WOODLAND PARK, NJ - Students at Charles Olbon (CO) and Memorial School have seen some changes in their buildings that occurred over the summer. CO had a complete renovation to its media center and Memorial School’s cafeteria received air conditioning and a movable partition to create a new class space.

CO’s media center is part of a wing constructed in 2000. The carpeting was replaced by VCT tile. The room was redesigned with new furniture to better accommodate today's learning environment. The space will be more mobile and fluid for more uses such as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) maker spaces. Desktop computers will be replaced by laptop carts for kindergarten and first graders. Second graders now each have their own laptops as part of the district’s completion of the one-to-one initiative for grades 2 to 8.

“The new media center has a lot of amazing features for all of our students,” according to technology teacher Meghan McGinnis. “The library has many unique features such as flexible seating for students to choose a comfortable spot to read after checking out a book. There is a book house that will shelve books, but also features seating, whiteboards, and magnet boards for the students to explore and learn on.”

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Students can use the whiteboard tables to plan designs as engineers during STEAM class. The students are also enjoying a Lego wall, where they are able to plan and build using their imagination.

“The new space will allow for 21st Century learning to take place,” Principal Giovanna Irizarry said. “The media center was transformed into a library/STEAM lab. It was carefully designed to instill a love of reading within students as well as inspire them to learn through the use of various materials/tools to support learning of academic concepts while integrating technology.” 

At Memorial School, the cafeteria and kitchen had air conditioning installed. Also, a movable partition was installed that created a new classroom space to help with overcrowding.