After nearly one year of construction, our new school is finally ready for our Speros!
It’s been a wild ride, but in just 11 months we were able to bring our vision to fruition and construct our new school. Thursday night was incredible. Parents, students, board members and even the mayor flooded in to attend our ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Building this new school has been an amazing journey, and the result is nothing short of spectacular. We were able to create something so special in our new building, a place for our students to learn and develop.
We learned a ton from our focus group of classroom teachers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, music therapists, and behavior specialists — about how we can create the very best learning environment for our students. After taking a step back and taking an in-depth look at any challenges we faced in the old building, we were able to identify key areas of improvement and opportunities for new and improved ideas. These ideas and expert theories we uncovered through intensive research were then used as the foundation for our new design!
With this design, we implemented two different theories.
This is typically the design environment that is utilized for children with autism. This design accommodates their needs and sensitivities with an environment that tailors to both high and low sensory symptoms.
The neuro-typical approach is the theory that children with autism should experience “typical” environments to best integrate into society.
After much consideration by our design team, we decided that the new Spero Academy should have the best of both worlds! Our new school was constructed with both theories in mind to give our students a revolutionary learning environment.
Our design is segmented by separate “zones” with both high stimulus and low stimulus zones — along with transition zones in between for smooth transitioning. Our transition zones make it easier for children to recalibrate their senses as they move between zones.
High stimulus zones include the gym, cafeteria, entrance and gathering areas.
Low stimulus zones include classrooms, media lab, speech room, specialist rooms, and restrooms.
Sensory zoning is also a part of the classrooms — each activity is allocated to a “station” that is physically different than other areas of the room through variations in furniture, flooring and lighting levels appropriate to the “station’s” function.
Lighting was also a major part of building our new school. Our new building was designed in a way that makes natural lighting a priority. With the exception of necessary lamps, natural lighting creates a calming environment for our students. Walking through the hallways and classrooms you are hit with natural light everywhere you go. And from every window, you see the growth of plant life and trees. It is truly a magnificent environment.
We are so excited for the new year to start and for our Speros to experience our new school. We would like to thank everyone that has been involved in the development process and transition. But we would like to especially thank our parents for believing in our vision and understanding what a special place Spero Academy is. We look forward to continued growth and success not only for our incredible students, but Spero as well!