The Office of Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs, Office of Facilities, Property, and Safety Management seeks Tribal and stakeholder input to update the March 2007, School Facilities Design Handbook. The primary goals of that handbook, and the School Facilities Space Templates, were to design facilities reflecting the importance of cultural expression; equality of educational environment among schools; sustainable design by incorporating the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program; and standardizing individual spaces without dictating building aesthetics.

Fifteen years later, we recognize we can improve our approach, while maintaining the original goals to ensure modern, high-quality, and safe educational facilities that are culturally adaptive and in keeping with national codes and standards, and while also allowing for flexibility to adapt to changing needs.

The Office of Facilities, Property, Safety and Management proposes to move from the current prescriptive format to a more performance-based approach to allow more flexibility in the design of education facilities while still incorporating reference to the current standards, codes and regulations. To help develop specific changes, we request input on the following areas:

  • What areas would additional flexibility be helpful, for example, providing breakout areas for flexible learning spaces, providing spaces that can be quickly and easily adapted by teachers and students or pursuing higher utilization of large, single-use spaces?
  • What factors should we take into account regarding emerging trends in Indian Country that impact should school design?
  • What are the highest priority considerations for design of the new schools?

This consultation session provides the opportunity for the Tribes to provide input, comment on, raise concerns and make suggestions to guide us before we begin updating the Design Handbook. The current version of the Design Handbook can be accessed at the following link:

Please submit your written input by August 1, 2022, to If you have any questions, please contact Judith Wilson, Director, Office of Facilities, Property and Safety Management, by email at, or by phone at (703) 390-6314.


  • 25


    Tribal consultation session Online


    • Start and End Date(s)
      Start and End Date(s): Mon, Jul 25, 2022
    • Time
      Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Eastern (ET)

Comment Deadline

Additional Information

Contact Us

Judith Wilson, Director, Office of Facilities, Property and Safety Management