Virginia Educational Facility Planners
2016 Conference Seminars

Conference Theme: Collaborate, Innovate, Motivate: Rethinking Education through Planning and Design

Keynote Presentations

Growing Our Way Into a New Economy
Keynote: Stephen Ritz

1.5 HSW

Students shouldn't have to leave their community to live, learn and earn in a better one. Stephen Ritz's Green Bronx Machine has transformed mindsets and landscapes in NYC. Moving generations of students into spheres of personal and academic successes which they had never imagined — while reclaiming and rebuilding the Bronx — his extended student and community family have grown more than 30,000 pounds of vegetables in the Bronx while generating extraordinary academic performance. This session will demonstrate how Stephen and his students farmed their way to the White House, earning a personal invitation from White House Chef Yosses to exchange ideas about food literacy.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn how the Green Bronx Machine moved school attendance from 40% to 93% and brought a healthier life style to students and their families.
  2. Examine how the Green Bronx machine has helped to generate and fund 2,200 jobs in a community that has 25% unemployment.
  3. Explore a Bronx classroom featuring the first indoor edible wall in NYC DOE, which routinely generates enough produce to feed healthy meals to 450 students and trains the youngest nationally certified workforce in America.
  4. Discover how students have embarked on growing projects from Boston to Rockefeller Center to the Hamptons and beyond — all while earning living wages and academic success en route to graduation. Examine the positive impact on health and healthy habits.

2015 MacConnell Award Winner – An Innovative Approach – Full STEAM Ahead

1 LU

Fisher Middle School Students and Staff share the guiding principles of their new, innovative STEAM school. Today, schools are facing new challenges for the 21st century – an evolving economy, a global marketplace, and revolutionary technological and sociological changes occurring in rapid and precipitous ways. These disruptive challenges demand a new type of student. A 21st Century Student – a life-long learner with the ability to adapt and collaborate, to find and absorb specialized information from a variety of sources and who is trained to identify, articulate and solve complex problems. A strategic planning group drew upon national and international research and best practices to determine how to create a paradigm shift in current teaching standards for their new school. The goal was to develop educational specifications and programs that would encourage curriculum integration and collaborative learning opportunities in an organic manner within the learning environment. By choosing to re-imagine the most fundamental element of education – the pedagogy itself – they were able to develop a new delivery model for the application of teaching principals. Only then, did they begin the revolutionary process of designing a facility to support that pedagogy and finally, create educational specifications that integrated a STEAM based curriculum to effectively prepare students for an evolving world. The program and school design were centered on four Key Principles: A Facility of Inquiry Learning Across Disciplines and Grade Levels Flexibility and Agility The Neighborhood and World as Campus.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Examine school design that truly supports learning – what are the most successful solutions.
  2. Observe how cooperative learning is hosted in the facility and how it benefits all students.
  3. Observe the positive impact of learning in a flexible space.
  4. Examine the benefits of a space that supports a diversified community and promotes cooperation.

From Old School to Bold School – Redesigning Schools for the Modern Era
Keynote: Will Richardson

1.25 LU

The main premise upon which schools were founded, that content and knowledge and teachers are scarce, has literally been turned on its head by the Web. Today, we carry the sum of human knowledge and access to millions of potential teachers in the phones in our pockets. And in a host of other ways, the idea of a “traditional” school is fading in it’s relevance to the new ways we and our students can learn. Given that reality, what changes? How do we rethink our roles as schools, classrooms and educators at a moment when our students have a growing number of options to cobble together an “education?” This session will discuss the role "bold schools” are transforming the educational environment.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define the main characteristics of "bold" schools.
  2. Explore the paths that a number of “bold schools” are taking to fundamentally redefine their value as places of learning, not of content and teachers.
  3. Discuss the challenges of remaining an "old" school.
  4. Examine schools that are already bridging the gap and suggest ways to begin relevant, “bold” conversations around real change in our own schools and communities.
Breakout Session 1

