The Future is Inclusive: A New Model School Designed Using UDL Principles

AIA Continuing Education Provider

1 LU

Pending Acceptance and Subject to Change

This session lays out established principles of environmental psychology and how space is a powerful element in the learning experience of students. There are many ways in which physical space supports and amplifies Universal Design for Learning (UDL) practices. When designed well, good space makes UDL implementation more fluid and natural. Space is removed as a barrier to exemplary UDL teaching practices. The Mission Bay School in San Francisco USD is a landmark in the future of education spaces supporting UDL in strategic ways that create a new model for school design. The district is in the process of evolving its teaching and learning model and is highly focused on the motto of “each and every student.” This project has and will continue to align with their instructional evolution, setting a new benchmark for the District’s facilities and supporting development of their 2025 vision. With Professional Training spaces integrated throughout (PD Center, Observation Rooms, and space to shadow within the classrooms and learning communities), this school is imagined as one of the district’s primary training centers for its educators. The first of its kind, this education environment establishes a model that supports a more fluid and holistic implementation of UDL providing equal access to education for each and every student and a shared community resource. Whether you’re building new schools, renovating old schools, or simply adapting your teaching spaces, this project inspires and exemplifies ways space can be a catalyst for UDL growth.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn new standards for developing a model UDL school, and how to apply these parameters to create optimized environments for personalized learning.
  2. Bring the community into the process to create a UDL school, support an inclusive culture, and think about how a school can become a community asset.
  3. To value professional development to give teachers the tools to confidently transition to future pedagogical methods and improve teacher retention.
  4. Dive into concepts of health, wellness, sustainability, and resiliency-driven design and how these relate to equity for students and the community.

Kelly Dreyer, AIA, LEED AP, Associate Principal, Gould Evans,
Kelly is a highly regarded project design leader who collaborates across all studios and has focused his efforts on the translation of UDL and real-world learning principals into the thoughtful execution of educational space design. Committed to increasing design effectiveness through a research-based approach, he draws on his experience teaching research-based design as adjunct professor at The University of Kansas. Kelly also spearheads the firm’s sustainability efforts, promoting long-term fiscal viability for education institutions.

Lauren Maass, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal, Gould Evans,
Lauren is the K-12 practice leader for Gould Evans’ San Francisco studio and is actively embedding UDL concepts into education projects throughout the San Francisco region and beyond. Serving a broad cross section of public and private schools, these applications are as diverse as the students being served. Lauren’s work is user- and outcomes-oriented, and the focus on UDL is a critical part of making every environment a place that fosters student belonging for all.

Lindsay Blass, Executive Director of Digital Learning,  San Francisco Unified School District,
Lindsey develops systems and processes for SFUSD to leverage technology and learning environment design to promote academic and socio-emotional growth for all students, with an emphasis in reaching historically underserved students. Applying principles of UDL, she designs for scale and sustainability, moving innovation beyond pockets to create systemic change. Lindsey is a Google Certified Innovator and a leader in the field of educational technology, developing a strength in supporting individual learner needs.

Track: The Experience of Place

The built and natural environments have profound impacts on our behaviors both for better and worse. How do we cultivate a sense of place for better? How might the built and natural environments be made to enhance teaching and learning? How might school buildings and grounds foster a sense of community by reflecting those they serve?

Primary Core Competency
Educational Visioning: Exhibits an understanding of best and next practices related to educational leadership, programming, teaching, learning, planning and facility design. Establishes credibility with educators, community members and design professionals while conceiving and leading a community-based visioning process. Demonstrates the ability to articulate the impact of learning environments on teaching and learning and uses that ability to facilitate a dialogue that uncovers the unique needs and long-range goals of an educational institution and its stakeholders – translating that into an actionable written/graphic program of requirements for the design practitioner. 


Marriott Rivercenter
San Antonio, TX

October 5-9, 2022


+1 480.391.0840