The days of sitting for hours in a classroom in rows of desks all facing a blackboard are officially a thing of the past. Education today has become more about encouraging curiosity, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. To facilitate this evolving pedagogy, forward-thinking schools like Saddle River Day are creating spaces that provide students with a learning environment in which they can partner with each other and take intellectual risks.
The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at SRDS was conceived and implemented approximately three years ago in the Upper School. The intention was to support our students’ academic endeavors through programs and enrichment opportunities that encouraged them to examine current events and emerging issues in the community and the world and see these issues and events as an invitation for innovation, design, and entrepreneurship. The Upper School CIE space underwent major renovations during the summer of 2022 to include the addition of all new state of the art furniture such as classroom MakerSpace trapezoid tables and chairs to encourage collaboration, work tables and stools on the lower level and commonly used engineering tools such as chop saws, jigsaws, drills and a circular saw. With the increased enrollment, faculty were added to teach additional Business and Entrepreneurship, Engineering and Physics courses, making it an incredible hub as one of the most used, most beloved spaces on campus for students to experience highly engaged learning. In addition, the school was recently awarded a prestigious Edward E. Ford Foundation traditional grant of $100,000 for the first time since 1979 in support of the CIE.
Now the Lower School -- in association with Meteor Education, a design and build firm that helps schools re-envision and enhance their learning environments -- has been hard at work transforming a space on the lower level of the Main Hall into a brand new, multifunctional, innovative home for the Lower School Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The new Lower School CIE will feature multipurpose modular furniture pieces that will promote flexibility in the learning environment. Tables will be made of white board material so students can brainstorm and take notes in collaborative project groups. Comfortable sofa seating will be available for more casual and intimate meetings and small group projects. Kid-friendly pod seating will provide a location for classes to meet in whole or in part, or for more than one class to meet together. The intent is to create a multi-functional, non-traditional space that appeals to various learning styles and experiences.
But you may ask, why is it important to have spaces like these? Any of us who have ever wrestled with a problem or a mental block knows the value of a change of scenery. Similarly, the new Lower School CIE space has been designed as a “change of scenery” with a circular shape that maximizes the natural light and helps stimulate and inspire the creative process. Additionally, this space provides an informal location where students can feel free to dream, envision, imagine, create, and test their creations. Then, once they have that “big idea” or a more effective solution to a problem, the CIE provides a place for them to work with project teams to bring an idea to life.
As in the Upper School, the Lower School Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is sure to become one of our most used and most beloved spaces on campus. Once it officially opens in December, it is slated to begin hosting Lower School assemblies, entrepreneur and author visits, division celebrations, and cross divisional activities in addition to providing a more modern space in which to house and organize the Lower School book collection. We can’t wait to experience this new space and to see how Saddle River Day School is once again -- and in this case quite literally -- building the best education for our student's future.
FALL OPEN HOUSES
Grades 5th-12th Open House
Tuesday, November 15 at 6:00 pm
Pre-K and Kindergarten Open House
Thursday, December 1 at 9:00 am
2022-2023 Middle & Upper School Fall Visit Days (10:15am - 1:15pm) Spend a day with an SRDS student ambassador. Shadow 3 classes, meet with the division head, and have an amazing lunch prepared by Chef Mark!
Thursday, November 10th
Monday, December 5th
Saddle River Day School
Pre-K3 to Grade 12
147 Chestnut Ridge Road • Saddle River, NJ 07458 • Tel: 201.327.4050
Watch your child grow from a student into a scholar—and into a lifetime of success.
From exploring Spanish, music and lab-based science beginning in Pre-K to hosting a TEDxYouth Conference in high school … from active play to competing on a championship Rebel Athletics team … inspiring success starts right from the beginning at Saddle River Day School.
Here, learning begins with an intriguing problem to solve, a story that captivates or a question that provokes curiosity—and the personal connection between teachers and students motivates everyone. To develop holistic, “right-brain” thinkers, we integrate science, technology, engineering, art and math, and celebrate different ways to solve real problems.
SRDS graduates from recent years are thriving at top colleges like Boston College, NYU and Stanford. They are creative individuals inspired to think, solve and achieve—in academics and in life.