Where to go for More Resources for Using Architecture to Support Small Learning Communities

Here are some starting points for funding, support and inspiration for schools planning architectural change to support personalization and more powerful learning.

U.S. Department of Education’s Smaller Learning Communities Program

Many schools find funds to support architectural restructuring through the United States Department of Education’s Smaller Learning Communities Program, a $45 million grant program aimed to develop, implement or expand smaller learning communities. Schools work with their districts to apply; applications for participation in the upcoming year of the program are due December 3, 2001.

web site: www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/SLCP/overview.html
email: smallerlearningcommunities@ed.gov
telephone: 1-800-USA-LEARN

School Design Research Studio

The School Design Research Studio collects the work of Jeffery A. Lackney, including “Forming Small Learning Communities: Implementing Neighborhoods in an Existing High School,” which describes James Madison Memorial High School’s Neighborhoods plan, and the full text of “Thirty-Three Principles of Educational Design,” featured in this issue of Horace. Promoting collaboration among students, parents, school staff and community- all affected by school design- this site provides carefully chosen articles and pointers to resources that benefit people planning school architectural change.

web site: http://schoolstudio.engr.wisc.edu/
email: lackney@epd.engr.wisc.edu
mailing address: Department of Engineering Professional Development
College of Engineering,University of Wisconsin-Madison,
432 North Lake Street, Madison, WI 53706

The Small Schools Project

The University of Washington’s Small Schools Project at the Center on Reinventing Public Education provides direct assistance to small, strong, sustainable schools across the United States. Rick Lear, previously with the Coalition of Essential Schools as a senior researcher on school design, directs the Small School Project. The Project’s web site is a rich information source for small school planners and practitioners; the Facilities section highlights several small learning community-building projects and provides links to further school building resources.

web site: www.smallschoolsproject.org
email: info@smallschoolsproject.org
telephone: 206-685-2214
fax: 206-221-7402
mailing address: Small Schools Project, CRPE, University of Washington,
Box 353060, Seattle, WA 98195-3060

The Small Schools Workshop

The Small Schools Workshop, co-directed by William Ayers and Michael Klonsky and based at the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, supports teachers, principals, parents, and district leaders to create small learning communities in public schools. Along with working directly with individual schools, the Small Schools Workshop seeks to change local, state and national policy to support innovative scaled-down learning communities.

web site: www.smallschoolsworkshop.org
telephone: 312-413-8066
fax: 312-413-5847
mailing address: 115 S. Sangamon Street, Chicago, Illinois 60607

The National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities

The National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities offers a vast sweep of information about school buildings; don’t miss the web site’s School Size section, available in the Hot Topics area. N.C.E.F. is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and is affiliated with the National Library of Education’s Educational Resources Information Center.

web site: www.edfacilities.org
telephone: 888-552-0624 or 202-289-7800
fax: 202-289-1092
mailing address: 1090 Vermont Ave., N.W., Suite 700, Washington, D.C., 20005-4905

Chicago Public Schools Design Competition:
Big Shoulders, Small Schools

This website reflects the result of a national design contest among 279 architectural firms aimed to collect the best designs for two new small Chicago public early childhood/elementary schools. While the competition is over-winners were selected in April, 2001- the site offers a wealth of images (including the winning designs) and other specifically helpful information pertaining to good small school design.

web site: www.schooldesigncomp.org

“A Conversation on Designing Small Schools”

This video, focusing on the design of Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School in the Bronx, New York, was produced by Elliot Washor of the Big Picture Company. The half-hour video keenly demonstrates what a school looks like when it’s thoughtfully remade within an existing non-school space, and it drives home the power of small classroom/learning space clusters. The video is available for $10.00; please direct inquiries to Laura Westberg.

web site: www.bigpicture.org
email: lwestberg@bigpicture.org
telephone: 401-456-0600
fax: 401-456-0606
mailing address: 275 Westminster Street, Suite 500, Providence, RI 02903