Heritage Oak School: From Obscurity to International Recognition--A Historical Case Study in Participatory School Facility Planning.

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This case study describes the planning and design process for the Heritage Oak Elementary School in Dry Creek Joint School District. It discusses the rapid residential growth that initiated the school planning process to reconfigure the K-8 self-contained classrooms into elementary schools that contained kindergarten through fifth-grade and middle schools for the remaining sixth- through eighth-grade students. Also described is the reconfiguration of the traditional 9-month calender to a multi-track year-round calendar, and the joint planning of school sites with the park systems in the school district. Major elements of the planning process discussed are the Board of Trustees' commitment to build community-based schools, community participation in the instructional program design, a comprehensive district facilities master plan, educational specifications designed to the district curriculum, and a participatory design process. The case study demonstrates that the process used to plan and design the school was effective in providing a school facility that met the school district's program needs, school staff, and school community.
Lee, Kelvin K.
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