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Articles: Planning

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.

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.

LEANER & GREENER—An MIT supercomputer remapped bus routes for Boston Public Schools (above). The district trimmed its fleet by 50 vehicles, saved about $4 million and cut carbon dioxide emissions.

The techniques for streamlining bus transportation range from a variety of off-the shelf routing programs to relying more on an administrator’s experience with local conditions.

The Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative hopes to build a drone-port and collaborative community workspace atop a coal-mined mountain.

Jay C. Toland is the chief financial officer for Scotland County Schools in Laurinburg, North Carolina.

As a cost-saving measure, consolidation can help save a struggling district.

John Marschhausen is superintendent of the Hilliard City School District in Columbus, Ohio.

Attending a Disney Institute is eye-opening because the lessons are applicable to what we must be doing in our schools.

Years ago, educators at Fremont Middle School in Illinois provided students with engaging projects. But not until the 2015-16 school year did teachers have designated areas where students could work on assignments comfortably or have access to digital technology. 

Design Tech High School, or d.tech for short, opened in 2014 and is authorized by California’s San Mateo Union High School District. It commits to the concept of design thinking: Students learn to look for problems, understand the cause and empathize with people involved. Then they develop and test solutions, refine, try again, and share their findings.

Gloria Marshall Elementary School in Spring ISD in Texas has visible AC fixtures throughout the building. (Luis Ayala/US Green Building Council)

When a classroom is sweltering, nobody is productive. More and more teaching days are being lost to hot, humid weather even though there is a way to mitigate the problem: air conditioning. But the challenge is justifying the cost of installation and maintenance at a time when competition for budget money is fierce.

Michael G. Shoaf is superintendent of Rocky River City School District.

With violent events seemingly on the rise in schools across the country, district leaders must develop fluid and thorough safety plans.

To address the variety of individual circumstances that may accompany these events, fluidity must be coupled with authentic practice and the engagement of stakeholders and experts. Practicing the plan, constantly considering best practices, and giving staff and students flexibility to adjust actions during an emergency are essential for a quality school safety plan.

District leaders have a new state-of-the-art data visualization tool at their disposal for making critical decisions. Guide K12’s geovisual analytics integrates student information systems with interactive web-based software to enable administrators to filter on any characteristic and run instant queries. Administrators feel confident expanding a school’s boundary or offering a specific program based on the data the system provides.

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School principals are in the middle of a balancing act when it comes to security. They need to create a welcoming, supportive open environment for students, parents, and credible community visitors who have legitimate purposes in their buildings, while they also have to keep out individuals who potentially have “ill intentions,” says Kenneth Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services, a national consulting firm specializing in school security and emergency preparedness training, school security assessments and school and crisis counseling services.

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