School Facilities & Design

With only open windows and fans to cool the room down, students enter their non-air-conditioned classroom at Campbell High School in Ewa, Hawaii, on Aug. 3, 2015. Most of Hawaii's public schools don't have air conditioning, and record-high temperatures have left teachers and students saying they can't focus because of the heat. Hawaii lawmakers are saying it's time to cool Hawaii's public schools. A proposal being considered by the House Committee of Finance would fund air conditioning for Hawaii Department of Education schools and expedite the process to get cooling systems installed in classrooms.
Only open windows and fans cooled the room as students arrived at Campbell High School in Ewa, Hawaii, in August, 2015. Most of Hawaii's public schools don't have air conditioning, even as research shows that heat can depress student learning.
Marco Garcia/AP
Student Well-Being Explainer The School Year Is Getting Hotter. How Does Heat Affect Student Learning and Well-Being?
Climate change will lead to more hot school days, and experts say schools are not prepared.
Madeline Will, September 26, 2022
10 min read
Architectural rendering of a school.
archiZG/iStock/Getty
Budget & Finance What It Takes to Stay on Top of Improving School Facilities
Be proactive, especially with winning community support, district leaders advise.
Mark Lieberman, September 15, 2022
4 min read
A second grade student is given a COVID-19 rapid test at H.W. Harkness Elementary School in Sacramento, Calif., on Feb. 11, 2022. As a new school year approaches, COVID-19 infections are again on the rise, fueled by highly transmissible variants, filling families with dread. They fear the return of a pandemic scourge: outbreaks that sideline large numbers of teachers, close school buildings and force students back into remote learning.
A 2nd grade student is given a COVID-19 rapid test at H.W. Harkness Elementary School in Sacramento, Calif., in February. The Biden administration plans to send millions of COVID-19 tests to school districts over the 2022-23 school year as part of its COVID-19 response.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP
Student Well-Being White House Outlines Key COVID-Prevention Strategies for This School Year
Prevention best practices focus on testing, vaccinations, and school building ventilation.
Libby Stanford, August 17, 2022
4 min read
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Improving Indoor Air Quality = Keeping Students + Staff in School
Indoor environmental quality in school facilities encompasses acoustics, air quality, light, aesthetics, temperature and more.
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A section of a classroom door from Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, is seen as Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw testifies at a Texas Senate hearing at the state capitol, Tuesday, June 21, 2022, in Austin, Texas. Two teachers and 19 students were killed in the mass shooting in Uvalde.
A section of a classroom door from Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, is seen during a Texas Senate hearing on the deadly shooting there.
Eric Gay/AP
School Climate & Safety 3 Reasons Many Schools Don't Have Classroom Doors That Lock From the Inside
School facilities experts explain why what seems like a simple school-security fix is not so simple.
Lauraine Langreo, August 8, 2022
2 min read
Fifth grade teachers Edith Bonazza, left, and Patricia Castro teach their students at Oak Terrace Elementary School in Highwood, Ill., part of the North Shore school district, on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020.
Twenty-five percent of U.S. public schools lack classroom doors that can be locked from the inside, according to the most recent data from the National Center on Education Statistics.
Nam Y. Huh/AP
School Climate & Safety Shouldn't Classroom Doors Lock From the Inside? Here's Why Many Don't
Lack of money, logistics, and fire safety regulations are keeping schools from changing door locks.
Lauraine Langreo, August 4, 2022
7 min read
Conceptual Illustration of Government taking a big chunk of the money
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Education Funding 7 Ways the Federal Government Shortchanges K-12 Schools
Districts haven't gotten the help they need and expect on infrastructure, high-need students, special education, school meals, and more.
Mark Lieberman, July 12, 2022
9 min read
Illustration of a man holding oversized money.
Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty
Budget & Finance Interest Rates Are Going Up to Fight Inflation. Schools May Feel the Pain Either Way
Rising costs, expected higher wages, and diminished voter support for school levies have district leaders worried.
Mark Lieberman, July 5, 2022
4 min read
Students from PS 11 Elementary School participate in art projects and interactive activities, during an after-school outdoor program held in the High Line park in New York, NY, October 21, 2020.
Students from PS 11 Elementary School participate in art projects and interactive activities during an after-school outdoor program in New York City in 2020. Many schools are opting for outdoor classes and other-low cost measures to maintain healthy air quality during the pandemic.
Anthony Behar/Sipa via AP Images
School & District Management Schools Prefer Cheaper Ventilation Options to Curb COVID: Why They Should Consider Upgrading
Most schools are opening windows and hosting class outdoors rather than investing in costlier, more-effective measures.
Apoorvaa Mandar Bichu, June 23, 2022
2 min read
Global warming illustration, environment pollution, global warming heating impact concept. Change climate concept.
Collage by Gina Tomko/Education Week and iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management From Our Research Center Nearly Half of Educators Say Climate Change Is Affecting Their Schools—or Will Soon
Most educators said their school districts have not taken any action to prepare for more severe weather, a new survey finds.
Arianna Prothero, May 23, 2022
6 min read
Haley Williams, left, and Amiya Cox hold a sign together and chant while participating in a "Global Climate Strike" at the Experiential School of Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C., on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Across the globe hundreds of thousands of young people took the streets Friday to demand that leaders tackle climate change in the run-up to a U.N. summit.
Haley Williams, left, and Amiya Cox participate in a Global Climate Strike at the Experiential School of Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C., in September 2019.
Khadejeh Nikouyeh/News & Record via AP
School & District Management What Schools Can Do to Tackle Climate Change (Hint: More Than You Think)
For starters, don't assume change is too difficult.
Mark Lieberman, May 18, 2022
7 min read
Composite image of school building and climate change protestors.
Illustration by F. Sheehan/Education Week (Images: iStock/Getty and E+)
School & District Management 'It Has to Be a Priority': Why Schools Can't Ignore the Climate Crisis
Schools have a part to play in combating climate change, but they don't always know how.
Mark Lieberman, May 18, 2022
16 min read
Student Well-Being Spotlight Spotlight on Healthy Schools
This Spotlight will help you discover how health and wellness can create a transformative school environment and more.
May 18, 2022
Image of a dollar bill folded into an upward arrow.
ImagePixel/iStock/Getty
Budget & Finance How Are Schools Spending ESSER Funds? 4 Takeaways From a New Report
More than 4 in 10 districts have already obligated all their pandemic relief aid, while nearly a third are still getting started.
Mark Lieberman, May 11, 2022
5 min read