Alignment Strategies for a Powerful Student Voice in Learning Space Design (Student vs. Administrator vs. Parent vs. Architect)

1:00 PM
 2:00 PM


The Klein ISD 2015 Bond Program included an elementary school that would be a new prototype design for future schools. Klein ISD focusing on learner-centered design strategies, worked with the Design Team and various stakeholders to develop a planning and design process with the inclusion of real student voice emerging as a primary goal. How the team would capture the essence of student voice, requiring participation of students during the design process unfiltered by adults, andstrengthen that voice through the enhancement of the educational experience in school design were the anticipated objectives. Leading the initiative, Dr. Jenny McGown (current Superintendent, past Chief Learning Officer) pushed the team to rethink how to bring the value of students as co-designers to the physical environment. Moving forward, the team ran parallel design charettes and used alignment strategies to compare interests, thoughts and concepts of two separate stakeholder groups. One included administrators and parents, while the other focused on students, both high school and primary school aged learners. This presentation will provide an overview in the importance of student voice, how to develop strategies and exercises to ignite that voice, measurement of group outcomes, visioning adjustment and the acceptance of the learner’s voice to promote shared decision-making. Additionally, we will highlight stakeholder consensus and the potential to improve district ownership through a combined effort in planning and school design.

#1: Develop a pre-design planning and design process using the Klein ISD parallel charettes and alignment strategies.
#2: Facilitate a dialogue to uncover valuable authentic learner centric outcomes using Klein ISD charette participant case studies.
#3: Demonstrate the skill to translate the power of student voice to related programming, teaching, learning, planning and facility design using student vs. administrator vs. parent vs. architect understanding and group facilitation adjustments.
#4: Articulate and communicate a community-based consensus that will form the basis of a plan for the design of learning environments using aligned student concepts with the established community vision, future programming, design standards and District goals.

Educational Facility Pre-Design Planning: Manages a master planning process that combines educational planning, facilities assessment and utilization, demographic research, capital planning and educational specifications with a community-based vision to establish a plan for learning environments. This includes the ability to translate existing or aspirational instructional models to specific programming and spatial relationships.

Design of Educational Facilities: Acts as a resource to the design team in providing ongoing guidance and support to ensure that the emerging and ultimate design aligns with the established community vision, education goals, future programming, written design standards, best/next practices and education policy.

Dr. Jenny McGown, Superintendent, Klein Independent School District
Dr. McGown is a dedicated leader who has also served roles of Chief Learning Officer, Executive Director, Principal, Assistant Principal, and classroom teacher. She had a pivotal role in developing unique pathways for students to earn advanced degrees before high school graduation (Advanced Nursing Pathway, first-in-the state Geospatial Engineering and Land Surveying Pathway). She also initiated Innovation Challenges that enable students to solve real-world problems creatively— earning state and national-level recognition for STEM education by JASON Learning. Recognized as one of the top 40 professionals under 40 across all sectors in the greater Houston area by the Houston Business Journal in 2017 and the Houston BizWoman Headliner in Education in 2018, she also serves on the Google for Education North America K-12 Advisory Board.

Robert Robertson, Associate Superintendent Facility & School Services, Klein Independent School District
Upon graduation from Vanderbilt University, Robert served in the United States Navy for six years as a surface warfare officer. After leaving the service, he began his 23 year career in facility management of educational institutions at The Service Master Company. He served in leadership capacities at the facility, district, region and corporate levels. This culminated in his final position as Vice President of Operations for the Premier Education business unit specializing in PK-12 districts with enrollment in excess of 25,000 students. Robert also served as General Manager of Facilities for Houston ISD.

Mark French, AIA, ALEP, RID, LEED AP BD+C, Educational Planner, IBI Group, Inc.
With over three decades of experience, Mark continues to establish himself as a leader in the field of Educational Facility Planning and Design. As a leader in educational facility design, Mark earned the Recognized Educational Facility Professional (REFP) designation from the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (now A4LE) in 2002. In 2013, he became a Certified Educational Facility Planner; and in 2015 an Accredited Learning Environments Planner, a LEED Accredited Professional (Leadership in Energy and Energy and Environmental Design) 2006; and in 2010, LEED BD+C specialty certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Additionally, Mark was awarded the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE), 2017 Southern Region Planner of the Year and was a finalist for the International A4LE Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

LearningSCAPES Virtual Conference: Passport to Learning



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