A. Reaching Every Student: 21st Century Library Renovation at Brooke Point High School

1 LU

As new technology emerges and learning methodologies evolve, school libraries face the decision to adapt and embrace these new changes or become disconnected with the current generation of students. We are challenged to create learning environments that prepare students for modern careers that require progressive technological evolution to keep up with current standards. At Brooke Point High School in Stafford County, the design team was able to transform a library using flexible furniture, innovation, and progressive technology. After construction was completed, the number of students frequenting the library before school rose from about 10 to around 150 daily. The success of this project has inspired new approaches to educational design and is an example of how a small renovation can transform learning to affect all students within a school. The way people work in today's careers looks very different than the way people worked 20 years ago. New styles of work have been introduced with evolving technology, and expectations have transformed as various forms of the computer have become more common place in the work force. The shifting dynamics in the office requires a new approach to learning in the educational institutions in order to best prepare students for successful careers in their future. As the internet has become the database for everything in life, the library is seemingly out of date to our student population. Instead of believing that the library has lost its place in a school, design has helped libraries adapt to this modern technology so that libraries can continue to be a part of the foundation for the average local high school. The library in Brooke Point High School is an example of one of those local high schools that have adjusted to this technological age by introducing innovative design to bring in more students. Books still play an important role but technology and collaboration both have a strong weight of importance as well. Learning has a more holistic approach than in years past. Students are encouraged to learn through a wide variety of means including peers, books, internet, 3D printers, online courses, etc. Regardless of the means of education the library should be the information hub. Brooke Point has a central learning node where students enjoy broadening their minds and growing intellectually. Upon completion of the project, a survey was conducted to see how students were utilizing their new space. Prior to the project, roughly 10 students could be found in the library before school began in the morning. Now, an average of around 150 students are hanging out in the library in the morning before school starts. This influx of students has demonstrated how easily the new library has been adopted amongst the greatest target audience. This new-found love of the library by the students in Stafford County provides a unique environment that makes learning fun and exciting. The school's information hub is now the “place to be”.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Trends in library design and function.
  2. Looking ahead, what is the future for the library.
  3. How can libraries adapt to new technology to provide information to students using relevant methods.
  4. What seems to be working or needs revision in current library designs.
Domains:

  • Learning: Content of this session/workshop will focus on how we learn and/or how the physical environment responds specifically to various methods of instruction, pedagogies, learning styles, or learning trends.
  • Process: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the importance of quality processes and practices implemented by the project team when creating learning environments. The who, what, when and how of various disciplines and applications.
  • Toolbox: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the approaches, methods and applications when transitioning from design and concept into reality, actual existence through quality performance, execution and/or product.

B. Consider Maker as an Idea, not a Destination

1 LU

In this session David will discuss the historical references to Maker as funding mechanism shifts helped to force innovation and creativity from our public schools, whereas some have seen this as the death of creativity and innovation. Truly, we have created generations of individuals that cannot sew a button on a shirt or change the spark plug in a lawnmower or even a tire on a car. As an introduction, this workshop will include a 10-15 minute sample project as provided by RaeAnn Fox, Vice President of Programs at the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Additionally, specific examples of maker “spaces” will be provided in conjunction with the work being performed by RaeAnn and other industry leading educational instructors. While we explore educational environments that need to respond to future-proofing ideologies, there exists a concern is that “Makerspace” will become a “space” that will become antiquated and static, a space that has one design solution, a place where people go only to do maker. Conversations will tend to focus on this fear in which Maker is being perceived as a destination, as opposed to an integrated idea in the work that is being performed in all educational environments not unlike STEM and STEAM. Is it possible to that "maker is an idea".... not a space. More importantly, if we institute mobile solutions that will permit maker to be whatever we want, wherever we want it, when we want it, we may begin to provide solutions to complement the work that we've already been accomplishing in delivering holistic solutions to "future proofed" educational environments. Can the appropriate set of tools permit the thinking away from Maker Space into Maker as an Idea, not a destination?

