Schools In Focus is a podcast dedicated to the design, planning and management of educational facilities and campuses. Listen in as we chat with industry experts, facility managers, architects, security and safety professionals, and other thought leaders.
New Acoustical Solutions — From the Top Down
Increased understanding of and focus on acoustics in the classroom, coupled with heightened focus on speech privacy and information security in today's world, has placed additional burden on school administrators and facility managers. Acoustics isn't only about creating quite classrooms. It's a critical part of the overall IEQ of a school—from classrooms to nurses' offices to administration spaces. New and better technologies exist to give schools solutions that achieve what is needed in today's world while keeping budget parameters in mind. These acoustical solutions start at the top with ceilings, and not all ceilings are alike. Join us as Sean Browne, Senior Manager of Research & Development for Armstrong World Industries, walks us through choosing the right ceiling to optimize acoustics for better learning experiences.
You Can’t Build Your Way to Net Zero
This episode’s guest is Lori Ferriss, architect with the Boston firm Goody Clancy and Chair of the AIA Committee on the Environment. We’ll discuss how colleges and universities can’t just build their way to net zero in the quest for carbon neutrality—it’s impossible to achieve carbon neutrality without reducing the operational emissions of existing buildings. Lori co-developed the CARE Tool and collaborated with Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, to complete a campus-scale study to calculate and compare the carbon impacts of reusing and upgrading buildings versus constructing new structures. We’ll also talk about how the CARE Tool and its use at Agnes Scott can provide a model for other institutions around the country that aspire to achieve carbon neutrality.
Curating a School Security Plan, Staff, and Budget
This episode’s guest is Dustin Brooks, co-founder and chief customer officer of ZeroEyes. He’s here to talk about the importance of creating a school security plan against the backdrop of increasing active shooter and swatting incidents at schools around the country. We’ll also talk about the importance of a steadfast security staff and a reliable source of funding to keep existing security procedures and equipment in a state of readiness. Finally, we’ll address the paradox of the idea that if you do your job correctly, it doesn’t look like you’ve done anything at all.
Designing a Kids' Kingdom
Our guest today is Hiroshi Okamoto, principal and co-founder of OLI Architecture. He's here to tell us about Anji Play, an early childhood education facility in the Zhejiang province of China. Anji Play uses a hands-off, play-based learning pedagogy that encourages kids to be kids and lets them explore the environment under their own initiative. The school's architecture and design support the program's key aims of self-determined play and encourage its guiding principles of love, risk, joy, engagement, and reflection to create a true "Kids' Kingdom." The curriculum is currently being practiced in public early childhood programs in all of China's 34 provinces and administrative regions, and it has expanded to pilot programs in Europe, Africa, and the United States.
Shedding Light on the Benefits of Daylight
Our guest today is Dr. Neall Digert, Vice President of Solatube International, Inc., who’s here to tell us about the benefits of daylight in education spaces. Neall has over thirty years of consulting and education experience working in the energy, lighting, daylighting design, and research fields, specializing in the design and application of advanced lighting and daylighting systems for commercial building applications. We’ll talk about the physiological and psychological effects of daylight; daylighting’s impact on student wellness and academic performance; the sustainability effects of daylight; its use as a disinfectant; and much more.
How to Foster a Positive School Climate
On this episode of Schools in Focus, we’re talking with Dr. Kevin Mabie, Global Professional Instructor with the Crisis Prevention Institute. He’s here to talk about how a positive school climate can help K–12 leaders address, reduce and prevent bullying and violent behaviors. Among other topics, we’ll discuss what a positive school climate entails, its benefits for students and teachers, layout and design elements that foster a positive environment, and strategies that K–12 teachers can employ to stop bullying in its tracks. Sponsored by Crisis Prevention Institute.