The information in this section will help you better understand the process and how to make the most of your relationships when it comes to working with the architectural community; contract service companies that handle your building security, custodial and maintenance activities, food and transportation services; private developers; buying co-operatives, and more.


  • Planning
    Visioning workshops with district and community representatives help uncover concerns and goals. Photo: Courtesy of Finegold Alexander Architects.

    CommUnity: Uniting Communities through School Design

    At the onset of a project, the design team and the district must unite to develop the appropriate “Visioning Process” to gain input from teachers, administrators, parents, students, and members of the public. This typically takes the form of in-person workshops or on virtual platforms as we encountered this past spring. The architect can then use that feedback to develop a customized school design that meets the district’s goals and expectations. 09/09/2020

  • Podcast
    Schools In Focus podcast logo and Belinda Oakley, CEO of Chartwells K12, and Seth Ferriell, CEO of SSC Services for Education.

    Schools In Focus: Food Service During a Pandemic

    In this episode of Schools In Focus podcast, I speak to Belinda Oakley, CEO of Chartwells K12 and Seth Ferriell, CEO of SSC Services for Education, about school food service during a pandemic. 09/08/2020

  • Procurement
    cooperative purchasing for schools

    Trends in Cooperative Purchasing

    School districts see value in using cooperative purchasing entities as they get a steady, predictable pricing structure and supplier source. 07/01/2020

  • facilities
    North Carolina School of Science and Math Morganton Greenway

    Master Planning the Outdoors: Spaces for the Life of a Campus

    Some common strategies and parallel considerations are at play in all master planning for the outdoors. Each campus must first be approached on its own terms, free of predispositions on planning. 03/02/2020

  • Higher Ed Services

    Bundling Auxiliary Services

    There is opportunity to better deliver on your institution’s mission. A new approach to the organization of service lines involves bundling the outsourcing of auxiliaries work. 01/01/2020

  • Business (Managing Higher Ed)
    partnering FM

    Partnering for Project Implementation

    How to find success in university facility and program management partnerships. 09/01/2019

  • Business (Managing K-12 Education)

    Smart Buy

    Cooperative purchasing helps K-12 school districts keep the shelves fully stocked while saving money. 11/01/2018

  • Business Practices (Achieving Administrative Excellence)

    Smart Buying

    Purchasing through cooperatives can help a college or university remain fully stocked with supplies while saving money for both the institution and its students. 11/01/2018

  • Business (Managing Higher Ed)

    Trouble in Paradise: When Outsourcing Doesn't Work as Planned

    What are your options when outsourcing doesn't work as planned or intended? 05/01/2017

  • Business (Managing K-12 Education)

    Should I or Shouldn't I? Facing the Outsourcing Decision

    Sometimes it's a more responsible use of resources to contract a service. But how do you know for sure? Here's how to work through the process. 05/01/2017

  • Facilities (Learning Spaces)
    service provider for school repairs

    Meeting the Challenge

    How The Department of General Services used a non-profit service provider to assist in monitoring and verification of school repairs during a short timeframe. 01/01/2016

  • Business (Managing K-12 Education)
    Cooperative Purchasing and Contract Services

    Cooperative Purchasing and Contract Services: Myths Vs. Truths

    There are many misperceptions in the K-12 community regarding cooperative purchasing and contract services. Here, we address some of those misperceptions by discussing the myths and truths of both. 10/01/2015

  • Business (Managing Higher Ed)
    Outsource Services

    A Tale of Two Auxiliary Departments

    Outsource or keep it in house? That’s the question facing many college and university auxiliary departments. CP&M looks at two different schools with two different approaches. 10/01/2015

  • Business Practices

    Safer Schools

    Lowering district costs with ESA partnerships. 09/01/2015

  • Campus Bookstore Renovation

    The University Store on Fifth

    Renovation creates a destination at the University of Pittsburgh. 06/01/2015

  • Cooperative Purchasing

    Cooperative Purchasing

    How schools are using it to upgrade security. 09/01/2014

  • Sustainable Purchasing for Schools

    Sustainable Purchasing for Schools

    This recently released guide provides a host of tools and resources for administrators, teachers and parents concerned with making healthy purchasing decisions that are good for students and the school environment. 09/01/2014

  • Business (Managing K-12 Education)
    Saving Big With Cooperative Purchasing

    Saving Big With Cooperative Purchasing

    Cooperative purchasing allows districts and schools to stretch their limited dollars. Here's how. 02/01/2014

  • Business (Managing Higher Ed)
    purchasing cooperatives

    The Buddy System

    Don't believe there is strength in numbers? Then you don't know about purchasing cooperatives. These purchasing powerhouses save time, money and headaches. Are they right for your school? 02/01/2014

  • Living Spaces (Furniture & Equpment)

    Purchasing Advice

  • Smart Business & Purchasing
    taking control of shippin costs

    You Better Shop Around

    It's time to take control of what you are spending on shipping costs. Since 2006, Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) has saved our taxpayers over $1 million negotiating our own transportation contracts. 09/01/2013

  • Business (Managing Higher Ed)
    Measuring Success in outsourced services

    Measuring Success in Your Outsourced Services

    Here are five metrics for establishing and tracking performance and customer satisfaction in your outsourced campus services. 06/01/2013

  • Business (Managing K-12 Education)

    Making the Outsourcing Decision

    Strong opinions aside, the truth is that many school districts outsource one or more services, and for reasons that include financial savings, as well as enhancing organizational flexibility, economies of scale, risk avoidance and access to capital invest 06/01/2013

  • Managing Cooperatives

    Less work, good prices and higher-quality goods and services -- sounds great, but it doesn't always work great. While purchasing cooperatives will reduce your workload, there is still plenty of work to do. You have to select the right cooperative 03/01/2013