Learning Objectives:

  1. Observe examples of disruptive design techniques to acquire valuable information when constructing the next generations of facilities supporting unlimited pedagogy in three-dimensional form.
  2. Begin to explore the impact of defined space as we attempt to create the next generation of educational environments.
  3. Explore the utilization of simplicity into the baseline of all environments increasing usefulness in the support of a multitude of teaching and learning styles. “Simplicity” equates to Multi-functional.
  4. Obtain creative ideas, valuable insight and concepts from a unique perspective that can inspire attendees in their work.
Domains:

  • Learning: Content of this session/workshop will focus on how we learn and/or how the physical environment responds specifically to various methods of instruction, pedagogies, learning styles, or learning trends.
  • Context: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the circumstances that form the setting for the design and construction of specific learning environments and characteristics that distinguishes the project from other applications.
  • Process: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the importance of quality processes and practices implemented by the project team when creating learning environments. The who, what, when and how of various disciplines and applications.
  • Toolbox: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the approaches, methods and applications when transitioning from design and concept into reality, actual existence through quality performance, execution and/or product.

C. Schools and Wellness: Designing a Better School Environment for our Brain

1 HSW

There is a direct connection between our brains, space and learning. The way we design space has a direct impact on physical and mental fatigue, awareness, memory cognition, depression and cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health. How can we better design our schools for optimal learning and student success? Salutogenic design does just that, it focuses on creating environmental conditions that work with human neurobiology and help support human health. We know that physical activity leads to better memory and retention. Therefore through active design we can create spaces that both encourage physical activity while learning and spaces that offer restoration through a connection with nature. What would happen if we began to design schools that are informed by the latest research in neuroscience and wellness?

Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will understand how the ways in which we configure and manipulate elements in space can have a direct impact on its inhabitants.
  2. Attendees will learn how Salutogenic Design, Active Design and Circadian Lighting can have a profound impact on students, their health, and the way they learn.
  3. Attendees will learn how vehicles like the Delos’ Well Building Certifications are currently working to bring large scale awareness about the connection between space and wellness.
  4. Attendees will see case studies of space designed with a focus on wellness.
Domains:

  • Learning: Content of this session/workshop will focus on how we learn and/or how the physical environment responds specifically to various methods of instruction, pedagogies, learning styles, or learning trends.

D. Abington Elementary School and Durham Middle School Presentations

1 HSW

School design projects that aim at connecting students with nature by bringing nature within the learning space or expanding the learning space into the outdoors. Both projects promote physical activity on the part of the students and staff alike and adopt a series of sustainable design solutions to improve healthy conditions and reduce energy waste, such as widespread use of daylighting, open windows for fresh air and avoiding mold, native plants landscaping, etc.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Examine solutions adopted to improve IAQ.
  2. Examine solutions adopted to improve indoor light (windows orientation, skylights).
  3. Examine design solutions that are conducive to physical activity in a learning space.
  4. Examine the impact of the use of native vegetation on the local environment in terms of water consumption and lower use of chemicals.

Breakout Session 2

A. Food Courts and Collaborative Dining

1.25 LU

Two of the most valuable spaces in school, the Kitchen and Cafeteria serve student's bodies and minds. Our society has an ever-growing focus on healthy living. In response, an evolution of K-12 Food Service and dining is now occurring as options for high quality, fresh foods are desired and become standard to students. Additionally, fresh, locally sourced foods in "Farm to School" programs are changing the way that major schools systems throughout the country approach food service. In tandem, Cafeteria design is being redefined for use throughout the school day to provide varied dining options and collaborative educational space. Implementation of this pivotal shift in food service and dining has key considerations needed for the successful realization of these programs, such as how the food is prepared, how the food is served, and how the food is consumed. Student surveys have shown that students today are expecting options and environments more in keeping with the ones they can find commercially. This exciting shift is reinventing the school kitchen, servery, and cafeteria into 21st century dining environments. A project currently under design by Hughes Group Architects will provide a case study to share with attendees the key strategies and unique opportunities of current Food Service, Kitchen, and Dining planning and design. The project is the modernization and expansion of a late 20th century suburban high school that includes a new Kitchen, Food Court, Cafeteria, and varied menu options for 2,500 students. The new Food Court serving approach offers unique opportunities for the students and staff alike that changes the food service approach from kitchen to cafeteria. The Dining environments for the school are also being redefined to move away from the traditional Cafeteria by providing dining options that include cafe style dining, coffee house collaboration spaces, and al fresco dining in outdoor courtyards. Through close collaboration with the School system's Design & Construction Group and Nutrition Services, Hughes Group Architects and Culinary Advisors developed a new serving and dining paradigm for this exciting modernization project that will be shared with attendees.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the current trends in K-12 School Food Service.
  2. Learn new approaches to K-12 School Food Service.
  3. Review potential design considerations for current K-12 School Food Service.
  4. Receive key strategies for implementation of current K-12 School Food Services.
Domains:

