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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

It Takes A Village

By Edutopia Staff
Related Tags: Teacher Development
Credit: Ed Goodwin/Burgess & Niple Architects

The Perry Community Educational Village is the heart of Perry Township, a rural area in northwest Ohio with 8,000 residents.

"The complex's name reaffirms that schools are the focal point of the Perry community," Perry High School Principal Bob Geisler says. "That has historically been true here, and this new facility is designed to allow student learning and community educational development to take place hand-in-hand."

The Educational Village serves 1,900 kindergarten through 12th-grade students and consists of two areas. The West Campus, which opened in 1993, houses the high school and a community fitness center; the East Campus, opened in 1995, contains the elementary and middle schools. Although each school functions independently, they share common areas such as the auditorium, natatorium, and field house.

"The campuses are connected through a local area computer network," Geisler says. "From servers, students can call up about 30 different pieces of software and all sorts of reference materials." The schools also feature video networks that offer programming via a 35-inch monitor in each classroom. "Our facility and technology are designed to support an educational philosophy of students as self-directed learners with the world as their classroom," Geisler says.

After school hours, the complex serves the community in various ways. The state-of-the-art theater hosts events almost every day, the athletic facilities serve as a fitness club open to the public, and the school is a branch campus for classes offered by Lakeland Community College. "We've tried to create an educational center that will serve children and the community for the next 50 years," Geisler says.

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