Welcome to the American Planning Association Public Schools Interest Group!  This APA Interest Group was created to allow community planners to collaborate and share perspectives about public schools.  We welcome new members, so please contact us if you would like to be involved in this group.  



The APA Public Schools Interest Group was established in September 2015 for community planners working as practicing planners or as academics who wish to create stronger linkages between public school districts and local planning departments. Issues such as homelessness, poverty, inadequate health care, crime, poor transportation choices, and increasing racial segregation create significant disadvantages for students.  If planners want to create great communities, they need to help create great public schools as well.  Great public schools can only happen if planners are addressing these other school related issues in cooperation with their local school districts.  The APA Public Schools Interest Group includes professional planners who work for local public school districts, planning professors who are experts in education, transportation, and housing, as well as private and public sector planners.  The current Co-Chairs are Shannon Jaax, AICP, Carrie Makarewicz, Ph.D., Mathew Palmer,  and Candace H. Stowell, AICP.  


This interest group is affiliated with the American Planning Association (APA) but does not require membership in APA or membership dues.  As of July 1, 2018, there are 150 members.


Shannon Jaax, AICP, currently serves as the Director of Planning and Real Estate for Kansas City Public Schools.  Shannon currently serves on APA's National Planning Conference Committee and the Legislative and Policy Committee.  She also served as President of the APA Missouri Chapter (2015-2016).

Shannon Jaax, AICP

Carrie Makarewicz, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Denver in the Department of Planning & Design in the College of Architecture and Planning. Her research is on community and economic development, and the consequences for human development and social mobility.

Carrie Makarewicz, Ph.D.

Mathew Palmer is a Research Scholar at North Carolina State University within the Institute for Transportation Research and Education, where he leads national, state, and local research efforts in understanding school transportation, land use planning and education policy.

Mathew Palmer

Candace H. Stowell, AICP is an Associate Planner with the City of South Lake Tahoe, CA.  She served as the Chair of the APA Housing and Community Development Division from 2004-2008 and is currently participating on the task force for the APA Equity Policy Guide.  Candace served as a School Board Trustee for the Carson City School District from June 2013 to December 2014 and as a Carson City Planning Commissioner from June 2017 to July 2018. 

Candace H. Stowell, AICP

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