  • Toolbox: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the approaches, methods and applications when transitioning from design and concept into reality, actual existence through quality performance, execution and/or product.

B. Alternative Project Delivery: Construction Management at Risk, Design-Build and Public-Private Partnerships

1.25 LU

This session will focus on several capital project delivery techniques sometimes used by educational institutions in lieu of the traditional design-bid-build method. The presenter has worked on nearly 30 public-private procurements in Virginia, many of which were school projects, and over the years has had substantial experience with design-build contracting and construction management at risk contracting, both in the public sector and private sector. The presenter will compare and contrast these alternative project delivery methods as tools for more effective and collaborative contracting and project team building. The session will review procurement and contracting aspects that the Project Owner and its advisors should consider. The session will review pros and cons of various project delivery techniques. The session will discuss best practices for each delivery technique. Public procurement aspects will focus most intensely on Virginia.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Familiarize attendees with methods of project delivery.
  2. Learn basic procurement considerations applicable.
  3. Learn basic pros and cons of alternative delivery methods.
  4. Learn best practices for contracting for these methods.
Domains:

  • Parameters: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the aspects and guidelines of a project often regulated or administered by other entities, organizations, and/or governing agencies.
  • Toolbox: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the approaches, methods and applications when transitioning from design and concept into reality, actual existence through quality performance, execution and/or product.

C. A Team Approach to Multi-Age: The Planning, Design and Implementation of an Alternative Learning Model at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School

1.25 HSW

From inception to execution, understand the journey taken by Agnor Hurt School (Albemarle County Public Schools) in the extensive planning, designing, and implementation of a Multi-age learning environment, a much discussed learning model. The presentation will highlight the best practices of a multi-age learning, visioning and planning strategies, and real-world solutions for this learning model, such as adaptable spaces, instructional technologies, storage, and flexible furniture solutions. Agnor-Hurt Elementary School is a typical suburban public school, surrounded by various neighborhoods, commercial and residential zones. Unfortunately, co-location of services, residences, and schools does not automatically guarantee a strong sense of community -- as students and staff are collected into a building only to be subdivided into smaller groups by walls. When given the opportunity to expand their school, administrators, teachers, and parents at Agnor-Hurt sought an architectural response that embodied the making of community and promoted individualized learning. Surprisingly, the first barrier to come down was not the idea of walls separating students into small `cells and bells', but the notion of separating learners by age group. Combining children of multiple ages ensures that learning happens along a natural developmental continuum and fosters a set of behaviors - such as empathy, helping, sharing, role-modelling and emulation - which are not part of normal day-to-day schooling, but create shared experiences and a strong sense of community. The presentation will discuss the robust planning and design process which asked tough questions and tackled the various pitfalls of an open, multi-age learning environment. Understand the strategy for alignment between real-world needs, vision, and community leadership which leads to clear success factors. Learn how to incorporate the wisdom of educators, facility staff and the design team to devise a learning environment which promotes 21st century learning trends - such as collaboration, tinkering, choice and comfort - along with an authentic multi-age experience.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand Benefits of Multi-Age Learning Environments.
  2. Understand planning strategies for a non-traditional learning environment.
  3. Learn methods to work collaboratively with a design team and interdepartmental teammates.
  4. Understand the post-occupancy reality and lessons learned.
Domains:

  • Learning: Content of this session/workshop will focus on how we learn and/or how the physical environment responds specifically to various methods of instruction, pedagogies, learning styles, or learning trends.
  • Process: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the importance of quality processes and practices implemented by the project team when creating learning environments. The who, what, when and how of various disciplines and applications.
  • Toolbox: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the approaches, methods and applications when transitioning from design and concept into reality, actual existence through quality performance, execution and/or product.

