Process Steps


It is not always clear, at the beginning, which assumptions should be chosen to guide the planning process. Nonetheless, the articulation of these assumptions is one of the main responsibilities of the Planning Committee. It is essential for the school, through the Planning Committee, to establish guiding principles and to articulate realistic constraints and boundaries.

A useful format lists the planning assumptions, followed by a related set of goals to be reached, followed by a description of the strategies necessary to implement the goals.

For instance, one assumption might be:

Assumption: The school will continue to integrate technology into the curriculum.

Related goals might be:

Goal: the school will provide advanced educational technologies in well-designed teaching spaces;

Goal: the school will provide support for teacher training in the new technologies;

Goal: students will use technology in the lab daily.

And implementation strategies might include:

Strategy: The school will secure the funds necessary for the renovation of each teaching space.

Strategy: The school will create an endowment for the annual purchase of educational technology.

Strategy: Teachers will be involved in program definition and design of the teaching environment.

Strategy: The school will provide on-going training and support to teachers and staff in the use of the educational technologies.

Planning assumptions, goals, and implementation strategies should be specific to the needs, circumstances, culture, and resources of each school. It is useful for the school and planning committee to address the following issues that will have spatial implications:

  • School and department mission statements
  • Department vision statement
  • Schedule for planning new or renovated facilities
  • Planning time frame — 10 or 15 years
  • Anticipated enrollment, teachers, and staff
  • Anticipated changes in curriculum
  • Anticipated changes in pedagogy
  • Use of technology
  • Construction and project costs

Space Allocation Assumptions

In addition, the school should develop space allocation assumptions to avoid arbitrary and inconsistent assignments of space and to provide guidance during the facility programming process. Ideally, mission, academic plan, and curriculum should help to determine facility assumptions. However, many schools need to have a facility and planning assumptions in place as a beginning point of reference. Some facility assumptions that the school might adopt are:

Assumption: Teaching labs will be assigned to more than one teacher

A related facility implication might be:

Implication: Fewer labs will be required but teachers will need office space where they can meet with students and work.

Assumption: Teachers will share office space

A related facility implication might be:

Implication: Some accommodation should be provided for confidential discussions with students, for quiet work, and for private telephone calls.

Planning Committee 
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