Foran Provides TLC To Newly Coined “Teaching and Learning Commons”


In Need of Some TLC: Foran’s media center prior to renovation. Photo courtesy: Olivia Salai, August 23, 2021.

Olivia Salai, Content Editor

     Throughout the 2020-2021 school year, the Foran media center operated on a digital basis to prioritize student safety. With the reversal of some Covid-19 protocols, online checkouts have been abandoned as most media centers revert back to the standard system. 

     While the likely return of in-person browsing has been considered a victory by many student bookworms, Foran is determined to take one step further and expand the duties of the recently rechristened Teaching and Learning Commons (TLC), beyond the capabilities of a typical media center.

     Mrs. Jaclyn DeLoma, Foran’s media specialist, is leading the transition from mere media center to the Teaching and Learning Commons. She explains the switch to a TLC is necessary to embody inclusiveness of all Foran patrons and bring students into the digital age.

     “A TLC is the nucleus of the school community and inhabits diverse 21st century learning through collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication,” DeLoma states.

     Through the updated layout, the Teaching and Learning Commons will cater to each student’s individual learning needs and “be welcoming to all in a respectful manner.”

     Miss Chelsea Green, English teacher, views the library as an extension of the TLC after exploring the Teaching and Learning Commons at Jonathan Law.

     “By merging these two spaces, it allows students to have a space that truly suits all their learning needs whether that be a space to work or an area housing books needed to research student interests,” Green elaborates.

     Jonathan Law’s TLC included unique furniture, like high top tables with chairs to match and desk chairs tucked into enclosed study cubbies, which could indicate what Foran can expect from the renovations.

     Aided by a crew of teachers, students, and administrators, the transformation from ordinary library to TLC is underway. Ariel Phantharangsy, a junior and member of the TLC team, is eager to see the group’s vision come to life.

     “I’m very excited [because] we get to have more cool, interactive stuff in the library area…” Phantharangsy explains. 

     Foran’s TLC will be much more than a place for students to print essays or do research for a project. The space is planned to have designated areas for different demands, such as a “Cafe,” a “Living Area,” “Collaboration,” “Learning Hubs,” an “Innovative/Creative Area,” a “Stage” area, and a “Study Area.” 

     Despite the many non-literary developments in the works, material books characteristic of a classic library will be mainstays. Additionally, any new furniture incorporated into the layout will be easily moveable to ensure the TLC can be refreshed at any point during the process.

     Due to ongoing Covid-19 protocols that need to be enforced, the shift to a TLC is unsteady. Regardless of the circumstances, the team continues the planning process. In fact, members are consulting an architect regarding options for renovation. Students are encouraged to contact Mrs. DeLoma to get involved in the ongoing TLC transformation.