D. Leaphart Elementary School Presentation

1.25 HSW

School design project that focuses on safety/security and sustainability. Great attention is given to the way access to the facility and to the individual sections and classrooms is granted. Sustainable design features span from the types of construction materials to be used, to ways to keep high levels of IAQ, physical activity and daylight.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn about pros and cons of different construction materials in terms of sustainability, comfort, health and durability.
  2. Learn about safety issues regarding access to a school campus and its classrooms.
  3. Learn about the health benefits of using daylight and fresh air from windows.
  4. Learn about design that promotes physical activity in a learning setting.

Breakout Session 3

A. The Future of STEAM Education – A Holistic Approach to Student Development with Integrated Design

1 LU

We embrace Edutopia's mission that we must create a new world of learning with a shared vision to advance the power and potential of education for today and tomorrow’s learner based on the compelling truth that improving education is the key to the survival of the human race. 21st Century learning and teaching reflect pedagogy’s evolution from the industrial era, where learning met the needs of an economy based on manufacturing and agriculture, to the information era, in which the economy is based on knowledge and technology. Today’s student is challenged to be innovative and adaptable, and to operate in a collaborative environment. To this end, Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) has embarked on an aggressive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education initiative where learning spaces facilitate student-driven, real-world, project-based learning where the teacher is the “facilitator”. This initiative focuses on supporting each student in new and innovative ways and provides learning environments that promote a “learning revolution” by focusing on the whole person. NNPS believes that children, youth, adults and families should be exposed to learning opportunities that advance their intellect, health, and spirit. The four fundamental principles intended to promote a holistic student are Leadership, Nutrition, Fitness, and Discovery. This presentation explores the future of STEM learning, including a planning process that links academic and resource plans to strategic priorities. Participants will be introduced to a visioning process and case study of a new elementary school to demonstrate how a holistic approach to student development through a STEM pedagogy can serve as the framework for a school design. This process provides opportunities to encourage each learner to take risks, test his or her critical-thinking skills, and enable them the ability to thrive in a dynamic and increasingly competitive global market and diverse global community. We must inspire a love for lifelong learning and the ability to empower greatness from within. NNPS’ vision is defined by three guiding principles: 1. Build the skills, knowledge, and expertise students need to be college, career, and citizen ready. 2. Develop the wellness of students by providing environments that promote, support, and educate about proper nutrition and regular physical activity. 3. Provide a "student-centered" learning culture of creativity and innovation for consistent student achievement and success. Newport News Public Schools will share lessons learned relative to the visioning process as well as examples of STEM program implementation. Grimm + Parker Architects will share the design for the new Magruder Elementary Discovery STEM Academy where NNPS’ vision and ideas are realized.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discover how a holistic approach to student development through a STEM pedagogy can serve as the framework for a school design.
  2. Discover how students can be engaged in authentic, “real-world” project-based learning.
  3. Discover a collaborative planning and design process with stakeholders to create student-centered learning environments that support student choice, inspire lifelong-learners, and encourage teacher facilitation.
  4. Discover how schools enrich communities by providing its citizens services, resources, and learning opportunities.
Domains:

  • Learning: Content of this session/workshop will focus on how we learn and/or how the physical environment responds specifically to various methods of instruction, pedagogies, learning styles, or learning trends.
  • Context: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the circumstances that form the setting for the design and construction of specific learning environments and characteristics that distinguishes the project from other applications.
  • Toolbox: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the approaches, methods and applications when transitioning from design and concept into reality, actual existence through quality performance, execution and/or product.

