Lobby Redesign Project for Positive Building Culture
An extensive amount of research has linked a positive school environment to higher test scores, graduation rates, and attendance rates. For students to achieve academic success they must attend and be engaged in school, and school environment can influence both attendance and engagement.
Conversely, studies show that indicators of poor school environment are strongly linked to poor test scores, low graduation rates, low attendance rates, and student disengagement.
Research* shows the following:
Physical environment is related to teachers’ levels of absenteeism, effort, effectiveness in the classroom, morale, and job satisfaction.
Environment is linked to building culture and frequence of disciplinary referrals.
Physical environment is related to both student achievement and student behavior.
*The above information is a direct reference from the The National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments, assembled under a contract from the U.S. Department of Education and supported by the below research:
Earthman, G., Cash, C,, & Van Berkum, D. (1995). "A Statewide Study of Student Achievement and Behavior and School Building Condition." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Council of Educational Facility Planners, International. Dallas, TX.
Corcoran, Thomas B., Lisa J. Walker, and J. Lynne White (1988). Working in Urban Schools. Washington, DC: Institute for Educational Leadership.
Gottfredson, G.D., and Gottfredson, D.C. (1985). Victimization in Schools. New York: Plenum.
Laub, J.H., and Lauritsen, J.L. (1998). School Violence, Neighborhood and Family Conditions. In Elliott, D.S., Hamburg, B.A., and Williams, K.R. (Eds.), Violence in American Schools. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Planty, M., and DeVoe, J.F. (2005). An Examination of the Conditions of School Facilities Attended by 10th-Grade Students in 2002 (NCES 2006–302). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Research-based Learning Zones
Each area of the lobby was designed with intentionality of learning and to support Positive Behavior Intervention Systems (PBIS) within the district. Below, are the zones with explanation for teacher and student use:
Proof of Concept
Prior to starting the redesign, a baseline inventory was taken of over 100 staff, students, parents, and community members rating their impressions of the current space. Staff meetings were held to vet teacher recommendations. In the Fall of 2015, materials were purchased through grant and PTO funding and volunteers were solicitied to execute the plan. Intervention data is presently being collected to determine the impact of the new space on student engagement and learning.
Create a Sensory Room
Set the Rules
School Environment impacts: Academic Achievement, Attendance,
Teacher Job Satisfaction.
Interior Learning Space
Student Art Space
Elementary Lobby Redesign
In the Spring of 2015, a partnership was established between the Columbus College of Art and Design and a Local School system to enact a lobby redesign project to :
1. Improve building culture
2. Enhance communication between parents and school
3. Improve student pride and engagement
4. Organize space for efficiency of multi-functional use
5. Create specific character and learning environments for classroom access
The Columbus College of Art and Design made visitation to the school campus and completed a series of design boards as a student learning project. In the fall of 2015, a local Elementary executed the designs with the below results:
Comparing baseline ratings to post-intervention ratings, overall participants rated the following percentages of improvement: 30% improvement in “welcoming environment”, 44% improvement in “representation of the building to district mission,” 31% improvement in “pride in school,” and 36% improvement in access to information about the building. Implications include improvement of representation to the community, engagement to learn, and student locus of responsibility for surroundings.