News & Insights

Back to School: How to Plan for Smaller Class Sizes and Portable Classrooms

Returning to the Classroom

With some schools returning to teaching in classrooms, COVID-19 has posed challenges that must be addressed. Due to social distancing guidelines, the need for desks to be six feet apart brings up questions for many schools about how to configure classrooms, overcome space constraints, and determine if portable classrooms are needed. Since many schools do not have the capacity to add more classrooms within the building, here are some best practices for determining how to maintain safe class sizes in your school.

Portable Classroom Considerations

1. Review your school's site plan.

Do you need portable classrooms or are there alternative ways you can house extra students within the existing school buildings? If your facility expansion plans have been put on hold due to lack of funding, could portable classrooms be used as a safe, temporary solution for students?

2. Consider students' needs.

Do you need water or sewer connected to the portable classrooms or are there facilities within close range that students can use? How old are the students in these classrooms? What classroom needs do you have (e.g. wheelchair ramps or ADA compliant layouts)?

3. Get creative with your portable classroom locations.

Do you have excess parking areas, fields, or recreation areas that can be temporarily repurposed for portable classrooms?

4. Create a classroom configuration plan and timeline.

What is the ideal layout of your portable classrooms? Work with your jurisdiction to plan a timeline for the necessary permits and construction.

5. Put security and safety measures in place.

Consider what kind of security you may need to put in place to protect children moving between the portable classrooms and the main building.

Speak with your neighborhood, municipality, Kimley-Horn K-12 consultants, and others who understand the diverse K-12 environment and site constraints, student calendar cycles, and funding mechanisms to ensure a smooth transition to portable classrooms.

Need assistance evaluating your school site’s unique characteristics? Contact your Kimley-Horn partner or get in touch with one of our K-12 specialists.


Get in touch with our K-12 consultants.