“Kids First” Approach: Research-Informed Design to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Social Learning

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM


From the bond planning effort that created community support for bond passage, to the implemented features that now help kids thrive and support a progressive teaching pedagogy, this case study will cover the development of a new cutting-edge Texas elementary school. Starting with a “kids-first” mentality, learn about the research-informed design interventions that support student success and wellbeing, facilitate faculty mentorship and retention, and provide flexible, curriculum-centered learning spaces indoors and out. Elements for social and emotional learning permeate the design helping to form connections – student to student, student to teacher, teacher to teacher for an all-around inclusive environment. The new elementary features flexibility that caters to kids learning styles do by providing for large group and individualized learning in one space.

#1: Learn how to move to establish a community vision that mobilizes a bond centered on the needs of learners.
#2: Learn how a focus on “kids first” moves the design process from programming and planning to a user centered experience.
#3: Describe the impact of design on social and emotional learning.
#4: Understand the influence design has in creating team teaching environments that promote mentorship and collaboration.

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.

Michael Cardona, Superintendent, San Marcos CISD
Michael was named San Marcos CISD School Board’s Superintendent of Schools in May of 2016. Leading institutions with innovative, research-driven curriculum changes, Cardona has been recognized throughout his career as a turnaround administrator. Cardona has a demonstrated record of elevating student achievement at the secondary level, setting high expectations, and improving school safety.

Angela Whitaker-Williams, AIA, Principal, Perkins and Will
Angela is a Principal for Perkins and Will and serves as the Education Practice Leader for the Austin office. With more than two decades of architectural design and planning experience in K-12 education, Angela brings a realistic and innovative approach to the critical issues in educational design. She enjoys learning about her clients’ drivers and implementing a flexible, timeless design framework that maximizes the programmatic opportunities, positively impacts the community, and creates engaging learning spaces.

Koleman Uresti, AIA, Senior Project Manager, Perkins and Will
Koleman is a Senior Project Manager and Senior Associate with over 18 years of experience. Koleman’s approach to working with education clients involves communication and collaboration, while building trust with stakeholders. Koleman manages all bond planning efforts while promoting high levels of organization and maintaining focus on big picture goals for his clients.

LearningSCAPES Virtual Conference: Passport to Learning



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