New libraries for new year at 3 schools in Naperville 203
As students stepped into a new year Thursday at Scott Elementary School in Naperville Unit District 203, a bed of uplifting "kindness rocks" and a new learning commons greeted them.
The rocks were arranged at the main entrance with positive messages such as "friend," "together we can" or "together we grow."
And inside the building, the learning commons was ready for its first year of use after being modernized this summer as one of three such spaces upgraded as part of a $679,828 project. Learning commons areas at Beebe Elementary and Kennedy Junior High also were renovated.
With books, technology, large-group meeting spaces, small-group work areas and lounge spots for reading, the learning commons -- what District 203 schools call a library -- is often a central gathering place for each school.
Scott's learning commons was updated with new furniture, glass dividing walls and technology in a project budgeted to cost $211,872.
The school of 425 students started classes Thursday along with the rest of the 20 other schools in Naperville Unit District 203, which serves roughly 16,600 students.
In a video posted to the district's Twitter feed Thursday, Superintendent Dan Bridges said he's excited for what the new year will bring.
"We see wonderful opportunities for our students as we prepare them for life beyond the classroom," Bridges said.
He said the district will continue its focus on equity and inclusion so all students, employees and community members feel welcome.
"I'm energized," Bridges said, "at what we an accomplish when we build connections with students, peers and the greater community."