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While TCEF provides a cursory review of every article on the website, TCEF and the TCEF staff cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information contained in the articles. The ideas presented in the articles are not endorsed by TCEF, the Texas Center for Educational Facilities, Tarleton State University, or the US Department of Education. All articles are posted as presented in the original format.
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"No Cost" School Renovation
Zorn, R. L. (2006). 193 (5)

Ohio’s Poland Local School District recently completed $5.5 million in additions and upgrades at no cost to the taxpayers. How did they do it? The district entered into a multiyear energy performance contract that allows them to pay off their loan through the savings realized by the renovation itself.

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‘This place could help you learn’: student participation in creating better school environments
Flutter, J. (2006).

This paper examines the role of student consultation and participation in the process of improving the physical environment in schools. Although quantitative studies suggest that there are some links between the learning environment and school performance, direct causal relationships between these factors remain unclear. However, as Clark points out: ‘… qualitative research on the indirect influences of school buildings on student learning and behavior is of use in enhancing our understanding of the factors involved’ (Clark, 2002, p. 11). Evidence from qualitative studies of students' perspectives on the school environment is presented to illustrate the important insights that can be gained through listening to the student voice. The argument for student voice is taken further through a discussion of recent projects and initiatives in which students are given an active role in designing and improving school buildings and facilities. The paper concludes with a discussion of the problems and benefits in involving students in the process of improving their learning environments.

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6 Design Principles to Set the Stage for Learning
O'Donnell, S. (2008).

Learning environments provide students with a 'stage' to perform. The article provides six recommendations to set the stage for learning. Different classroom environments have shown to positively affect activities in classrooms.

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A Case Study on Facility Design: The Impact of New High School Facilities in Virginia on Student Achievement and Staff Attitudes and Behaviors
Bishop, M. E. (2009).

This case study involved the examination of three new high schools that opened in the Commonwealth of Virginia between 2006 and 2007. Principal interviews and focus group interviews were conducted between April and June 2008. Document analysis of architectural information was conducted by the researcher for each site location; that analysis yielded shared characteristics of the sites such as floor plans, common professional work areas, use of safety features, and the use of natural lighting throughout instructional and professional spaces. The study determined that the perceptions of the principals and the staff of these new buildings were shared and sufficiently common for identification. The data collected from both groups of participants indicated the existence of three shared themes particular to this case study: improved student behaviors, improved staff and student morale, and a lack of belief that the new buildings had more positively impacted student achievement than had the old buildings. Additionally, data collected from participants in this study seemed to represent acknowledgement of a relationship between sustainable design elements and student achievement as well as student and staff behaviors. All respondents in both interview groups agreed that the amount of natural light incorporated into the design of the building had a positive impact on both student and staff behaviors, indicating that it may have positively impacted student achievement. At all three locations, participants expressed a shared belief that natural light had affected their overall performance, their individual moods, and, in some cases, their ability to maintain their levels of performance as the year progressed. Other factors mentioned by all participants as having had a positive impact included the following: open space in classrooms and hallways, the high ceilings and sense of openness in all the buildings, and enhanced safety and security features present in the buildings. All of the data collected from the participants in this research study led to the conclusion of the researcher that design elements such as natural lighting and climate controlled HVAC systems, as well as wide, open hallways and shared student spaces, do positively impact student behaviors and student and staff attitudes and behaviors.

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A Statewide Multiagency Intervention Model for Empowering Schools to Improve Indoor Environmental Quality
Foscue, K, & Harvey, M. (2011). 74 (2)

A multiagency consortium created and led by the Connecticut Department of Public Health has successfully implemented and continues to sustain the U.S. EPA's Tools for Schools program in the majority of Connecticut public schools. The authors present and analyze the consortium model and their efforts at evaluating the impact of Tools for Schools in Connecticut.

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A Summary of Scientific Findings on Adverse Effects of Indoor Environments on Students' Health, Academic Performance and Attendance
United States Department of Education, Office of the Under Secretary (2004). ((Doc No. 2004-06))

This paper summarizes the current state of scientific knowledge about the adverse impacts of indoor environments in schools on health and performance. Key gaps in knowledge and critical outstanding research questions are also summarized.

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A Synthesis of Studies Pertaining to Building Conditions, Student Achievement, Student Behavior, and Student Attitude
Bailey, J.A. (2009).

The relationships between building condition and student achievement, student behavior, and student attitude were investigated by reviewing research. A synthesis of research studies from 1998 through 2008 was completed. A matrix was replicated from Lemasters’ 1997 study that identified the researchers used in each study. The matrix presented each author and the areas each author researched.

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Achievement by Design
Black, S. (2007).

Buildings and classrooms play a role in how students learn, but while amenities are nice, don't let the frills overshadow your district's instructional goals.

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Active advance warning devices show promise for school bus zone safety
Carson, J. L. , Holick, A., Park, E. S., Wooldridge, M., & Zimmer, R. (2005).

The findings contained in this report respond to the three part problem described below: 1. Children are at greatest risk when in school bus loading or unloading zones. Students are three to four times more likely to be killed while boarding or leaving the bus than while riding the bus. 2. Efforts to improve safety at school bus loading or unloading zones have been focused on increasing school bus conspicuity and enhancing driver guidance. However, none of these efforts are effective (i.e., visible from a distance) if a school bus is stopped in an area of limited visibility. 3. The constant display of the static warning message, SCHOOL BUS STOP AHEAD, combined with the limited presence of the hazard (i.e., the stopped school bus and children), results in rapid motorist desensitization to the risk and a subsequent degradation in safety at school bus loading and unloading zones.

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Appendix A: Guidelines for traffic control for school areas
Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Transportation Institute (2009). (0-5470-1)

Appendix A: Guidelines for traffic control for school areas is a companion piece to the Speeds in School Zones study. School speed zones are frequently requested traffic controls for school areas, based on the common belief that if the transportation agency would only install a reduced speed limit, then drivers would no longer speed through the area. This research project was tasked with reviewing existing practices and developing guidelines regarding the establishment of school zones. Researchers documented existing knowledge on traffic control devices in school zones using a review of previous research that examined effectiveness of devices, a survey of practitioners on signing and marking, a review of state and city school zone guidelines and warrants, and a telephone survey of law enforcement officers. Researchers also collected field data at 24 school zones across Texas and analyzed the data for findings on speed-distance relationships, speed time relationships, influences of various site characteristics on speeds, and special characteristics of school zones with buffer zones. The findings from these analyses were used in developing suggested guidelines for traffic control devices, including school speed zones, near schools in Texas. The Guidelines are designed to serve as a supplement to the Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and the manual on Procedures for Establishing Speed Zones. They are included in this report as Appendix A. Major topics in the Guidelines include: definitions, school location, school speed zone characteristics, pavement markings, crosswalks, school entrances, and conditions for removing a school speed zone.

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