B. Collaborative Processes for Creating 21st Century Learning Environments

1 LU

Learn how to:

  • Involve full spectrum of stakeholders in collaborative planning and design processes to maximize the value of design-thinking across diverse networks and also to achieve both user and community “buy-in”.
  • Design a school facility that will facilitate and support the implementation of a curriculum and assessment model founded on the principals of student-centered challenge-based learning and focused on developing skills in critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and community service.
  • Create challenge-based learning opportunities for students that are integrated into the planning and design process for a school though a collaborative effort between the design team and school faculty.
  • Incorporate sustainable design strategies and themes into the school facility that will become embedded in the curriculum and that will encourage students to become engaged as lifelong-learners and sustainable-citizens.

How do we maximize the potential for success when the goal is not to just design a building, but to effect a change of culture? Understanding and overcoming obstacles to change in order to effect teaching and learning culture change:

  • TTWWADI
  • Nimby-ism
  • Uncertainty and Fear
  • A Failure to Communicate
  • Data-driven Decision-making Exploration of these Collaborative Planning Processes:
  • Educational Specifications
  • Planning 21st Century Learning Environments
  • Building Planning & Design Charrettes
  • Site Planning & Design Charrettes
  • Incorporating Challenge-based Learning into the Planning & Design Process
  • Library of the Future Planning & Design
  • Furniture, Equipment & Tools Planning
  • Educational Commissioning
  • Challenge-based Learning Planning & Implementation Assessing the results

Learning Objectives:

  1. Involve full spectrum of stakeholders in collaborative planning and design processes to maximize the value of design-thinking across diverse networks and also to achieve both user and community “buy-in”.
  2. Design a school facility that will facilitate and support the implementation of a curriculum and assessment model founded on the principals of student-centered challenge-based learning and focused on developing skills in critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and community service.
  3. Create challenge-based learning opportunities for students that are integrated into the planning and design process for a school though a collaborative effort between the design team and school faculty.
  4. Incorporate sustainable design strategies and themes into the school facility that will become embedded in the curriculum and that will encourage students to become engaged as lifelong-learners and sustainable-citizens.
Domains:

  • Process: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the importance of quality processes and practices implemented by the project team when creating learning environments. The who, what, when and how of various disciplines and applications.

C. Code Word Clearance: An Inside Look at DoDEA’s Approach to School Security Design

1 HSW

The Department of Defense is synonymous with the concept of safety and security. So how do the people who keep us safe approach the safety of their own children? Find out during this inside look at safety and security planning and design practices from two recent Department of Defense Education Activity Schools. You will explore DoDEA’s approach to intrusion control, perimeter control, and passive security measures. You will also learn how DoDEA prioritizes security measures in their schools, including a potentially surprising insight to the use of surveillance systems. Join us as we examine how the Department of Defense is influencing best practices in school planning and design, and how your community can take advantage of these concepts to provide enhanced safety and security for your students.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the cutting-edge security practices currently being implemented at the Department of Defense Education Activity.
  2. Be able to explain how DoDEA’s strategies influence school security design on a national level.
  3. Understand the cost impacts of various security strategies discussed.
  4. Identify potential security implementation strategies for school districts of any size and makeup.
Domains:

  • Context: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the circumstances that form the setting for the design and construction of specific learning environments and characteristics that distinguishes the project from other applications.

D. Non-Traditional and Collaborative Learning Environments

1 LU

Educational delivery has been impacted by many factors in the last few years, from the impact of technology on the student to the research that is understanding how students learn. To be successful in the 21st century workforce, students will require a different set of skills offered in the traditional classroom. Does the need to provide a richer, more engaging environment impact the design of the spaces that support student learning? This presentation is an in-depth look at the issues that confront educational leaders today in delivering quality education and a review of some of the best practices found around the country that support student performance. In this presentation we will review demographic trends that will impact education, the skills needed to be successful in the 21st Century workforce and how the environment must be adapted to accommodate student learning and engagement. Student learning styles impact student success and engagement. In order for all students to be successful, the environment must change from “teacher delivery driven” to “student learning focused”. Many school systems have begun to implement strategies which will support student achievement. We will look at some of the major trends around the country in both the classroom and other school support spaces, and will focus some on the trends in Media Center design. As an example, we will look at the strategies that Wake County Public Schools has implemented to support its strategic vision, and what has worked and where we can find lessons learned for moving forward.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Course participants will understand trends that are affecting educational delivery and student performance.
  2. Course participants will understand different learning styles and how they can be accommodated in learning environments.
  3. Course participants will review best practices in supporting student focused learning in both classroom and supporting environments and how these can impact the traditional learning environment.
  4. Course participants will see how some of these practices have been implemented in a fast growing school system, and what is working, and what can be taken as lessons learned for improvement.
Domains:

