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Committee Members Learn about 21st Century Skills

A tour of district offices and the Monona Grove Liberal Arts Charter School were among the highlights of the Feb. 17 meeting of the Monona Grove School District Long-Range Facilities Planning Committee.

The School Board and administration have hired CG Schmidt Construction and Eppstein Uhen Architects as consultants in the process. In addition to the building tours, the meeting included discussion about the steps of the facility planning process, the movement toward creating 21st century learning environments and an overview of all district-owned properties.

Bob Vajgrt of Eppstein Uhen discussed 21st century learning, a term that applies to the many new approaches to teaching and learning in education. Classes are no longer taught to students sitting in rows of individual desks; learning is considered a communitywide activity where students often collaborate and need space for electronics.

The term “21st century skills” is generally used to refer to certain core competencies, such as collaboration, digital literacy, critical thinking and problem solving that advocates believe schools need to teach to help students thrive in today’s world. As a result, learning spaces call for more flexible features, and many districts are utilizing flexible spaces in their schools.

“As we create a long-term facilities plan for our district, 21st century learning spaces will definitely be something to consider,” said Dan Olson, school superintendent. “The Monona Grove School District wants to ensure the best for our students for the next 20 years.”

Tours of other buildings will follow, and members will analyze the capacity and utilization of each.

Membership on the committee was expanded by two community residents. Appointed to serve on the committee are Dave Kinsler of Cottage Grove and John Klinzing of Monona. Other committee members include school board members, parents, staff and business leaders.

For more information on the facility planning process, visit

The Herald-Independent

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