Good data on charter school space usage can be hard to come by, but what we do know is that they are often working with smaller facilities and with less access to the financial resources that they need to get more space. There is a lot of discussion surrounding improving equitable access to financial resources for charter school facilities, however, the conversation we want to introduce is the potential for maximizing the existing facility a school already has to help bridge the resource gap.
An important starting point to the facility size discussion is that the amount of space a school has is not automatically a direct correlation to academic success. There are examples of excellent schools who operate with a comparatively small square foot per student, and vice versa with poor schools who operate with a ton of space per student. This strategy is not about cramming students in, but finding a ways to deliver the equal or better quality education in a more efficient footprint per student.
Successfully optimizing a school’s floor plan improves academic delivery and generally means there will be more financial resources for the school to reinvest in attracting and retaining quality staff as well as in programs and equipment to pursue the Academy mission.
So, before asking the question “how do I get more space” ask the question “how do I maximize the space I already have” which is by far an easier route for charter schools to take.
If you want advice or assistance from a space usage expert who has worked on these issues for over 100 charter schools and developed concepts for optimizing floor plans for dozens of them, reach out and ask for Dustin Sommer, our leading facilities expert. Dustin offers webinars on a variety of topics, explore this one deeper with his upcoming webinar this Spring and Summer of 2018 “Feeling the Squeeze? Space Use for Academic and Financial Success!” now with five dates offered.