How do improved school buildings contribute to student achievement?

Updated: Aug 5, 2020

Research findings are clear: Quality school buildings contribute to higher student achievement.

  • Flexible settings will support project-based work, cooperative/collaborative learning, peer tutoring, group projects, problem solving, and movement. (21st Century Skills; The New Learning Environment, Bob Pearlman.)

  • Students exposed to more natural light (sunlight) in their classrooms progressed faster, academically, than students exposed to less natural light. (Center for Evaluation and Education Analysis.)

  • Studies have concluded that students perform higher on math and reading tests when extraneous noise levels are minimized. (Green Schools National Network: Attributes For Health and Learning.)

  • Upgrades to heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems correlate significantly with thermal comfort and students’ measurable academic achievement. (School Facility Conditions and Student Academic Achievement, Earthman.)

  • When students feel safe, they are better able to focus on learning, which in turn leads to increased academic achievement. (Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools.)

In Addition:

The Jacksonville Public Education Foundation recently released a report on the connection between student achievement and school facilities. You can download it here:

In Summary:

Quality school buildings have a direct, positive, and measurable impact on student performance when:

  • They are built to maximize student security and safety in today’s unpredictable world. When students know they are in a safe space, they can better focus on learning and will attend school regularly.

  • They offer learning spaces that are inviting, flexible, comfortable and meet their 21st century learning needs.

  • They provide light, acoustics, ventilation, and air quality that directly impact learning.

  • They provide technology and technology integration that optimize instruction and prepares students for today’s workplace.

  • They communicate to students that their community values education.

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