Monarch School ‘Launch Pointe’ –  hands-on education for homeless teens


Tammy Miller

Ali Johnston
LPA, inc.


1 Learning Units (LU)

How applies to HSW:

This session will cover sustainable design features and how they benefit users’ health and welfare – such as daylight, views, air quality and occupant comfort


The Monarch School’s mission is to educate students impacted by homelessness, giving them hope for a future with necessary skills and experiences for personal success. The newly-added Launch Pointe engages students in hands-on, project-based learning that ignites passion to explore creative ideas, discover new strengths and visualize future success in college and careers. The Launch Pointe is an interior improvement project that supports a multitude of learning and teaching styles and is the hub for internship and career building, created from an existing space on a minimal budget with a multitude of architectural constraints. This session explores the elements of space that make for a successful classroom & maker-space, as well as detailing the planning aspects that engaged community, faculty, and students, resulting in a well-used, future-ready space that supports hand-on, personalized learning for these students, getting them ready for future careers.

Learning Objectives:
  • Become familiar with the maker movement, how hands-on problem-solving is helping to build skills within our communities, including soft skills
  • Recognize design features that support flexibility and make a space future-ready
  • Discover how space can support not only academic growth but social growth, emotional support, and life skills;
  • Identify creative solutions to existing building challenges to create user-friendly features including lighting, power, and views
Primary Competency:

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.

Primary Domain:

Toolbox: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the approaches, methods and applications when transitioning from design and concept into reality, actual existence through quality performance, execution and/or product.

Secondary Domain:

Context: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the circumstances that form the setting for the design and construction of specific learning environments and characteristics that distinguishes the project from other applications.