Model School Program

Savings Through Innovation

The Model School Program seeks to effectively adapt and re-use the design of successful, recently constructed elementary, middle and high schools. Model Schools are efficient in design and easy to maintain, contain optimal classroom and science lab space, can easily accommodate higher or lower enrollments, incorporate sustainable, “green” design elements when possible and are flexible in educational programming spaces while encouraging community use. 

Districts participating in the Model School Program are eligible to receive five additional percentage points which are added to the base rate of MSBA reimbursement. In the current economy, the savings and higher reimbursements can mean the difference between a school district being able to afford a new facility and being forced to continue using a deficient one.

Goals of the MSBA’s Model School Program

  • Maximize value of existing, proven school designs and best practices
  • Encourage schools that reflect enduring and educationally sound designs
  • Allow for compressed project schedules and accelerated construction start times, thus reducing uncertainty of inflation in construction and project cost
  • Shorten and streamline the design process to reduce design fees
  • Enhance predictability of project costs and performance resulting in improved quality control and reduced change orders
  • Provide opportunity for districts to experience the model before selecting a design

Model School Selection Criteria

  • Environmental quality
  • Natural light
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • General conformance to MSBA guidelines

Board-approved participating Model Schools

  • Ashland High School
  • Bourne - Bournedale Elementary School
  • Dover - Chickering Elementary School
  • Fairhaven - East Fairhaven Elementary School
  • Groton, CT - Northeast Academy Elementary School
  • Hudson High School
  • Ipswich Middle/High School
  • Lanesborough Elementary School
  • Lynnfield Middle School
  • Manchester-Essex Middle/High School
  • New Bedford - Lincoln Elementary School
  • Shrewsbury High School
  • Whitman-Hanson Regional High School
  • Williamstown Elementary School
  • Winthrop - Fort Banks Elementary School
  • Woburn - Malcolm White Elementary School

Districts participating in the Model School Program

  • Douglas Elementary School
  • Duxbury Middle/High School
  • East Bridgewater High School
  • Fairhaven - Leroy Wood Elementary School
  • Franklin High School
  • Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District - Minnechaug High School
  • Monomoy Regional High School
  • Hingham Middle School
  • Marshfield High School
  • Natick High School
  • Newburyport - Bresnahan Elementary School
  • Norwood High School
  • Plymouth North High School
  • Quincy Middle School
  • Somerset-Berkley Regional High School
  • Tewksbury Memorial High School
  • West Springfield High School
  • Westfield - Abner Gibbs Elementary School

View the MSBA's Response to the Editor of the Boston Globe Regarding an Article on the Model School Program

Model School Program Task Force

The Model School Task Force was created to provide recommendations for supplementing and improving the Model School Program.


Case Study: Williamstown Elementary School


The Williamstown Elementary School is designed for 600 students and serves students from preschool to 6th grade. This school is equipped with small group learning spaces and combined classroom options that allow for a positive learning and teaching environment. This proven design includes simplicity and flexibility in a well-organized floor plan that accommodates both student and teacher needs. The school’s design allows for flexibility within a given site and can adapt to the student enrollment as needed. The school’s configuration takes advantage of natural light and provides viewing opportunities to the outside. The Williamstown Elementary School is an example of a Model School that represents a proven design that can endure over time while providing a consistent positive learning environment for the future.





Case Study:  East Fairhaven Elementary School

The East Fairhaven Elementary School serves students from preschool to 5th grade and is designed for 475 students. The school’s design provides adaptability for various sites and can accommodate for student enrollment as needed. With cost-effective construction and simple design features this Model School provides a predictability of project cost and performance. The school’s program takes advantage of natural light through the orientation of classrooms, which enhances the quality of teaching spaces and provides a positive learning environment. East Fairhaven Elementary School provides a sound design for the education of students through the use of interior finishes that are straightforward and direct, combined with the simplicity of the school's design.