We have begun to have a greater understanding of the role of physical design in supporting student learning and engagement, as well as employee wellness. At the same time, the landscape of teaching, learning, and curricular intentions have been shifting towards a more collaborative and process oriented pedagogy. The opportunity to design and build a school that reflects modern design principles, and modern pedagogy is a highly complex process that requires input and insight from a variety of fields and stakeholders. In addition to this complexity, it is important that a new school is a reflection of its local community and its broader needs. The following is intended to provide an overview of the consultation and decision-making process in relation to school design.
There are three distinct yet inter-related groups that provide guidance and enable decision-making with regards to new school design and development. These groups are defined below, along with their respective inter-dependence.
The Core Committee is made up of members of the School District's Executive Committee, the project manager and the lead architects. The Core Committee is the final decision-making body that gives direction to the architectural design team and the financing of the project. The Core Committee reviews recommendations provided via the Steering Committee and the School Design and Input Teams.
The Steering Committee is made up of representative members of key stakeholder groups. The role of the Steering Committee is to bring forward themes or areas to the Core Committee that represents their stakeholder group's interests and needs. The Steering Committee may provide input, guidance and recommendations to the Core Committee through the Co-Chairs. Types of input provided to the Core Committee and/or asked of the School Design and Input Teams include the physical relationship of facilities, accessibility, and broad needs of employees to perform their respective duties, etc. Members of the Steering Committee may also ask for greater clarity with respect to issues and concerns from their particular stakeholders.
School Design and Input Teams
The School Design and Input Teams are designed to include all staff at the current school site. The team composition may range from a core team of individuals that represent subject areas in the school which can garner the voices of all staff members. Important to the School Design and Input Teams is the process and opportunity to meet with the architects and project manager to ensure their needs have been heard. The School Design and Input Teams provide recommendations to the Steering Committee on the general layout of the school and specific detailed feedback and recommendations for their representative subject area space directly to the architects.