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College News

School No. 2 Gets a Facelift from School of Education Students


Christmas came early yesterday at Clara Barton School No. 2, thanks to students from St. John Fisher College’s Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education. Nearly 350 students from School No. 2 were surprised with the opening of two newly designed learning centers, created for students to explore language and literacy in all areas of instruction.

Fisher students responded to persuasive letters written by students and teachers from School No. 2. The letters indicated ideas and specifics on what was needed for the new learning centers.

As part of their field experience and course work, the Fisher students worked collaboratively with the School No. 2 community to design, create, and implement the centers. Renovations started on November 11, and quick progress was made throughout the weekend. One center was designed for primary grades, and one for the intermediate grades.

Sharon Christman, visiting instructor at Fisher’s School of Education who teaches Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction in Literacy for Primary and Intermediate students, organized her students for this project. This is the fourth classroom makeover she has incorporated into her course work since 2009.

“Students at Fisher’s School of Education learn that a classroom is a library, a laboratory; and a science, math and technology center. They learn that a classroom environment represents the methods and strategies of teaching and learning in conjunction with the on-going, ever-present thread of language and literacy,” she said. “My students look forward to this project every year, and seeing the reaction of the elementary students and their sheer excitement to learn even more make it all worthwhile.”

Both work spaces have been designed to accommodate independent study, as well as small and large study groups. Each center has a library as well as an exploration area for hands-on teaching and learning. They are also stocked with materials that will facilitate learning and enable students and teachers to work together. 

“These rooms add to our already strong academic program that has continued to keep our school on the state’s School in Good Standing list year after year. It’s an amazing experience to be a part of this change, good things are happening here,” said James Palermo, principal, School No. 2 and Fisher alum.

Funding for the project came largely from generous donations from the community: Family First Credit Union, JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., HSBC, Wegmans, Lowes (Webster), Canandaigua Carpets, friends and family members.

“This experience of implementing environments for better teaching and learning has proven to enhance the quality of teaching and learning for our students as well as students in the Rochester City School District,” added Christman.

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