The Space Between: Exploring the Impact of the Physical Schoolhouse on Student Well-being


3:30 PM
 4:30 PM


This session will discuss the psychological impacts of social and cultural connectedness in children, and how the school physical environment is a critical factor in creating that feeling of belonging. Specifically, focus will be placed on the impact of arrival and intermediate “in between” or circulation spaces on students’ emotional and social health in conventional designs, as well as the academic and cultural opportunities to evolve these spaces. This directly impacts student health and welfare, and there is growing evidence that there is a significant correlation with school safety as well.

#1: Examine the psychological impacts to students who feel unsafe for whom traditional classrooms alone are not sufficient to support their social and emotional needs and learning styles.
#2: Understand national statistics which show how early intervention and increasing school connectiveness increases school safety.
#3: Understand principles of design for creating or adapting “in between” spaces to support a multitude of needs at all grade levels and for different social and emotional outcomes.
#4: Learn how applying intentional design strategies to space that is typically reserved for circulation can maximize the programmatic effectiveness of the space you have, while also fostering community and a sense of belonging that is inclusive to all learners.

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.

Educational Visioning: Exhibits an understanding of best and next practices related to educationalleadership, 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.  

Stefee Knudsen, Principal, Hacker Architects
As a Principal at Hacker, Stefee has 24 years of experience in project management and sustainability. Stefee leads Hacker’s recent K-12 education work and brings expertise in pedagogy-specific educational design. She is a member of A4LE and AIA’s Committee on Architecture for Education Knowledge Community. Stefee is a leader in the Oregon architecture community; holding positions as President of the AIA Portland in 2014, Board Director and co-chair for the Committee on the Environment.

Mo Copeland, Head of School, Oregon Episcopal School
Mo is Head of School at Oregon Episcopal School in Portland, Oregon. Prior to joining OES in 2011, she was the Upper School Head, then Head of School at Saint George’s in Spokane. She also served as Dean of Faculty at Lakeside School in Seattle. Before becoming an administrator, Mo taught physics and math for nearly 20 years at Lakeside, Moses Brown School, and Putney School.

Tammy Fisher, PhD, School Counselor, St. Thomas School
Dr. Fisher has been an educator (all grade levels) for over 35 years, passionately dedicated to evidence-based practices which coach adults and students toward greatest efficacy. As a school counselor for the past 24 years, she has presented at dozens of conferences (AMLE, Social Thinking, Ophelia Conference, Evidence-Based School Counseling Conference, National Anti-Bullying, an annual presenter at Washington School Counselor Conferences), schools, webinars, and agencies across the US and Canada.

LearningSCAPES Virtual Conference: Passport to Learning



+1 480.391.0840
11445 E. Via Linda, Ste 2-440
Scottsdale, Arizona 85259 USA