Sandaker vgs, Fotogalleriet, Oslo, 2009
Sandaker School was designed by architect Finn Bryn and first used in 1959. At the time the school was finally completed in 1964 it was one of the largest and most expensive schools in Norway. The school was a crowning achievement for Oslo Municipality, due to its architecture and to the educational strides it signified. Sandaker was an experimental school for trying out new ideas to develop a better school model. The motto was and still is: A school for everyone, with a social and pedagogical focus on the individual student, regardless of background.
The school’s functionalist architecture has been put to the test of time. Universal access and new ventilation requirements have prioritized practical solutions over aesthetic concerns. The buildings also testify to a lack of maintenance by Oslo Municipality.
Today, Sandaker School offers educational programs at the high school level for both trade specialization and for college preparation, with approximately one hundred employees and places for nearly six hundred students. The school has regional responsibility for hearing-impaired, and it offers special education programs for students with learning disabilities.
Sixty-five percent of the school’s students are language minorities. All told, very few high schools in Norway have a student body that is as diverse as Sandaker. Recently, Oslo Municipality has passed legislation to transform the entire school into an elementary school in 2012, and Sandaker’s high school students will be moved into new facilities in Nydalen along with Grefsen high school students.
I have come to know a number of students and employees at Sandaker high school during the past two years. I have been fascinated by the strong social engagement and enthusiasm that distinguishes the school and I hope that this book conveys some of this character. My heartfelt thanks are extended to Sandaker School for interest and participation in my project. Congratulations on your 50-Year Jubilee!