• Improving School Facilities...Improving Student Outcomes

     

    Dear School and Community Partners:


    Through our research over the past decade and beyond, we have found that school facilities can have a direct impact on student outcomes and can play a role in health, behavior, engagement, learning and growth of our students. The buildings themselves are the tangible properties where teaching and learning take place and it is within our capacity to enhance these properties with the goal of always improving student achievement. It also helps with staff recruitment, retention and the overall climate of a school district as a place of employment.


    We have come to learn that the way a school is designed, constructed and maintained sends a message to its staff and students, and to the community at large, that the facilities play a significant role in delivering a quality education to our student body. It also speaks volumes about the value placed on receiving that education.


    Additional aspects of the improvement in school facilities is modernizing the technology and technology infrastructure to meet the needs of our 21st Century learners. We have upgraded the Wi-Fi in our schools and now have high-quality internet connections in all areas. Every classroom will have iPads or tablets assigned to each student and a flat panel Promethean Board in it. The classroom environment should reflect what students need to know and what is expected of them outside of the school walls. If we want students to be successful and prepared for their future, then we must provide them with the tools, devices, teaching strategies and infrastructure needed to succeed.


    We have been extremely fortunate that our local community understands the need to invest resources into replacing and/or renovating outdated or inadequate school facilities. Included in this plan is our acknowledgement that school climate plays an important role in student achievement and that enhancing the social environment should not be underestimated in its value. During the past decade or so, we have designed spaces and features that make for flexible and responsive learning environments that invite students to positively experience school life.


    In summary, we have learned through our capital projects and research that a school’s physical design and structure helps to focus in on improved teaching and learning. We believe that comfortable learning places, a pleasant appearance, adequate spaces, appropriate furniture and equipment and a regularly cleaned and maintained facility positively affects staff and students sense of belonging and ultimately improves their capacity to perform at the highest level.


    Joseph DioGuardi
    Superintendent of Schools