The Association for Learning Environments believes that great schools begin with open dialog and deliberate planning. As such, the Association is committed to recognizing learning environments that positively affect the teaching and learning process while serving as an example of sound planning principles. They result in appropriate and effective design solutions that reflect the community to which they belong. These awards honor projects that stimulate systemic change in the educational system by addressing difficult questions, challenging the status quo, and raising expectations. They often embody great architectural design solutions, but their successful components and characteristics have been founded in an interactive process that engaged multiple stakeholders to create an educational environment that holds purpose and distinction within a community.