Grand Opening of The Commons
Highland High Opens 'The Commons' Learning Space
Posted on 09/06/2018
Highland High Opens 'The Commons' Learning Space Highland High school students and staff, are celebrating the opening of a new learning space, located in the school’s library.  Three years in the making, ‘The Commons’ is laid out more like a college campus than a school library, offering multi-use spaces, including comfortable lounge seating, laptop charging stations, printer access, desks, as well as a more informal ‘cafe’ area and a brand new career center. 
Highland High Opens 'The Commons' Learning Space
‘The Commons’ will be open to all students, and the space can be reserved by peer and teacher tutor groups. All teachers have been invited to bring their students down to ‘The Commons’ to fully experience all it has to offer, and to explore how they can fully utilize the space individually, and as a class.
Melinda Murphy, HHS Principal
Highland High Principal, Melinda Murphy commented, “This is the realization of a three year vision, and we are extremely proud of the work carried out by our staff, students, and community partners. This incredible new space will benefit Highland High students for many years to come.”
Highland High School The Commons
All those involved in the transformation knew the space had to change dramatically to reach the goals of creating a 21st century learning space, and increasing student access to career and college readiness tools. Creating an environment similar to that which student’s will experience in college was an important part of the process.

“We want to encourage students to start thinking in the mindset of what college learning will be like,” stated Ms. Barbara Dwyer, College and Career Liaison at Highland High.  Ms. Dwyer’s role is new to Highland High and is a key element of the library transformation. As the College and Career Liaison, Ms. Dwyer will be located in ‘The Commons’ and will be accessible to students before and after school and during lunch periods. Francia Ward who is the Career Coordinator, along with Ms. Dwyer will be there to connect them with the resources they need. “There are different paths for everyone, and it is our focus to expose students to the variety of resources that are available and help guide them  through their college and career decisions,” commented Ms. Dwyer.
Highland High Grand Opening of The Commons
The third Thursday of each month Highland High will open up ‘The Commons’ for evening presentations related to college and career readiness. Planned topics include - The college application process; collegiate athletics; vocational opportunities; scholarships; FAFSA applications; and Community College versus Universities.

Key to the design was creating a space that will be able to evolve and grow with changes in teaching and learning, for years to come. Balancing the space with access to new technology, and learning spaces, while retaining a core library collection was very important. Rather than decreasing student access to library books, Highland High looked to refine their existing collection, and are in the process of partnering with South East Regional Library, offering students access to a wider book catalog and electronic resources than ever before.
Highland High The Commons Ribbon Cutting with Mayor Jenn Daniels
‘The Commons’ hosted its Grand Opening Tuesday September 4, 2018 with a Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting ceremony at 3:30 pm. The space will be officially open to students Monday September 10, 2018.
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