The Virginia Educational Facility Planners (VEFP) is the state chapter of the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE), a professional association whose sole mission is improving the places where children learn. A4LE members — individuals, institutions and corporations — are actively involved in planning, designing, building, equipping and maintaining schools and colleges. Learn more about A4LE on-line.
A Message from the President
Welcome to the VA4LE website. On this site, you will find a host of information pertaining to our organization and its professional develop opportunities. Our mission statement says it well. “To promote creative and responsible planning of school facilities, to foster professional development, and to exchange best practice knowledge of Virginia school facilities in order to provide the best possible learning environment for all students.”
Each year the Virginia Chapter of the Association for Learning Environments (VA4LE) holds 2 thought-provoking events; a mid-year conference held at a school within Virginia that exhibits best practices while discussing vital topics concerning education of students and an annual conference that pulls nationally and internationally significant speakers to discuss and collaborate with attendees on the theories, practices and outcomes of leading concepts of education and the design of buildings that support education.
This past year our mid-year conference was held at Charlottesville High School in Charlottesville, VA where the theme was Embracing STEM in K12. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Glen Bull, from the University of Virginia, as well as Matt Shields and Stephanie Grady, from Charlottesville HS and Buford MS presented their classroom experiences. In addition, Matt hosted a tour of a new state of the art STEM lab recently constructed with the school’s existing library. The lab demonstrated a best practice, not only in STEM education, but how a newly created space can be utilized by other curriculums within a comprehensive high school. Stephanie’s students were also able to demonstrate activities and knowledge for the VA4LE attendees pertaining to the middle school STEM curriculum.
At our annual conference held March 16-17th at the Williamsburg Lodge we learned from national and internationally acclaimed keynote speakers Frank Locker, who discussed High Performing Learning Places, Angela Maiers introduced the concept of Disruption by Design: Liberating the Genius of 21st Century Learners,and Alex Gilliam demonstrated how his work can merely Start with Building. As always, our break-out sessions provided a more hands-on, local experience covering new schools constructed in Virginia, design considerations for recently designed Virginia projects, product showcases, and the student design competition winners from Virginia's architectural schools.
Many of the things we do are assisted greatly by the help of our sponsors. The scrolling area to the left of this message will identify some of them from the past year. They, as is true of all our members, are interested in the success of students. They are an invaluable in helping school districts produce first class schools for Virginia’s current and future students.
So I invite everyone who is reading this to become involved with VA4LE. See why nearly 4,000 of your peers and colleagues nationally and over 100 firms or school districts in Virginia are part of the effort to produce cutting edge educational facilities for K-12 students.