APA Interest Group Incorporates Public Schools into Community Planning

APA's Public Schools Interest Group works to create stronger linkages between the planning profession and public school districts. Our mission is to support and strengthen public schools and, in so doing, create stronger neighborhoods and stronger cities.

Established in September 2015, our interest group has grown to 160 members and has held annual meetings at each APA National Planning Conference.

Thanks to our great members, we have also written three papers related to the role of planners in education, collaboration, and school choice. We are currently working on our fourth paper, which will provide a template for Master Plan Education Elements.

To learn more about our work, please take a look at our website, www.apapublicschools.org.

After three years, we are now ready to create a stronger presence within APA. Please take a few minutes to answer our short survey. To transition from an interest group to a full-fledged APA Division, we will need at least 300 APA members supporting division status.

As advocates for public schools, we believe it’s time for the planning profession to fully incorporate public schools into community planning. As N.L. Engelhardt said at the 1959 National Planning Conference, “It would be distinctly a national gain if community planning really began with the institutions of learning of people of all ages.”

Take Our Survey

As APA looks to improve equity in our urban and rural communities, we can no longer ignore our public schools. We must embrace our public school students, teachers, and parents as we try to create better, fairer, safer, and happier communities for everyone. Help us by completing our survey.

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Top image: Students learning at Faxon Elementary School in the Kansas City Public School District. Photo by Shannon Jaax.

About the Author
Candace H. Stowell, AICP, is an associate planner with the City of South Lake Tahoe, California. She cochairs the Public Schools Interest Group with Carrie Makerewicz, PhD; Shannon Jaax, AICP; and Mathew Palmer. Stowell is currently participating on the task force for APA's Equity Policy Guide.

November 26, 2018

By Candace Stowell, AICP