Austin Independent School District is “reinventing the urban school experience,” trading in traditional classrooms for collaborative ‘learning neighborhoods’ and increasing equity throughout the city. Fueled by new Educational Specifications for Modern Learning Environments, these innovative, flexible spaces support state-of-the-art technology and embrace their respective communities. We invite you to come join in on the reinvention. At this event you will experience mock-classrooms and modern furniture solutions and view the designs of new school buildings throughout the city. Design team and district representatives will discuss the impact these new school designs have, how they align with the transformation of learning, and share how you can become involved and help reshape our city schools.
Speakers / Facilitator
Host: Raechel French, DLR Group, K12 Education Planner and Researcher
Bio: Raechel French works for DLR Group, the integrated design firm which guided Austin ISD in the creation of its Educational Specifications for Modern Learning Environments (Ed Specs). Now partnered with AECOM and the school district to oversee the implementation of bond projects, Raechel’s role at DLR Group is ensuring that the integrity of the Ed Specs is maintained. Raechel also researches learning spaces with the University of Melbourne in Australia, pursuing a PhD through their “Innovative Learning Environments and Teacher Change” program. Raechel can share how the Ed Specs align with recent evidence on the power of space design.
Ty Davidson, Executive Director of Middle Schools, Austin ISD
Ty Davidson was a Principal of the Year Nominee in 2017 and now works with Austin ISD Administration to set the standard for middle school education. Ty will speak to how the new building direction in the Educational Specifications aligns with the broader academic visions of Austin ISD.
Eliza Loyola, Principal at Menchaca ES, Austin ISD
Eliza Loyola is the longstanding principal at Menchaca ES, one of the first three schools to open in January 2020 designed under the new Educational Specifications. Eliza will discuss her vision for the campus and how educators are preparing for their new spaces.
Kate Mraw, Design Director, LPA
As Design Director at LPA Design Studios, Kate Mraw led the design process for Menchaca ES and is currently leading design for Casis ES and the New NE Middle School. She will share her designer’s perspective on utilizing the Educational Specifications to work with administrators, educators and students to co-author the design of campuses to reinvent the learning experience.
Beth Wilson, Executive Director of Planning and Asset Management, Austin ISD
Beth Wilson leads all facility planning efforts for Austin ISD and was an integral part of ensuring facility alignment with AISD’s goal of reinventing the urban school experience. Beth oversees the implementation of the Educational Specifications and will speak to the opportunities and challenges of making these design shifts.