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Back to School Facilities Tool Kit

The Brooklyn LAB Back to School Facilities Tool Kit design process began by listening to and incorporating insights from a range of stakeholders, including families, public health experts, students, teachers, parents, guardians, and peer schools.

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Together, LABUPCGensler, PBDW, PSF Projects, SITU, and WXY developed a Tool Kit consistent with Center for Disease Control and The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) recommendations that explores:

Mapping a safe journey from home to the school

The first set of ideas is guided by shared concerns of families, students, staff members, and community stakeholders about maintaining health and safety from the time individuals leave their front doors through the arrival and entry process, taking into consideration the very real egress challenges LAB and many other schools face. 

Upgrading the school

The second set of ideas focuses on practical and feasible re-mapping of classrooms, breakout rooms, and common spaces to comply with social distancing requirements.


We are sharing this at the “solution generation” point in the design cycle to invite you to:

  • Provide feedback via a survey to benefit from the insights, concerns, and recommendations.

  • Register for a focus group conversation

  • Share the V1 Back to School Facilities Toolkit with leaders in your school community, reviewing the relevance of questions and solutions developed in relation to the Brooklyn LAB facility to your own context. 

  • Reach out to offer input or propose ways that we might work together to move this agenda forward in communities around the country.


Digital Promise sponsored an edWebinar on The Back to School Facilities Tool Kit. Leaders of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools (LAB), in New York City, discussed key questions we must all consider as we begin the journey back to school – from the school bus ride to the dismissal bell. While some challenges remain outside of the purview of the education system, both the AFT and LAB have described a range of issues to be considered and offered solutions on what schools need to do to offer a safe environment for teaching and learning.

Watch the webinar recoding here!


"V1 is a starting point for our community to begin discussions and further iteration. It explores the plausibility of particular approaches to reopening. This working example also aims to address group questions about feasibility, workability, and effectiveness of  specific approaches."

“This version emphasizes the process of working through the challenge of re-entry. The annotated examples and contextual framing establish a starting point, from which students, families, and staff are invited to engage and provide feedback.” 

Sheryl Gomez, LAB Chief Financial Officer

Aaron Daly, LAB Chief Operating Officer

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