By Jill Fox
Coral Glades High School held the grand opening of their new media center on Monday, and the remodel of the jaguar facility dubbed “The Den” wasn’t just about the furniture.
According to Principal Dr. Mark Kaplan, the plan was to take the media center from a traditional quiet study area to something more.
“Every inch was planned out thinking about student collaboration and technology,” said Dr. Kaplan, who added the funds for the project came from a combination of SMART bond dollars, last year’s school budget, and PTSO contributions.
The hope for the redesign was to show how learning can be student-centered, involving the use of technology.
The new set-up consists of five mini and three large collaboration stations and 50 laptops for students to use in The Den. The media center was also “re-genre-fied” in the way they took the traditional fiction and non-fiction categories and replaced them with student interest topics.
“Now it’s topic-centered to what students are interested in, and they should be more likely to want to check out a book,” said Dr. Kaplan, who executed this project for the second time. He had an opportunity to do this once before at Falcon Cove Middle School.
Now in his second year at Coral Glades, he said this was one of the first things he wanted to do.
“We’re trying to create a dynamic space that can show student collaboration and technology are keys to their success,” said Dr. Kaplan.
In an ideal situation, students would begin to use the facility right away; however, these plans were made way before Covid.
School Board Member Lori Alhadeff, who was in attendance, said, “I think it’s wonderful the students have this sensational media center to walk into…even if at a safe distance.”
Students remain socially distanced for now, but Dr. Kaplan said that the collaboration stations would be waiting when they get back to a traditional school environment.
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.
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