All schools are investments in the future. Doesn't it make sense to invest in a building that will stand the test of time instead of continuing to produce the same, tired, ill-designed buildings simply because that's the way it's always been done? School districts have only one budget for a school - doesn't it make more sense to use that money on better facilities that improve learning while saving energy, resources and money?
There are other benefits as well:
- High performance schools have shown higher student test scores because a better physical facility - one with great acoustics, lighting, indoor air quality - delivers better student outcomes.
- High performance schools provide superior indoor air quality by controlling sources of contaminants and supplying proper ventilation, resulting in fewer student sick days and increased average daily attendance. Since a majority of a school's operating budget is directly dependent on average daily attendance, even a small increase can significantly boost the operating budget.
- High performance schools are specifically designed to reduce operating costs and to use less water and energy. They are easier to maintain. This means more money into the school's coffers for such important items as books and salaries.
- High performance schools are good environmental citizens: they reduce environmental impacts by being water and energy efficient and use durable, non-toxic, recycled materials.
- High performance schools are designed to be pleasant and effective places to work. As a result, they increase teacher satisfaction - an important factor in recruiting and retaining teachers in today's job market.
- High performance schools can be a community resource, with a high level of parent and community involvement. They offer buildings that demonstrate concepts about energy, water, efficiency, sustainability and the environment.
The Collaborative for High Performance Schools www.CHPS.net brings together stakeholders from utility, government and non-profit organizations. Each of these groups has its own set of needs and concerns when it comes to meeting the demand for new and improved school facilities, but they all agree on one thing - a high performance school is today's smart investment for the future.