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Historical Facts

The Savannah Arts Academy sits at 500 Washington Avenue in Ardsley Park, a beautiful neighborhood near downtown Savannah. The site was originally planned as a luxury tourist hotel called deemed to be called, the Hotel Georgia. Work began on the hotel on August 15, 1912 but due to litigation, steel shortages, as well as funding problems and architect inconsistencies, the foundation sat uncompleted for two decades. In 1937 the building became what was known to most of Savannah as the old Savannah High, and was eventually reopened as Savannah Arts Academy in August of 1998. Savannah Arts Academy is the first dedicated performing and visual arts school in Savannahs history. The school was designed to provide high level training in the arts, and currently has 865 students within the context of a comprehensive college preparatory high school education. Students audition and later focus on one of the following arts majors: Communication Arts, Dance, Piano/Band/Orchestra, Choir, Theatre Arts, or Visual Arts. Our school services students in grades nine through twelve. We currently have about 58 full time teachers, three guidance counselors, three administrators, and eight other support/maintenance members.

Physical Description
The physical appearance of the site is three stories tall and from an aerial view looks like a large square with an open courtyard/epicenter. Classrooms are located on all sides of the building, along the outer walls of the north and south sides of the building and the inner walls of the east and west sides of the building. Our Auditorium and Gym and located on the inner north

and south sides of the building. The Media Center is located on the north outer wall on the second floor. From the front of the building it is the center of the faade. The original design of the hallway that now houses the Media Center included six classrooms. The walls were demoed to accommodate the space needed to have a fully functional Media Center. Our Media Center is just as spacious, but in some aspects stretched along a long corridor when compared to other high school Media Centers. The SAA Media Center is approximately 2,500 square feet. There are two office spaces with the Media Center. There are five doors leading into the Media Center. There are 31 windows facing a palm lined walk way and three block park. We have one full time Media Clerk as well as a Media Specialist. Our school also has a three Technology Specialists that rotate between four high schools. In addition to those faculty members, the site also houses two classes worth of virtual school (an online class that can substitute for most academics) that occur each and every period of a four period day. The layout consists of a teacher workroom, an office, two circulation desks, 24 desk top computers for student use, as well as 48 chrome books that permanently reside at 8 long tables for any type of class wide online learning, surveys, and or basic computing skills. The teacher workroom is located on the far left side of our Media Center. It houses our ID maker, laminator, Ellison Press, paper cutter, vertical file, and workspace. Adjacent to the teacher workroom is an office. This office is utilized by the Media Specialist. Several desks, a computer, file cabinets, and other office organization materials can be found in the office. The circulation desk housed at the front entrance of the library is where the Media Specialist works and is in the middle of the left side of the Media Center. They are networked and can print to the printer in the Media Center. Students

mainly use these computers during class times to complete homework, print papers, and for Internet Research.

The media center opens at 7:30 am and closes at 3:30 daily. Students must have a signed pass to enter the media center and are refused entry without one. The media center is not open during lunch which occurs between 11:05 and 1:15 each day. Students are to sign in upon entering and leaving the media center. Students must also have their ID badges visible at all times. No ID No entry. Teachers who wish to bring their class to the media center must sign up in advance. They also must provide a lesson plan for what they hope to accomplish during their visit, failure to comply results in no entry. Audio video equipment has been slowly added to teacher classrooms each year. All AV Carts are housed in a locked closet across the hall. The media center staff has the ability to remove students from the media center who are engaging in disruptive behavior. There is no eating and drinking allowed in the media center at any time. The large group instruction area holds 32 students and should be used only for whole group instruction. Currently there are 84 working computers in the media center. These are to be used for individual work or whole classes. Whole classes should sign up in advance at the circularion desk .

Items can be laminated from 8:00 am- 9:30 am or 2:45-3:30 daily. Teachers are to write their last name and room number on the back side of their materials.

Students are to enter the media center through the door that is opened to the hallway. This may based on if they are arriving as individuals or large groups. Students are requested to exit through the same door they entered in.

Students may check out library books for two-week periods, and renew them up to five times at no additional charge. All late or missing books will be placed on the students graduation hold form until rectified.

The following are the results from a survey distributed to 86 students. On average students check out 3 books per year. The students surveyed stated that they were satisfied said they liked the location of the return shelf. 89% of all students said that there was a quiet, comfortable place to read in the Media Center. Students mentioned that sometimes the Media Center was completely quiet. Students said that they rarely ever went to the Media Center on their own. 88 % of the students said that they only used the Media Center once or twice a year on their own. 90% of the students said they only went to the Media Center with their class. The number one reason for students going to the Media Center was to complete research. The number two reason for using the Media Center is utilizing the computers and printer. The other responses varied from completing homework, to get out of class, and to check out books.

45 % of the students surveyed said that the Media Center is inviting. The others stated that it was not.

Student Suggestions for our Media Center can be found below: More small group study areas Newer faster computers Much more books, newer and more copies More poetry books for minority based poets Extended hours, especially afternoon The addition of a dedicated copy machine for student use Playing classical music Incorporation of LCD projectors and screens for presentations

The following are results from 20 academic teacher surveys indicating their needs More defined classroom instruction area Incorporation of LCD projectors and screens for presentations Addition of Smartboards /Prometheus Boards Nicer Teacher Workroom with more comprehensive supplies More small group study areas for splitting classes into at least three groups Faster more functional Laptop Stations Larger book selection in Arts Subjects

My Recommended Changes

The media center hours should be extended to accommodate student needs. The new hours of operation will be 7:15 am 4:00 daily.

The large group instruction area holds 24 students and should be utilized for both whole group instruction and small group splitting of classes

There will be no less than 100 fully functional computers in the media center at any given time These are used for individual student use.

The lamination time has also been extended. Items will be laminated at the teachers request.

To help the flow of traffic in the media center, students will only enter through the door in front of the main circulation desk. They will leave through the other door. This will not change.

Currently the Savannah Arts media center facility is run and maintained marginally but isnt being used as much as it should be used. The following are recommended alterations that could encourage students to utilize this resource more often:

Continuing Professional Development for teachers on the advantages of using the media center in instruction.

Create and maintain a library web site, and send newsletters to students, parents, and the faculty

Play classical music during allotted times each day Greet students with a smile and assist as much as possible Ask students about what their literary interests Originate a student driven book club

All in all the student opinion of the media center is less than favorable. It is interesting that our Media Specialist of seventeen years has announced her retirement just a week ago and a new young technology savy media specialist is slated to take over. So, while this description paints a somewhat medial picture of the resources at our site, the only definitive is that change is on the way.