  • Learning: Content of this session/workshop will focus on how we learn and/or how the physical environment responds specifically to various methods of instruction, pedagogies, learning styles, or learning trends.
  • Context: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the circumstances that form the setting for the design and construction of specific learning environments and characteristics that distinguishes the project from other applications.

Breakout Session 4

A. Uncovering Hidden Opportunities – Doing More with Less During School Construction Project

1.25 LU

School districts have been adapting to the “new normal” in various ways, learning to do more with less as they continue to address the seemingly endless list of capital improvement needs. This session will demonstrate ways to uncover those hidden opportunities in school construction projects, allowing project teams to maximize the ever tight budgets while creating exceptional learning environments. While the dark days of the recent recession may be behind us, the after-affects are still being felt. Public agencies in particular continue to feel the pressure of reduced resources to try to meet the ever-growing needs. However, where some see obstacles, others see opportunity, finding ways to do more with less, while still creating vibrant learning environments. Using recently completed renovations and expansion projects as case studies, these session will engage the participants in a series of discussions, to provide them with suggestions and strategies to squeeze more out these precious construction dollars. Examples include complex phased occupied projects as a vehicle to improve a school’s functional organization, systemic renovations as an opportunity to improve a school’s “curb appeal”, and capitalizing on inherent learning opportunities embedded in school construction projects.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will identify which challenges can be leveraged into opportunities during school construction projects.
  2. Participants will learn and discuss strategies to exploit embedded opportunities without increasing costs.
  3. Participants will hear about and then challenge strategies used in select case study examples.
  4. Participants will be armed with new ideas and new ways to approach school construction projects.
Domains:

  • Process: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the importance of quality processes and practices implemented by the project team when creating learning environments. The who, what, when and how of various disciplines and applications.

B. Re-Defining What is Achievable When Building a New Public School: Zero Energy and Limitless Possibilities

1.25 HSW

You can walk through a shiny, new school building and be impressed by many things: its spaciousness, its technology, or its amenities. But when was the last time you walked through a new school and thought “Wow, I wished I could have gone to a school like this”? None of us are too old to forget the child inside that responds to color, variety, fun and wonder. What if that same school produced all of its own power, eliminating over 100,000 dollars a year in annual operating costs? By being a “net-zero” consumer of power, the school is carbon neutral and serves as an example solution to the global climate crisis. What if both were achieved on a public school budget? Discovery Elementary is a public school in Arlington, Virginia that opened this academic year. Although budgeted for just a LEED Silver certification level of sustainability, the design team pursued, and achieved, net-zero energy usage within the original budget. This 98,000 square feet new building is the largest zero-energy school in the United States. In addition, the project successfully pursued new approaches to learning spaces and the walls, furniture and technology that comprise them. On both the interior and exterior, a variety of settings have been created to appeal to the unique needs of individual children and individual teachers. Choice is a critical element to the success of the school: what you sit on, how your desks are arranged and how learning spaces open up, or close down, to their adjacent spaces. Whether using the solar calendar entry plaza to mark the equinox, using the Scrabble or Lego walls, using the roof deck solar laboratory or just going down the interior slide, students (and parents alike!) find things to engage with on a daily basis. Along this incredible process of design, construction and occupation, our team has learned valuable lessons we’d like to share with you in this session. Some of these include:

  • Find examples of exemplary learning settings to emulate, then aim for even better work. It CAN be done on a public school budget.
  • Find experienced and passionate people to work with in creating new learning environments, regardless of their titles or where they are located.
  • When it comes to planning your new facility, establish a moon shot: set high a very goal and pursue it with enthusiasm.

