Module 6: Schools

At a glance

This module helps users to assess the plans, policies, environments, and resources specific to the school setting, the built environment outside of the school, and connecting the school with other places.

Boy running with backpack on

About this module

Who should be involved: Technical experts with knowledge of the school district's plans and policies. This specifically includes experts in:

  • The school district.
  • Planning.
  • Facilities management.
  • Transportation.

Time to complete: It will take approximately 30 minutes to complete Module 6.

Special notes on Module 6

Base your responses on only one school district. If more than one school district is of interest, consider completing Module 6 separately for each district.

Keep in mind that school district boundaries may be different than municipal boundaries.

Module 6 covers plans, policies, environments, and resources specifically related to school siting and connecting schools with other places.

This module does not address physical activity, physical education policies, or the quality of programming within schools. While these are important factors to consider, they are beyond the scope of this tool.

For engineering-related plans, policies, and resources to improve the built environment around the school and promote walking and bicycling, consult Module 2: Infrastructure to Accommodate Pedestrians and Bicyclists.

Terms and definitions

Comprehensive plan: An official statement adopted by a local governing body. This statement sets forth (in words, maps, illustrations, and/or tables) goals, policies, and guidelines intended to direct the present and future physical, social, and economic development that occurs within its planning jurisdiction. This includes a unified physical design for the public and private development of land.

Full life cycle cost: An economic method of assessing the total cost of facility ownership. This includes costs related to owning, constructing, operating, maintaining, and disposing of the facility.

Safe Routes to School: Also referred to as active travel to school. This intervention to encourage children and their caregivers to walk or bicycle safely to/from school must include one or more of the following:

  • Engineering.
  • Education.
  • Encouragement.
  • Enforcement.

The intervention may also include evaluation and equal access to these routes.

School siting: The process of selecting locations in the community for new schools. School siting takes the following into account:

  • Community land use patterns.
  • Infrastructure needs.
  • Environmental hazards.
  • Other issues, such as cost implications, proximity to student housing, and transportation.