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The Learning Commons :What the Name Change Means for Students

Why the Library name is being changed and how the changes will help the student body overall.

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The Learning Commons :What the Name Change Means for Students


Bam! Student knowledge! Students chill in the Learning Commons during lunches, hanging out or doing work. This year the Learning Commons extended their hours and is open before school, during lunches and after school for students to socialize and get help from staff and tutors. “It feels more collegiate, like how a college would feel,” Kit Shanholtzer states.

Bam! Student knowledge! Students chill in the Learning Commons during lunches, hanging out or doing work. This year the Learning Commons extended their hours and is open before school, during lunches and after school for students to socialize and get help from staff and tutors. “It feels more collegiate, like how a college would feel,” Kit Shanholtzer states.

Bam! Student knowledge! Students chill in the Learning Commons during lunches, hanging out or doing work. This year the Learning Commons extended their hours and is open before school, during lunches and after school for students to socialize and get help from staff and tutors. “It feels more collegiate, like how a college would feel,” Kit Shanholtzer states.

Bam! Student knowledge! Students chill in the Learning Commons during lunches, hanging out or doing work. This year the Learning Commons extended their hours and is open before school, during lunches and after school for students to socialize and get help from staff and tutors. “It feels more collegiate, like how a college would feel,” Kit Shanholtzer states.

Kassie Gruel, Staff reporter

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Newcomers to Lake Stevens High School don’t have much of an opinion to the name change of the Library, but for the Juniors and Seniors there is some resistance to calling the once known library the Learning Commons. In fact, some people refuse to call it the Learning Commons completely, but the reason for the change of the name is beneficial to the student body.

Kit Shanholtzer, who  is currently both an engineering teacher and and recently became the Media Specialist, is running the Learning Commons at LSHS. “My role as an engineering teacher was basically about presentation of information, not me presenting it but students. So engineering is although specific in its field, you create a vision and then you have to figure out how to share that vision with others and that translates to every area in the high school,” Shanholtzer stated. “Again as an engineering teacher I get to bring some of my love for technology and dynamic progressive education and education tools, and to make it more general education as a support role. So if a teacher comes to me and says, ‘I want my kids to have this experience’, we get to work together to figure out how to make that happen and what’s best for kids.”

He is working with teachers and other staff to create a center for students to be able to get academic help and to be able to find a safe place to interact with other students around them.

Students can still go and check out books, but now they also have other options, such as using whiteboards provided to help students with work or to explain an idea, using the computers to print papers for school, and even talking to staff or National Honor Society students to get help in essentially any subject. Students can also hang out with friends, play chess, checkers or other games such as the 3-D puzzle, and the Learning Commons staff are still working to add more opportunities for students.

“The goal of the Learning Commons will be to create a student hub, a place where everyone goes to do school related activities. So in our minds, it’s not just a place to go get fiction or nonfiction books,” Shanholtzer stated, “[There are] now four professionals in here who can help students with studying habits or course work.”

Sophomore Bella Barr, has gotten help and first-hand experience with the new opportunities of the Learning Commons. “I really like it because like I stayed after school one day and I got to work on my homework and it was really cool… It gives a lot of opportunities instead of having to go and get a tutor for yourself you can just go to the Learning Commons after school and everything, and it’s just easier and more convenient,” Barr said.

Sophomore Sarah Himple believes people won’t follow through with the name change but likes the concept of the Learning Commons and the space it gives students. Himple has not had much of an experience with the Learning Commons like Barr, but from what she has experienced and observed, she believes it will help a lot of students.

Senior Chantel Murphy was a T.A. for a year and a half in the library. She now just visits in the library and helps around. She dislikes the name change due to the fact that she was under the wing of Kristen Hendericks, the former librarian for 16 years at LSHS before moving to Italy with her husband. Even with Murphy not liking the name change she did state, “I feel like it’s a really good place for the student body as a whole.” She has witnessed the new areas help students and allow for them to get help.

Lake Stevens High School is going to go through a remodel over the next few years, but students will also be able to witness the growth of the Learning Commons and maybe accept the name change from what they witness and experience.

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