Several documents help guide the district’s building program. The educational specification document ensures that all facilities projects help the district meet its educational goals. A Capital Facility Plan lays out expectations for enrollment over six years and how the district will provide appropriate learning environments for those students.
Educational specification document provides guidelines for planning educational facilities
Lake Washington School District construction projects range from relatively small improvements or upgrades to a building or site to a complete upgrade/remodel of an entire school. No matter the size of the project, it must help the district meet its goals of educating students to be future ready. That’s why all building construction projects start with the educational specification.
This document is revisited periodically, usually before a major bond measure is proposed. The last review took place in 2005, before the 2006 bond measure was proposed. The current version is a 128-page document that was developed through a collaborative process that involved a broad-based committee, as well as interviews with principals and with representatives of focus groups. The document defines the program elements for a typical school but allows for optional programs or service elements to be added.
The educational specification derives from the district’s educational goals, while taking into account educational trends. This latest revision acknowledges a shift to greater hands-on, project-based experiences for learners. This and other trends have implications for the design of facilities that will best support a changing educational program.
Six-Year Capital Facility Plan is the district’s primary facility planning document
The Six-Year Capital Facility Plan 2012-2017 reviews the district’s projected enrollment over that time frame and sets out the district’s facilities plans to house those students. The plan is reviewed and updated each year and must be adopted by the school board. It sets a standard of service for a target teacher-student ratio for different grade levels. School capacity is determined based on the district standard of service and the existing classroom inventory.
The Capital Facility Plan reviews known growth areas, enrollment projections and thus the projected needs for classroom space in different areas of the district. The plan then sets out how the district will adjust its facilities to meet the needs of the expected population. A financing plan is included that demonstrates the district’s ability to implement the plan.