Welcome & Scope

  • The MCPS Facility Strategic Plan Initiative 

    MCPS is collaborating with CTA Architects and its associated partners to develop a facilities strategic plan that will guide the management and improvement of district-wide facilities and properties for the next 15 years. 

    The district embarked on an extensive planning process during the 2010-11 school year to identify key elements of an educational model that would successfully prepare students for 21st century careers and life challenges. Through this process, a new model of teaching and learning emerged that is supported by five key elements - increase student engagement, transform learning environments, support innovators in the system, personalize professional growth for educators, enhance communications and collaborate to make decisions. This is the district's 21st Century Model of Education.

    lowell school
    MCPS has implemented several new programs and services since 2011 that are impacting the delivery of education in existing school facilities. To address the inadequacies of these facilities in regard to the increasing demand for more effective teaching spaces, better use of technology, and a greater understanding of quality learning environments, MCPS will develop this comprehensive long term facilities plan to guide the management and improvement of district-wide facilities and properties. 
    Project Background 
    MCPS published a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the facilities plan project in late spring 2012 to invite proposals from qualified companies throughout the United States. The RFQ summarized the need to establish a comprehensive facilities plan that would identify 5, 10 and 15 year recommendations for new construction, expansion, renovation and/or other options for buildings and properties in support of the educational vision developed through the 21st Century Initiative. The plan would also identify the necessary technology infrastructure and backbone that will be required in buildings to support the integration of existing and emerging technologies into classrooms.
    school hallway

    A district screening committee interviewed companies that submitted proposals in response to the RFQ. In the summer of 2012, the committee selected CTA Architects Engineers to oversee the development of the plan; CTA identified other partners in its proposal, including WGM Group and others. The district negotiated the final scope and timeline for the project with CTA in fall and early winter 2012. The project was finally awarded to CTA by the Board of Trustees in March 2013 and the first phase of the project - collection of data - was launched in April 2013. The project will be guided by a district steering committee of more than 30 individuals representing a broad spectrum of stakeholders. Several additional meetings will be held in fall 2013 to involve additional staff, students, parents and community members in the planning process.

    Project Scope & Timeline 

    MCPS has initiated the Long Range Facility Plan process to be facilitated by CTA and team members WGM, Partners Creative, McKibben Demographics, Fielding Nair International, Presidio & McKinstry. 

    The planning process is dynamic, creative and engaging.  It builds upon the MCPS’s 21st Century Initiatives and focuses on education first, then facilities. 

    The process has 5 steps: 

    • (prepare):  April-August 2013
    • ASSESS:  October 2013
    • EXPLORE:  November 2013
    • APPLY:  January - February 2014
    • (report): Winter-Spring 2014
    The team is currently in the prepare phase, gathering and organizing information and data about facilities, sites, school profiles, safety, community demographics and more. 

    The work of the team is guided by a steering committee of diverse community & school representatives.

    During the ASSESS, EXPLORE & APPLY phases, meaningful community engagement will take place in two forms.

    Formation of Education Innovation Teams for each school including Jefferson & Dickinson.  The Education Innovation Teams will be active participants in half-day and day-long workshops in September, October & November.  No group of individuals will be asked to commit more than 1 ½ days of time during the ASSESS phase and one day during the EXPLORE & APPLY phases (in half day segments).

    Education Innovation Team members will be asked to share their insights during Community Listening Sessions mid-week during each of the three planning workshops.  This provides the community at large to hear about the work of the Education Innovation Teams from their peers and to assure that the Education Innovation Teams do not get too far ahead of the community at large.

    The ASSESS phase focuses on current educational practices and the future of learning.  Topics include understanding MCPS’s 21st Century Initiatives, considering the impacts of school size, grade groupings, project based learning, time & technology.  Each of these important educational issues ultimately has an impact on facilities.

    The EXPLORE phase examines the world beyond Missoula, facility impacts of learning modalities, school organization and key facility program elements.

    The APPLY phase builds upon knowledge gained in the previous workshops and uses the guiding principles identified in each exercise to evaluate a range of alternatives developed for each school site.  Options typically include:

                Option B: Business as Usual 

                Option L: Light Touch 

                Option O: Out of the Box 

                Option R: Realign & Relocate 

                Option S: Start Over

    The report phase synthesizes the insights of the Community at Large, the Education Innovation Teams and the Steering Committee and results in the identification of preferred alternatives for each school site with 5, 10 & 15 year implementation plans.

    Thank you for your support of the planning process.