Active Learning Spaces

Bringing STEAM to Life in the K–12 Classroom

What if you could apply crucial STEAM concepts in a way that engages students like never before?

Learning Space Design

Designing Learning Spaces for Generation Alpha

Generation Alpha is the class of digital natives born after 2010—currently learning, exploring, and growing in PK–12 environments. What makes them different than past generations of learners? Technology has been ingrained into them as part of their childhoods.

ESSER Funds for HVAC


How ESSER Funds Can Help with HVAC Upgrades

The importance of HVAC units in schools was brought to the forefront when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in the early parts of 2020. The federal government also took notice as they issued approximately $190 billion in COVID relief funds through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER).

Campus Safety

Five Considerations for Your Emergency Communications Plan

Communication is the lifeblood of any emergency response. Whatever events are happening and whatever your response is, the information must be communicated to the appropriate people.

Facility Focus

Achieving Sustainability Through Historic Preservation at Washington University in St. Louis

Constructed in 1922 to house the School of Law, January Hall is a three-story granite and limestone building that helped shape the identity of the Danforth Campus at Washington University in St. Louis. While iconic, it was inefficient and did not meet the university’s accessibility or sustainability standards.

Facility Focus

Francis Tuttle Technology Center: Danforth Campus

The Francis Tuttle Technology Center, one of the premier career training schools in Oklahoma, enlisted architecture and design firm Bockus Payne in the creation of the Francis Tuttle Danforth Campus in Edmond, Okla.

Building Blueprints

Using Participatory Design to Create a Student-Centered Library

The school district of Clayton High School prides itself on a commitment to a rich, rigorous academic culture, and wanted to offer its students a state-of-the-art library that reflected those priorities. The question was: What does a 21st-century teenager want out of a library these days, anyway?

students sitting in auditorium area

Building Blueprints

New Spaces for a New Era of Learning

Kreher Agriculture Center exterior

Kreher Agriculture Center

Grand Prize 2021 Education Design Showcase

Discovery High School exterior

Discovery High School

Grand Prize 2021 Education Design Showcase

adult helping child wash their hands

It's Everyone's Role To Keep Our Schools Healthy, Safe and Open

Standard hygiene practices, like proper handwashing, are more important than ever.

drawing of John and Joan Bollier Family Center for Integrated Science and Engineering Gonzaga University

Facility Focus

Creative Curves Distinguish Both Design And Study At Gonzaga University

The John and Joan Bollier Family Center for Integrated Science and Engineering completes a 270,490-square-foot quadrangle of buildings aiming to enhance interaction between students and faculty of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Stimulus Funding and School Infrastructure

COVID-19 and Schools

How Stimulus Funding Can Tackle School Infrastructure Updates

As schools and universities prepare for the return of students and faculty after nearly a year of remote learning, many are faced with growing concerns around how to keep facilities safe in the post-pandemic world. This is doubly true when considering that crucial HVAC and building management systems (BMS) are often outdated and in need of replacement.

Children running in a school hallway

Security & Planning

Preparing Teachers and Staff for an Active Shooter Event

May 2011 killer EF-5 tornado that hit Joplin, MO

Tornadoes, Shelters and Tubes, Oh My!

Twister. Funnel. Whirlwind. A tornado by any other name is still considered the deadliest and most destructive natural disaster on earth. Occurring on all continents except Antarctica, tornadoes have both terrified and fascinated mankind for centuries. The U.S. averages almost 1,300 tornadoes per year, more than all other continents combined. How do we protect ourselves when a tornado strikes? It is this question that has driven architects, engineers and the construction industry to develop codes and guidelines such as ICC 500 and FEMA P-361. These guidelines, at least in part, will help to ensure the proper construction of tornado shelters in order to save lives.

Fellows Hall at Williams College

A Home Away From Home: Fellows Hall at Williams College

Bowling Green State University Business School

Not Just Business As Usual

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

COVID-19 and Schools

CDC Revises Social Distancing Guidelines in Schools to 3 Feet

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Friday, March 19, that it is relaxing social distancing requirements for students returning to school for in-person learning. The organization has determined that students wearing masks in a classroom environment can be spaced just 3 feet apart.

Professor Randall Ellingson receives grant from U.S. Air Force

Solar Energy

U Toledo Developing Solar Sheets to Generate Power in Space

The University of Toledo just received a five-year, $12.5 million grant from the U.S. Air Force to develop flexible solar cell sheets for space. The photovoltaic energy sheets will be used to collect solar energy for powering Earth-based receivers or other orbital or aerial instrumentation, such as communications satellites.



Audits Reveal Cybersecurity Weaknesses in New York School Districts

The Office of the New York State Comptroller has completed audits on three school districts in the state. The audits uncovered that the districts have neglected to follow some crucial cybersecurity policies, leaving them potentially vulnerable to cyberattacks.

