As noted in the “Background” section of this website, the current high school was built at a time when the structure of classrooms was based on desks in rows, and the delivery of instruction was primarily through lecture. Today’s best practices in teaching and learning require spaces conducive to collaboration across disciplines, small group work, and the integrated use of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).
While some lecture-based instruction remains, best practice now incorporates opportunities for students to apply their knowledge from multiple disciplines in real-world applications and group-based projects. Implementing these current instructional best practices is often difficult, and sometimes impossible, within the current structure of Ladue Horton Watkins High School.
If the biggest challenges offered by the current structure were to include only difficult way-finding and an illogical layout of classrooms due to multiple additions, a high school renovation would not have risen to the top of the district’s most critical facility needs. However, like many other public schools in the area, the Ladue School District is proceeding with a major high school renovation in order to be able to provide students with the educational background they will need to succeed in post-secondary education and careers.
There are four districts in the area that the Ladue School District defines as “comparables,” in that they are single high school districts, and – relative to other districts in the area – have somewhat similar demographics and enrollment. They are: Clayton High School, Kirkwood High School, Pattonville High School and Webster Groves High School. Photographs of these district’s facilities are shown below alongside photographs of the current Ladue Horton Watkins High School facility for comparative purposes.