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Articles: Facilities

Districts providing meals for any student who cannot pay may face an unintended consequence: massive debt, sometimes reaching into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A1,100-student school district in Minnesota had been purchasing food supplies through a buying group of five other school systems—but it wasn’t efficient. “We would have to meet quite often,” says Director of Food Service Sandie Rentz of Wadena-Deer Creek Public Schools. “We wrote our own bids and market basket. Then we would go out for bidding and tabulate the results ourselves.”

To engage students with diverse interests, high schools are adding nontraditional sports such as flag football, bass fishing, sand volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, orienteering and esports, to their lineups.

The recent shooting, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has rekindled the hot debate about gun control in the United States.  Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), a proponent of more restrictions on firearms, argued, "This happens nowhere else, other than the United States of America. It only happens here not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else."2

What are the top transportation challenges at school startup?

The biggest challenges are routes, drivers and buses. School bus routing is more complex than other routing. District routes can be affected by ongoing school enrollment and by families moving. During the summer, districts experience higher turnover in bus drivers, which can impact startup. Lastly, readying vehicles for service after sitting through the summer and preparing new incoming vehicles for service presents additional challenges.

The reach of K12 bulk purchasing and co-op agreements has expanded substantially as more districts join to save substantial amounts on everything from software to playground equipment, according to a recent AASA report.

To accommodate growth in enrollment, a renovated, expanded library and a new 8,840-square-foot wing with four classrooms now stand at Donaldson Primary School.

Looking to illustrate an abstract concept from a novel she’d read, an Oklahoma high school student turned to her building-level school librarian. Then, with the school librarian’s encouragement to tinker in the makerspace, the girl sculpted a clay model of a kneeling woman balancing a 3D-printed replica of the earth on her back.

Roberto Padilla is superintendent of the Newburgh Enlarged City School District in New York. Nancy Gutiérrez is chief strategy officer for the NYC Leadership Academy.

Turnaround leaders need to respond with urgency and make key changes quickly while establishing a vision and a strong team to carry out that vision.

ALTERNATE ROUTES—Students in a growing number of cities travel to class and other school activities via services such as Hop, Skip, Drive. The company hires parents and other caregivers as drivers.

The K12 transportation landscape is getting increasingly complex, as districts wrestle with issues ranging from school choice and questions of equity to how to subsidize mass transit for urban students.

An interactive school building layout next to a panoramic view of one classroom within Anaheim High School. The dotted circles indicate locations with images available while the classroom field of view is the shaded area.

Up-to-date school floor plans and detailed images can be the difference between life and death when first responders are racing against time to find a shooting suspect or to rescue survivors after a natural disaster.

Lori Peek is the director of the Natural Hazards Center and professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder. She co-authored Children of Katrina and most recently helped write FEMA guidelines for protecting schools against natural hazards.

Lori Peek, the director of the Natural Hazards Center and professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder, recently helped write FEMA guidelines for protecting schools against natural hazards.

BOOKSTORE BROWSING—Nearly 60 of Baltimore County Public Schools’ libraries have reorganized shelves to emulate bookstores, with books grouped by genre rather than the Dewey Decimel System. Students find it easier to help themselves.

School libraries increasingly use “genrefication”—the reorganization of collections by genre as opposed to the traditional Dewey Decimal System—to boost circulation.

What does research reveal about independent reading and overall reading performance?

Barbers Hill ISD is a suburban district along the upper Texas Gulf Coast, and it was one of the first districts in the state with a 1-to-1 Chromebook program.

Following some maintenance and repair issues with students who took their laptops home after school, Barbers Hill decided its 1-to-1 program would continue only in the classroom.

Kim Muldrow, a systems support specialist for Barbers Hill, wanted a solution that differed from laptop carts. That’s when PowerGistics Towers came into the equation during the summer of 2015.

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