.

What are the proposed changes to the hall?
Sports-court flooring, removable volleyball netting and portable basketball hoops will be installed.

Will the addition of a sports court conflict with parish activities?
No. The sports court will be used for volleyball and basketball practice after bookstore hours and at designated times in accordance with the parish schedule.

Will the addition of sports court let us host games?
The size of the room would allow HFS to host volleyball games, but not basketball games.

What is the total renovation project cost?
Budgets and plans are still being finalized, but preliminary numbers indicate a total project cost of $700,000 for all 3 areas (playground, classrooms, hall).

Will the project increase tuition?
No! We plan to raise all funds through grants and community fundraising efforts. The parish has provided seed funding and we have grant applications pending.