FRIDAY | APRIL 3, 2020
10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
Room: Rock Creek
Two years ago, the Select Committee on School Safety was formed in the Virginia House of Delegates to evaluate emergency preparedness, school security infrastructure, and prevention protocols for K-12 schools across Virginia. As part of this initiative, AIA Virginia, with a team of architects, contributed research and best practices for safeguarding the health, safety, and welfare of the public through the Infrastructure and Security Subcommittee of the Select Committee on School Safety. Many of these recommendations were incorporated into the House Select Committee’s finalized recommendations that launched in 2019 and are being considered for expansion in 2020. These strategies advocate for a balanced approach for creating secure schools and a secure future. While buildings cannot prevent violence, they can – through a balance of physical and programmatic hardening and softening strategies – responsibly contribute to a sense of belonging, identity, and psychological security. Featuring owner feedback as well as strategies from the renovation of Bedford County Public Schools’ Forest Middle School, this session will explore 13 design principles that support safety and security for school communities through a mix of hardening and softening strategies:
Beyond good design theories and practices, it takes a holistic mix of industries and services – bolstered by awareness, advocacy, and investment – to advance commitments to training, procedure development, mental health services, and other school resources. We hope this session offers a series of implementable design strategies that can be easily adapted by school districts across the country, with the encouragement that they be personalized for the specific needs – social, emotional, psychological, and economical – of a community and its community of learners.
Appendix of 13 Design Strategies for Safer Schools: