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Northeast Region Awards

The Northeast Regional Planning & Design Awards recognize learning environments that positively impact teaching and learning and are a result of a sound planning process. They are specific to the identified characteristic. The projects serve the educational program and needs and expectations of the community.

  • Ed Kirkbride Award – Recognizes the project that most positively impacts the learning in a community.
  • New Learning Environment – Innovative interior learning environments that address and support teaching and learning.
  • Post-Secondary Educational Environment – Innovative learning environments for post-secondary education.
  • Renovation/Major Addition – This recognizes a renovation and/or addition project that transforms a physical space from a previous era of educational delivery to a learning environment for current instruction.
  • Small/Special Project Category – This is awarded to a specialized space such as: outdoor space, kitchen, addition, media center, gymnasium, community room, etc.
  • Exceptional Planning Recognition – This award recognizes a comprehensive and intensive planning process.
  • Jury's Award – Given at the discretion of the jury for some outstanding and compelling component of the project.

Awards Criteria

The following criteria have been developed for all categories and are weighted evenly for all of the Association’s planning and design awards.

  • The overall success of the planning process. The application fully demonstrates the value, results, and positive impact of a comprehensive planning process that engages all stakeholders and address the educational goals and community values.
  • The planning process engages the community in which it serves. The Community is defined within geographic, social, educational, and/or other relevant contexts and the planning addresses the multiple communities. Topics/Areas to address:
    • Assets available within the community
    • Community use/joint-use/partnerships
    • Avenue to economic development/community redevelopment
    • Reflects the unique needs of the community and local workforce
    • Celebrates the unique attributes of the community
    • Serves as a center of the community
    • Connects students to their community.
  • Pre-design planning is comprehensive. Evidence of in-depth conversations, discussion, and/or planning about the educational vision and program prior to the physical design discussions. Please include and/or address the visioning process, the educational specifications, design guidelines, program of requirements, etc.
  • The planning process achieved the goals and vision for the project, district, and community. Identify the goals and demonstrate achievement and results of the planning throughout the process.
  • The planning process and learning environment have impacted and elevated teaching and learning. Demonstrate and provide evidence of the value of the process, which can be done through, testimonial, research, test scores and attendance records, etc.
  • The learning environment is flexible and adaptable to multiple teaching/learning models. Describe how the learning environment:
    • Reflects and responds to the desired learning program
    • Supports a variety of Learning styles and methods for delivering instruction
    • Supports a "Learning anytime, anywhere" philosophy
    • Enables all Learners to be successful
    • Supports future changes in Educational delivery systems.
  • Site development is integral to the vision and goals of the community. Please include a site plan.
  • The project is sustainable in terms of the educational program, and ecology.

Entry Fee

The entry fee for each exhibit is $150 for members and $300 for non-members. This exhibit fee may be paid online or by check made to A4LE.

Checks should be mailed to:

Association for Learning Environments

11445 E. Via Linda, Ste. 2-440

Scottsdale, AZ 85259

Attn. Carla Cummins

Registration should be completed no later than Friday, February 21, 2020.

Project Dossier

To address the criteria and illustrate the successful story of your project, please assemble a PDF document of no more than 30-pages in length and no larger than 15 MB. Include as many photographs and/or images as necessary to illustrate and describe the process and overall project. Please avoid solicitation of any particular brand or firm involved in the project.

The dossier should include the following sections:

  • Executive Summary—describe the overall goals and outcomes of the project
  • Scope of Work and Budget
  • School & Community Engagement
    • Describe the Community
    • Identify stakeholders
    • Name challenges
    • Describe available assets
    • Describe value of process and project to community at large
  • Educational Environment
    • Explain the educational vision and goals of the school
    • Describe & illustrate how the environment supports the curriculum
    • Describe & illustrate how the environment supports a variety of learning & teaching styles
    • Describe & illustrate how the environment is adaptable and flexible
  • Physical Environment
    • Describe & illustrate the physical attributes of the environment
    • Describe & illustrate how the facility fits within the larger context of the community
    • Describe & illustrate how the project inspires and motivates
  • Results of the Process & Project
    • Explain how the project achieves educational goals and objectives
    • Explain how the project achieves school district goals
    • Explain how the project achieves community goals
    • Explain any unintended results and achievements of the process & project

Dossier Specifications

  • All dossier files should be in PDF format and not to exceed 15 MG. Files exceeding the 15 MG will not be submitted to the jury
  • Please use the name of the project as the file name. For example: Meadowlark Elementary School; Johnson Middle School-Major Addition; Big Brothers/Big Sisters Learning Center
  • Please insert electronic tabs for each section of the dossier so jurors can easily navigate through the information
  • Either portrait or landscape layout can be used. Please consider that many jurors will review the material in electronic format
  • Avoid using firm names and references from the descriptions


Registration deadline: Friday February 21, 2020

Submittal of entry materials: Friday March 6, 2020

Jury Review: March 6, 2020 to March 20, 2020

Display boards set up: Wednesday April 1, 2020

Display boards’ removal: Friday April 3, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.


March 18-20, 2021   Washington, D.C.

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