Designing Inclusive Community Schools

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM


Education is a community effort. Behind every child educated in a school there is a complex network of social and cultural influences ranging from family, to healthcare, to socioeconomics, and everywhere in between. In order to teach a child most successfully, schools must be responsive to the influential aspects of that child’s life. If mental or physical healthcare resources are lacking, then the child cannot concentrate on learning. If their family is not able to speak English, then they cannot properly engage in their child’s schoolwork or educational support. The same is true if parents do not feel welcome in educational spaces. If a child is hungry, their performance in school will decline until that need is met. The list continues, but the related architectural theme remains constant: designing inclusive community schools necessitates that architects take the full picture of a child’s life into account when creating educational spaces that maximize learning. This presentation discusses the evidence-based tenants and pillars of inclusive community schools and how architects can adapt them into innovative practice. It will also draw upon real-world examples, including new schools in Washington, California and Montana which have been designed to fit within and provide services to their very different communities. Although the particular adaptations vary, there are core commonalities in supporting each student in a community context.

#1: Gain an understanding of the evidence-supported pillars of community schools.
#2: Explore ways to create inclusive community schools based on data-supported theory.
#3: Learn how the school environment can provide a welcome feeling and connection to resources for diverse community members.
#4: See how lessons learned are applied in a variety of real-world settings, and how these can be replicated to serve any community and student population.

Community Engagement: Leads the internal and external communities through a discovery process that articulates and communicates a community-based foundational vision, forming the basis of a plan for the design of the learning environment. The vision is achieved through a combination of rigorous research, group facilitation, strategic conversations, qualitative and quantitative surveys and workshops. Demonstrates the skill to resolve stakeholder issues while embedding a community's unique vision into the vision for its schools.

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.

Philip Riedel, AIA, ALEP, Principal, PK-12 Market Sector Leader, NAC Architecture
As the PK-12 Market Sector Leader, Philip engages NAC Architecture's three offices to focus on applying evidence-based design and engaging each community in which a school is built. Philip was the 2013 Washington Chapter President and the 2018 Pacific Northwest Region President for A4LE. The knowledge gained from his 20 years of leading PK-12 school projects helps him interact with educators and speak their language, resulting in facilities that best support their mission. In addition, Philip is a longtime advocate of vigorous community engagement and providing equitable support for each student. He is an expert in embedding research-based solutions in educational facilities and passionate about designing schools to support relevant learning and tangible community connections.

Anistasha Lightning, Director of Research and Development, NAC Architecture
As a human factors and research specialist, Tasha Lightning is passionate about gathering, applying, and understanding influential information. Tasha is driven by the understanding that our environments shape and influence our emotions, experiences, and lives in meaningful and profound ways. Understanding those influences, and how the environment can be improved in order to improve the lives of people, is what drives her passion for research as part of an architectural team.

Helena Jubany, FAIA, LEED AP, Managing Principal, NAC Architecture
Helena Jubany is an Education Thought Leader for NAC Architecture. She has advanced her practice for the last 28 years by developing a collaborative and inclusive process that promoted diversity and advocated for outstanding design on educational facilities. Her passion for design of educational facilities has resulted in several international assignments including projects and speaking engagements in China and Brazil. Helena is the founding president for the A4LE Southern California Chapter.

LearningSCAPES Virtual Conference: Passport to Learning



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