In 2013, the intent to rejuvenate the American Community School Library was put into action by the Superintendent, Larry McIlvain. In an effort to modernize the space and shift away from a traditional library, the concept of a Learning Commons (LC) at ACS was born. The LC was designed based on the Primordial Spaces identified by educational futurist David Thornburg: cave spaces for independent learning; watering hole spaces for group learning; and, campfire spaces for large, story-telling style delivery. These all fall under the umbrella of the larger “life” space in which our students must succeed when they leave our campus.
Statement of Purpose:
“The LC @ ACS is an inclusive, learner-centered space which expands and deepens student learning by offering, often simultaneously, a flexible environment fostering independence, collaboration, and inquiry.”
The LC is a social meeting place - this is evident during all hours of the school day, and particularly during break times for our students. Our students love being in the LC.
Yet, the LC never compromises its focus on learning - it is a constructivist learning centre. Here you will find students working independently, in small groups, and even as a larger group, discovering, inquiring, creating, thinking critically, and problem solving.
For our staff, it is a collaborative co-planning and co-teaching hub - there is access to experts including classroom teachers, teacher-librarians, education technology specialists, learning coaches, subject specialists, and curriculum specialists. Our faculty love being in the LC.
It is rich with digital and print resources - we are two years into a three year collection rebuilding plan for our print resources, and we offer a carefully curated selection of databases for online research and reading.
It upholds the mission of the school which “Inspires individuals to become self-motivated learners and active citizens who demonstrate respect, act with integrity, and seek intellectual growth in a culture of high expectations” by actively promoting teaching practices to significantly improve student learning.
The LC is available to parents before and after school. For parents with young children not yet in school or children in PreK with an early dismissal, the cafe is available for quiet reading and snacks.