Students at the Center: Little Prairie Primary School is Built for Modern Learning
Imagine the colors of sunshine, sky, grass, and water; tall windows flooding interiors with natural light; a “town square” for gatherings; and friendly, flexible classroom spaces. This is Little Prairie Primary School, now home to approximately 400 of the East Troy Community School District’s youngest learners.
Little Prairie opened its doors to 4K through second grade students and early childhood learners in August. The school was built on the campus of Prairie View Elementary School (grades 3-5), and is designed to reflect features of the East Troy community, as well as the District’s student-centered, personalized learning philosophy. This is not “your father’s elementary school,” with six rows of five desks in traditional classrooms, but rather a school built with adaptable learning environments that promote collaboration and creativity.
“We are thrilled to have a building that strongly supports our constant focus on personalized student learning and assists us with our 5 C’s of creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and content,” said Dr. Christopher Hibner, superintendent.
Bringing the Vision to Life: Facilities Planning
Miron worked closely with the architect, District, and Core Team during the facilities planning process. Through this collaborative facilities planning approach, which combined input from the District, staff, school board, and community, the vision of Little Prairie came to life. The process led to a successful $24.7 million referendum for facilities work throughout the District, including construction of Little Prairie Primary School.
We are honored to have had the opportunity to work with the East Troy Community School District and community to help bring the vision for Little Prairie Primary School to life!
Modern Learning Features
With the touch of a button, teachers have the ability to raise or lower large overhead glass doors to create small- or large-group instructional spaces. An abundance of glass provides visibility between hallways, classrooms, and collaboration spaces.
Along the theme of flexible learning spaces, the school embraces multi-age-based education with at least one classroom of each grade level in the three academic wings. This configuration supports the District’s commitment to personalized learning environments. Each wing has a specific color scheme—including yellow, blue, green, and teal—chosen to incorporate the building’s natural surroundings of sun, sky, grass, and water.
Wherever possible, work surfaces and student seating are movable and flexible. The goal is to accommodate the developmental needs of all learners, as well as to allow teachers the flexibility to arrange student-centered classrooms and learning spaces.
Town Square Commons:
Located in the center of the building, this common space represents the East Troy Town Square and has an innovative “tree” structure. The commons serves as a large shared learning space, as well as the cafeteria and multi-purpose area.
SmartLab – Personalized Learning:
Like the Elementary and Middle Schools, Little Prairie has a SmartLab. It has the distinction of being the first SmartLab in the nation designed exclusively for primary students. SmartLabs are an engaging program where students explore STEAM through project-based learning and applied technology. The SmartLab is all about creativity, exploration, and fun! Students can use ZoomTools to create 2D or 3D shapes, explore K’nex creations, or use a computer.
For more information and photos, visit the project profile.