The #IHPromise in Action: Our New Spaces

Board Meeting

Building a Brave Future for generations of students goes beyond the steel beams and brick fronts of the new facilities currently under construction across the Indian Hill School District campus. It also includes deep research into the ideal environment for our students to become Learners as Doers, one of the three focus areas of our #IHPromise strategic plan. A key initiative within this focus area is Create New Spaces.

We started with doing our homework. We set up pilot classrooms for both our faculty and students to experience the latest and greatest in classroom learning products. By the numbers:
    100 percent of our educators vetted our new furniture selections
    100 percent of our students provided input
    1,040 students participated in lab classroom design
    48 lab classroom visits were conducted

Conservatively, our research has saved approximately $355,594 through educated decision-making due to the pilot study and the hard work of our partners to lock in preferred pricing. This research, which led to cost savings, was a point of celebration as we presented our furniture selection to the Indian Hill Board of Education during the January 10 meeting. Despite market conditions forcing an exponential increase in furniture costs during this project (an estimated 20-40 percent), our diligent research and close work with partners kept the Indian Hill School District within 5 percent of the original projected budget.  

“As a parent of Indian Hill students and a taxpayer, our goal was to be forward thinking in the design process and fiscally responsible,” said Ben Kremer with Schools In. “While we worked with the administration and staff, we continued to hone the spaces and furniture and were able to push the envelope for classroom design and keep everything within a budget that was set prior to the pandemic and all that it brought with it. We’re excited to see this project come to fruition and look forward to using Indian Hill as an example of how a great partnership can create outstanding results for both the students and the larger community.”

One partner, LOTH, was so impressed by our dedication to research before purchase, they said we have changed the K-12 model.
“Indian Hill leadership’s thoughtfulness for their students, care for their staff, and passion for learning is unmatched,” said Andrea Akin with LOTH. “Through this process we were able to learn together from our pilot spaces, research, and design meetings to create spaces that support the district’s goals in culture and pedagogy while being attentive to the budget. We are proud to be an Indian Hill partner and look forward to watching the buildings come to life.”

Through research we learned:
    Environment impacts student engagement
    Vertical writing spaces are equally important as horizontal writing spaces
    Students benefit from different configurations that are adjustable
    Comfortable seating brings joy and enhances learning
    Furniture mobility supports flexibility for students and teachers
    Spaces beyond the classroom impact overall school culture and learning participation
    Students find school more engaging if there is a variety of seating options room to room
    Students will need the skills to thrive in a variety of settings in post-high school careers

At the Indian Hill School District, our students dream big. Now, because of our dedication to the research of creating new spaces, we know we will present an environment to help make all those dreams come true.

Dedicated to the success of our Braves,

Dr. Melissa Stewart
Assistant Superintendent
Indian Hill School District

Top photo caption: Indian Hill Assistant Superintendent Dr. Melissa Stewart and Director of Operations Jim Nichols presented an overview to the Board of Education of the furniture designs that will be implemented across campus for the 2023-2024 school year.