You’ll be surprised how any other aspects of your core mission of teaching and learning will follow suit and strive to become something more. Come and hear the firsthand stories behind all of these lessons learned from the team of educators and designers behind the creation of this truly unique public school and its learning community of Discovery Elementary Explorers!

Learning Objectives:

  1. Benefits of zero energy design: financial, environmental, social.
  2. Maximizing the results of a public design process. Healthy impact of a zero energy building and sustainable landscaping on the entire community.
  3. An expanded definition of learning spaces. How sustainable outdoors improve health and supply more opportunities for learning beyond textbooks.
  4. The value of accountability in building performance. The function of end-users' culture and the benefits in terms of healthy habits to them.
Domains:

  • Learning: Content of this session/workshop will focus on how we learn and/or how the physical environment responds specifically to various methods of instruction, pedagogies, learning styles, or learning trends.
  • Context: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the circumstances that form the setting for the design and construction of specific learning environments and characteristics that distinguishes the project from other applications.

C. 2016 College Student Design Competition Winners (VA) – Project Presentations

1.25 HSW

Architecture students from major Virginia Universities competed in an educational facility design challenge. Third/Fourth year students participated in this contest during the last academic year. A school program and existing building data was provided to students along with their competition guidelines. Additionally, mentorship teams—comprised of esteemed university faculty, licensed architects who specialize in educational facility design and educational facility managers who maintain and manage the planning of new school facilities for major Virginia school divisions—assisted each university’s team of design students. These volunteer mentors offered students insights into educational facility planning and provided critical reviews during the design process. The criteria for selecting the competition winners included: Creativity, Learning Enhancement Potential, Educational Functionality, Presentation Quality and Sustainability. Student award winners will each present their award winning concepts and walk you through their individual design process. This year the focus was on sustainable solutions for middle school.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand building orientation for maximum benefit from natural light and cross ventilation.
  2. Solar panels use and facility monitoring for maximizing energy savings.
  3. Rain water collection solution and use for toilets and gardens.
  4. Understand programming trends in educational facilities for energy saving.

D. Responsive Classrooms: Improving Architectural Indoor-Outdoor Spatial Relations

1.25 LU

School/classroom architecture as a possible influence on children’s learning is an emerging issue in the fields of design and education. A correlation study was conducted to investigate the influence of specific architectural indoor-outdoor features of the classroom environment which found that improved conditions of classroom indoor-outdoor relationships enhance both child engagement and teacher motivation, even after controlling for other significant variables. This workshop session builds on the findings of this research and explores how these findings can be translated into evidence base design solutions enhancing teaching and learning motivations. Indoor-outdoor relationship in a classroom is much more than just the size and number of windows and doors. Even delicate design details like depth of window sills can contribute significantly to the learning activities. However, Improving indoor-outdoor spatial relations and their consequential positive motivational outcomes cannot be entirely achieved by the architect or the landscape architect. The actions and decisions of the classroom teacher are equally important. Achieving desired outcomes demands a harmonizing effort of all parties. Therefore, this session is intended for architects, landscape architects and educators so that they can explore various aspects of architectural design, furniture arrangement, indoor zoning, and landscaping of immediate surrounding environment which are the key features to enhance indoor-outdoor relations of the classroom.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to describe the importance of improved conditions of architectural classroom indoor-outdoor relationships to enhance both child engagement and teacher motivation.
  2. Participants will be able to systematically measure classroom indoor-outdoor relation score in terms of learning benefits in preschool classrooms.
  3. Participants will be able to develop design ideas and formulate curricular innovations to improve classroom indoor-outdoor relationships for learning enhancement in preschool classrooms.
  4. Participants will be able to identify how current scientific research in the field of environment-behavior relationship may inform design decisions and design guidelines.
Domains:

  • Learning: Content of this session/workshop will focus on how we learn and/or how the physical environment responds specifically to various methods of instruction, pedagogies, learning styles, or learning trends.
  • Toolbox: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the approaches, methods and applications when transitioning from design and concept into reality, actual existence through quality performance, execution and/or product.



Previous Year Conference Presentations

Click here to see 2015 Conference Presentations.