University of Virginia

COVID-19 and Schools

University of Virginia Combats COVID-19 Outbreak

The University of Virginia reported 121 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, Feb. 15, and 229 new cases on Tuesday, Feb. 16. The university has announced a new set of health and safety regulations that are set to last through at least Friday, Feb. 26.

Health Policy

CDC Releases Updated Guidance Plan for Reopening Schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an updated guide on how K-12 schools around the country can take steps to safely reopen—for good.

Schools In Focus podcast logo and Mike Wolf and Ron Wendorski


Schools In Focus: Indoor Air Quality

Accountant using a calculator.


Looking Beyond Personnel Reductions for Cost-Cutting Solutions

It will be critical for institutions to look at new ways to generate revenue and reduce expenses that are sustainable and effective. There are several initiatives that institutions can consider or implement in response to the crisis.

Midland Media Center, courtesy of Mien Company

Media Center

5 Tips for Modernizing a K-12 Media Center

Here’s how Midland School District overhauled the media centers and turned them into central activity hubs for the schools.

Schools In Focus podcast logo on the left and Ishita Banerjii


Schools In Focus: KSU’s New Multicultural Student Center

Ishita Banerjii, project architect at Hollis + Miller, discusses Kansas State University’s new multicultural student center. The building, dedicated to advance student diversity, features various gathering spaces like dance studios, huddle rooms, and a commercial kitchen.

Someone with blue rubber gloves wiping down a desk.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Does Your School Maintenance Plan Pass the Test?

Although you set your initial school maintenance plan during the late summer months, now is a good time to evaluate its effectiveness, find opportunities to refine your processes, and make sure you and your teams are doing all you can to safeguard students and staff if and when they enter your doors in person.

reader survey

Reader Survey

The Ongoing Impact of COVID-19 Policy in Education

COVID-19 has changed and will continue to change every aspect of education in K–12 and higher education for the foreseeable future. We polled our readership to learn of the experiences taking place across the nation and get a glimpse of what's being planned going into the spring 2021 semester and beyond.

school hallway


It's All In The Details: Walls, Ceilings and Floors

Social distancing markers on school hallway.


Studying Up: Preparing for Flu Season

This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses like the flu is more important than ever.

The volume of the existing structure of CEC Fort Collins High School offered an opportunity to bring daylight in from above, creating a community space within the hallway.

Adaptive Reuse

Adaptive Reuse Offers Schools an Opportunity to Innovate, Embrace Sustainability and Reduce Costs

As the education industry assimilates to a new and uncertain future, we can take one lesson from 2020 with us: we must embrace innovative solutions and have the courage to try new things as we plan for the future. Adaptive reuse can support this endeavor.

Schools In Focus Podcast logo and headshots Turan Duda and Jeff Paine.


Schools In Focus: Centering Student Health and Wellness In Design

In this episode of Schools In Focus, Turan Duda and Jeff Paine, founding principals of Duda|Paine Architects, discuss how architectural design is shifting to better address the mental and physical health needs of students.

Outdoor learning pavilion at Linden Waldorf School in Nashville, TN.

Classroom Spaces

With New Open-Air Classrooms, Nashville Private School Moves Learning Outdoors

With a curriculum centered on connection to nature and environmental stewardship, Linden Waldorf School's vision for the pavilions were to move all classes completely outdoors where students get to be in nature throughout the whole school day.

Epoxy flooring at school in Texas.


Sustainable Flooring Solutions for High-Traffic Educational Facilities

Sustainable flooring is a smart choice for schools interested in providing a healthy learning environment and demonstrating their commitment to a better global environment.

Student washing hands with touchless faucet.


How to Improve Infection Control and Handwashing in School Restrooms

How do you create a hygienic and safe environment equipped to handle everyday usage and increased handwashing activity by students, faculty, administration and staff? And, how do you improve the restroom experience to make it more appealing to its users?

Schools in Focus podcast logo and Tom Saccenti


Schools In Focus: Active Shooter Response Planning

In this episode, we spoke to Tom Saccenti, a former campus police chief and security expert, about active shooter response planning in schools. His first piece of advice is to walk through an active shooter scenario with all teachers, janitors, staff members, etc. at the school.

Office spaces at Scott Hall.


Retrofitting University Buildings for Sound Masking

When a physical space offers a little passive noise control, such as high cubicle walls, private offices or softer, sound-absorbing materials, the effects on the well-being of each person — as well as their productivity — can be profoundly impacted.

Custodial worker using an autovac. Courtesy of Kaivac.


Proper Mop Care and Other Floor-Cleaning Systems Amid COVID-19

Floors are too often overlooked when it comes to fighting the spread of infection. For many years, many hospital administrators did not even believe it was necessary to disinfect floors. Now we know better. Floors, as well as the tools used to clean floors, deserve close attention when it comes to minimizing the spread of coronavirus.