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COVID-19: Resources for educators, students, and more on returning back to school

School Design Guidelines Just last year we were redesigning our schools to be responsive to new pedagogies, security, and the acceleration of innovations in technology. Today we are faced with a pandemic that will change how we behave and how schools are once again reshaped. This reference document is prepared to be in addition to Federal and CDC Guidelines, OSHA, and information from other organizations responsible for our health and safety. The goal of this document is to provide school leaders with a tool to evaluate their facilities and to prepare them for re-opening in the Fall. We believe that we can make decisions that utilize our learning spaces in different ways. This may include new academic pathways, re-purposing spaces, and utilizing the advancements our technology.  What makes this document different?   It begins by providing a summary of the information into a friendly ‘Checklist’ that allows administrators to make a holistic evaluation of each of their school facilities. Also provided is a ‘Distancing Template’ that illustrates many ways for re-configuring each space to achieve the distancing guidelines. Accompanying this template is a ‘Sketchpad’ that allows you to draw the size of each room and match it with the appropriate solution shown on the ‘Distancing Template’.  The authors of this document represent experienced educational facility planners, school architects, mechanical engineers, interior designers, construction managers and medical personnel. The authors include: 1. Issues in is a powerful forum that provides a meaningful voice for educational and business leaders who are reshaping the educational landscape. This pandemic is another important issue where we will engage our education leaders. The following are companies who have been vigorously developing best practices for re-opening our schools.  2. Cordogan Clark  is a full service architectural, engineering, and construction firm with deep experience in academic, commercial, institutional, and residential projects. The firm has extensive experience in the design and construction management of education projects from Pre K-12 through universities. 3. Ittner Architects  is a leader in school planning and design having completed over 5,000 projects since 1899. We’ve seen through the decades how best practices can improve our learning environments. Today’s pandemic is one more influence that will change how we think about our schools.  4. University of Chicago Education Center: Julie Mudge, APN-BC Manager, Advanced Practice Service Julie brings an important perspective being on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of her views and lessons learned can be directly applied to the environments that our children visit daily. 

Check out our published article below, on the NSBA website:


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