What Sparked Design39's existence

By Anisha and Riya, 4-5 School news team

Have you ever wondered why Design39Campus is even the way it is?  

We all know that Design39 has a different environment than the other schools in Poway, but how was D39C even created? Was there something that caused the existence of this wonderful school?

PUSD has stated that Design39Campus is the, “first public school of it’s kind.” There is always learning going on everywhere here! From the imagination studios, to the maker spaces. In traditional schools you probably will run into a library, a lab, or maybe even a multipurpose room. Here, at D39C, we don’t have any of those! We have a Loft, instead of a library, Makeries instead of labs, and a Showcase instead of a multipurpose room. And we never run into teachers, instead we run into LEDs!  Design39 decided that teachers should be called LED’s which stands for Learning Experience Designers. Also, LEDs are a type of light, and they wanted it to be as if the LEDs are lighting up a student’s learning path.

Design39 wants kids to maximize their potential at their own learning pace. They want kids to be challenged and motivated in a small class size. In 2013, Mrs. Wrisley came to Dr. Collins, our superintendent, with the idea to reimagine traditional schools into a school where the learner was at the center. How would this look like? How would it work? With the vision in mind, Mrs. Wrisley gathered up five teachers to explore some of these questions. As soon as they got a image in their heads, they asked even more parents and educators!

We wanted to know more, so we went to Mrs. Eveleth and asked her a few questions. “Once you had got this idea in vision, how did you tell yourself it could be a real thing?” When asked this, Mrs Eveleth said, “We knew that anything could happen if we believe and let it happen. Mrs. Wrisley already had a vision of this school. So, we looked at every aspect of the design process, We took some aspects from the traditional schools like PE and asked ourselves, ‘How can we make this activity fun for kids?’

Mrs. Eveleth and her team did not have any problems. She said that there were just boatloads of challenges! They had a challenge everyday and these became challenges mainly because during the testing and evaluation stage of the process, they didn’t have any students to see if kids would enjoy any of it. So they had to find their inner-kid, and ask themselves,

“Would they really want this?”

The design process continued throughout the first year. They added anything that would make the kids feel a new experience.

When Design39 was first thought of, you can see that it took a lot of determination and belief to make, but nevertheless they stuck to it and made it happen!