Out of the Pandemic: A Forum on Visionary Policies for Safe, Healthy, and Green Schools and Colleges
Thursday, June 3, 2021, 4 – 5:30pm
Hosted by UMass Amherst Department of Architecture
Sponsored by the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) and the American Institute of Architects Massachusetts (AIA Massachusetts)
Before the pandemic Massachusetts students walked into schools of vastly different conditions, reproducing in architecture the enormous inequality that is a defining feature of our State. The distance between the investment in schools in our most and least privileged districts is as wide as in any state. The pandemic has only exacerbated these inequities.
The problems of reopening are many. Is there enough space to accommodate our students and educators safely? Does the ventilation system provide sufficient amounts of fresh air? Is there working heating and cooling? Is there green space for outdoor activities? Are schools designed to mitigate external noise? Are our schools needlessly contributing to our overall carbon footprint?
For students who live in our less-resourced districts, home to the majority of our low-income students and many of our students of color, the answer to all of those questions is often no. But the problems of our school buildings have solutions — in design, in safe and healthy building standards, and in enforcement of standards and codes.
In this hour and a half conversation key leaders representing school administrators, public health advocates, teachers, environmentalists and members of the Massachusetts Legislature will explore proposed legislation and investment opportunities that can achieve the safe, healthy and green schools Massachusetts students need. They will take questions and brainstorm ideas for better architecture and better policy.