Civic Presence

Linking Modernized Schools to Higher Achievement 9

First impressions matter. Arriving at a school is the first opportunity to show students, teachers, staff/administrators, and even community members that they are valued. It also demonstrates to the greater community that what happens within the walls of the building, and on the campus more broadly, is important. Architectural style can vary, but a school’s front door should be accessible, welcoming, and free from visual clutter. The façade and landscaping should be well-maintained. Windows should be clear and allow staff in the main office to subtly monitor arrivals. The study also found it is valuable to have high-quality assembly spaces and the ability to close off portions of a school to facilitate after-hours community access. Thus, not only does the building’s streetside design make a difference but so does its interior layout.