2014 James D. MacConnell Symposium Series

Learning and the Emerging Adolescent

Meadowdale Middle School February 22, 2014

Meadowdale Middle School

6500 168th Street SW, Lynnwood, Washington 98037

Learning and the Emerging Adolescent: A One Day Symposium exploring brain development during the middle school years, and school spaces that best accommodate middle school students.

Topics include:
  • MMS Mechanical system tour and regional discussion of energy use in schools
  • Seminar: Brain development in emerging adolescence
  • Meadowdale Middle School Tour and Discussion of the Personalized Learning Communities
  • Seminar and Workshop: Developing space appropriate for middle school learning (PLCs, inquiry based learning areas, performance, connected environments, appropriate socialization

Transforming the School Culture: The new building has provided an inspiring and invigorating new setting that has helped to transform the school culture. Carefully tailored to support the developmental needs of the emerging adolescent, the new spaces and their configuration are changing how the students behave. Involved throughout the planning and design process, Christine Avery, principal, described lunchtime in the old building as the worst part of the day, controlled as a virtual lock-down. In the new Commons it has become her favorite time of day. The kids are so different – she really enjoys informally interacting with the students in the Café area.

Meadowdale Middle School is the first middle school Edmonds School District has ever built, replacing an outmoded junior high school building at the end of its service life. Being the first of four planned middle school replacement projects, the District embarked on the planning process beginning with several key questions – 'What makes a middle school different?' and 'What are the best practices today that can inform our decisions and ensure that the new school will serve the community well for the next 50 years?'

"Meadowdale Middle School is a personalized learning community where emerging adolescents and adults work together to create safe, relevant, and developmentally appropriate learning experiences."


Saturday, February 22, 2014
All events at Meadowdale Middle School in Lynnwood, WA
8:30 am Building Opens, Coffee and Pastries
9:00 am Keynote: Brain Development and Learning in the Middle School Years
Laura Kastner, Ph.D., Clinical Professor, Depts. of Psychology and Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington
Research-based presentation on the unique aspects of brain development in 11-14 year olds the middle school years and the implications for effective learning at that age.
10:00 am Building Tour: Meadowdale Middle School
Comprehensive building tour of this MacConnell Award Finalist and discussion of the Personalized Learning Communities.
11:00 am Break
11:15 am Seminar: Energy Efficiency at Schools in Western Washington
Join us for a regional overview of actual energy use data from 150 schools in 15 districts. Discussion by engineers and District representatives on current designs and factors influencing energy use.
12:15 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Seminar: Effective Curricula for the Emerging Adolescent
Panel discussion with teachers and curriculum experts from various Districts regarding appropriate curricula and instructional strategies, given the particular educational and social requirements of middle school students.
2:00 pm Workshop: Aspects of Middle School Design
Work with Middle School students, educators, planners and designers to explore the possibilities and considerations of middle school design, including a range of varied spaces ideal for middle school learning (PLCs, inquiry-based learning areas, performance, connected environments, appropriate socialization).
4:00 pm Program Close


Thank you to our Sponsors!

Shaw Contract Group Tandus
NAC Architecture
TCF Architecture