The scope of services offered by IDA (formerly Ingraham Planning Associates (IPA) and AIDES) encompasses: long-range master planning, including community and demographic analysis; instructional program development and staffing; facility inventory and evaluation; site development and physical planning; and financial analysis and fiscal planning. For many years, staff members have specialized in “converting programs/curriculum into space” through the development of programming specifications for facilities.

School Facilities Master Planning / Feasibility Studies

The primary objective of school facilities master planning project is to gather and analyze relevant educational data while developing a framework of alternatives for facilities utilization and renovation.

In general, a School Facilities Master Plan/Feasibility Study is concerned with broad areas related to general population and student enrollment, instructional programs and functional capacity, and facilities physical condition and educational adequacy. In short, a master planning effort will focus on:

  • The number of pupils in each school attendance area within the school district, as well as general population trends;
  • Evaluation of the grade educational structures in regard to building efficiency usage and instructional effectiveness.
  • Review of the school district’s academic programs to determine the types and sizes of instructional spaces and support facilities that are (or will be) required for the projected enrollment at each school;
  • Inventory and evaluation of the educational adequacy and functional capacity of existing school buildings and sites;
  • Comparisons between existing school inventories and identified program requirements for educational facilities to accommodate the students in the defined instructional programs of the school district.
  • Integration of all information into several alternatives (scenarios) for future remodeling and/or additions to the School District, including the financial impact of each alternative.

All information is developed, organized, and documented in a manner and format so that the final materials will serve as a basic reference in the future. This process data will allow those responsible for guiding the educational entities to make appropriate decisions based on the most recent information available.

Demographic / Enrollment Project Studies

The Ingraham Dancu Associates (IDA) Model for Projecting Future School Enrollments (MPFSE) is a process that combines use of many facets of standard enrollment projection techniques with insights gained by an experienced observer of economic and social characteristics and consequent residential developments in the ‘community’ for which the projections are prepared. The essential elements of the process are:

  1. Obtaining an understanding of the standard measures of community growth/change and development, such as those items included in a regional development plan. Usually included are measures of size, census of population and potential growth, holding capacity of land, historical and projected population, employment opportunities and prognosis for continued economic development, roads and highways, public services and utilities, etc.
  2. Obtaining and formatting historical birth and enrollment data in the proprietary IDA computer model, and obtaining preliminary printouts for analysis by the consultant team familiar with the demographic and economic characteristics of the community. This initial input involves setup of data input equal to the number of school attendance units plus an overall district wide summary that can be drawn from the school-by-school entries as follows:
    • For individual school units, it is necessary to list enrollment by year and by grade for at least eleven years, or for as long as the school has operated within the past eleven years. Annotation of special circumstances may be required — such as grade level organization changes or changes in attendance area due to new school openings or other factors.
    • The district wide summary of historical data is accumulated from the individual school units. Also included in the district wide summary is the demographic history of live births, as obtained from other agencies. A 15 year history of births is required for the development of proper historical ratios, and for the projection to primary grade enrollments for the coming five years.
  3. The enrollment projections are reviewed by the consultant team that then selects the set of projections most appropriate to their understanding of the circumstances extant in the community. Projections for individual school units are then aggregated into a district wide overview and compared, by grade and by year.

This process of combining thorough analyses of community development with standardized statistical procedures has been developed and reshaped by the IDA staff while consulting with school systems across the Nation since 1962. Actual experience reflects the success of using these techniques that are based on the analysis by the consultant team and supplemented by local residents.

Educational Specifications

Educational Specifications is a document that incorporates instructional program information and objectives, along with analyses of existing and projected enrollment, required land, and facility resources. IDA consultant’s efforts are planned to develop the Educational Specifications documentation through detailed dialogue and interaction on-site with the school’s staff, constituencies and (if available) the district architect.

Task elements to complete an educational specifications document begins with gathering background information that constitutes the data base for the planning study. This information includes scope and sequence of courses and requirements, school policies, extracurricular program information, historical enrollment data, student grouping practices, and class participation data.

The first steps in the development process are to prepare overview of educational program to be accommodated in new facility. This is accomplished by reviewing all available documentation concerning program offerings and requirements, school policies, extracurricular programs enrollment trends. Narrative and statistical justification for all spaces needed for the instructional programs occurring and projected to occur would be a sector of this development. The narrative each area would include detailed description of each instructional or activity space in terms of:

  • name, function, and type of space
  • approximate net assignable square footage
  • capacity
  • special design considerations
  • functional relationships between spaces

A graphic illustration of desired general area relationships accompanies each detailed space narrative.