Setting the New Educational Design Direction for U.S. Virgin Island Schools

9:45 AM – 10:45 AM 


In September 2017, the United States Virgin Islands suffered significant damage from two Category 5 hurricanes: Irma and Maria. Particularly hard hit were the educational facilities occupied by the Virgin Islands Department of Education (VIDE). Across three islands, nearly all instructional and supporting facilities, totaling nearly 3 million square feet, endured some level of damage. Some campuses will require a total replacement. It is anticipated that several hundred million dollars will eventually be appropriated for VIDE. Recent legislation by the United States Congress has provided funds to not only cover disaster-related damages but also bring the schools up to current industry standards. This is an unprecedented opportunity to change the footprint of education. Join us to learn the planning procedures and processes that will best leverage investments, with outcomes as documented in the Educational Master Plan.

#1: Introduction to the research that contributed and shaped the definition of educational adequacy for architecture.
#2: Gain knowledge of the “push” of the alpha generation and the “pull” of industry to shape programs and pathways that will act as a catalyst for socio-economic development.
#3: Learn how sustainable practices support a local vernacular and help to define design guidelines for subsequent RFP solicitations for the replacement and/or modernization of schools district-wide.
#4: Learn the organizational practices that are already shifting the culture if this forward-facing district.

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.

Dionne Wells-Hedrington, Ed.D., Chief Operations Officer, Virgin Islands Department of Education
Dr. Wells-Hedrington is the Chief Operations Officer for the Virgin Islands Department of Education. With over 26 years of experience in public education, she has been a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and insular superintendent of schools. She upholds a duty and obligation to give ALL students the best educational opportunities possible in state-of-the-art facilities. Dr. Wells-Hedrington has a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology, a Master’s of Education in Supervision and Instruction, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.

Chaneel Callwood-Daniels, Architect of New Schools, Virgin Islands Department of Education
As Architect for New Schools at Virgin Islands Department of Education, Chaneel oversees the $1.6 billion program geared to rebuild and modernize public schools in the U.S. Virgin Islands. One of the first African Americans to earn a Master of Architecture degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, her life’s work has been an intersection of architecture and education. Chaneel’s experience includes leadership of Bond Planning and Project Administration for Austin ISD’s 2017 bond for $1.1 billion.

Jim French, FAIA, Global K-12 Education Leader, DLR Group
Jim leads DLR Group's Global K-12 Education Studio and is one of the most respected K-12 designers in the United States. In his career, Jim has exclusively served educational clients, offering unparalleled expertise in the planning and design of future-ready learning environments that support the whole child. Through his research-informed practice, Jim has gained a thorough understanding of the impact of design on student engagement and achievement, which he frequently shares with audiences around the world.

Pam Loeffelman, FAIA, Southwest K-12 Regional Leader, DLR Group
Pam is DLR Group’s Southwest K-12 Regional Leader and is passionate about the return on investment of educational designs. Pam believes that economic, social, and pedagogical trends can shape built environments to engage students, educators, and communities. She brings regional and national design expertise in shaping outcomes that add value to people’s lives and learning spaces. Pam’s MBA is from the University of Connecticut; and her BA in Architecture from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

LearningSCAPES Virtual Conference: Passport to Learning



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