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What defines a model school? If such a paradigm exists, design would number among the prime factors. Striving for realistic solutions to existing problems such as dated facilities, overcrowding, rising costs, and stringent budgets, many public and private institutions are embracing proactive, holistic reforms that integrate innovative teaching methods with more effective learning environments. Increasingly, insightful teams of administrators, educators, and parents are collaborating with architects to reimagine the schoolhouse. The goal: to create buildings that will engage students, welcome the community, and adapt to the inevitable shifts in population and pedagogy. The planning committees of the schools that follow all aim to exemplify change through design, in each case inviting the architect to weigh in early during the project-development process. Good buildings, they believe, do matter. While the report card is still out, this commitment to an idea, and to architecture as a means to achieve it, signifies a valuable investment in the future of our children. — Linda C. Lentz

Case Studies

Case Studies
A dozen K-12 projects use design to create better classroom spaces, improve performance, and shape school culture.

Photo Niklaus Spoerri

Sustainable Solutions

Sustainable Solutions
At a time when many districts are tightening their belts, the green schools movement is gaining steam. We check in with administrators and architects, along with nonprofit groups that are stepping up to help.

Photo © Jonathan Hillyer

Learning Tools

Learning Tools
Products that help K–12 grade students see, hear, create, and make the most of their learning environments.

Pictured: Tools at Schools; Photo Connor & James Steinkamp

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