South plans to replace desks in classrooms, test effect on learning environment


Jacqueline DeWitt

TESTING CHANGES: As part of the new furniture pilot at South, seniors (left to right) Grace DuBois, Grace Pulos and Diana Perez participate in their classroom activity at desks that double as whiteboards.

Mary Grace Reynolds, staff reporters

GBS and GBN students will be running a trial of new desks from Feb. 21 to March 19 in preparation for their eventual placement in classrooms.

According to Michael Field, director of educational technology, during this trial period, various types of desks and tables will be evaluated by students. The feedback the students give will then determine which types of desks are purchased and put in the new classrooms.

“If we’re going to grow and progress the learning environment within our school and district we want to make sure that we have furniture that’s going to allow it,” Field said.

According to South Principal Lauren Fagel, the furniture that was selected to be in the trial was chosen to fit into the District’s’ 3-year technology vision. The technology vision is meant to make classrooms as engaging and advantageous as possible for students and teachers.

“[Getting new furniture for the classrooms] was just a natural next step,” Fagel said. “Last year, the district did a 3-year technology vision. In that vision, it talks about creating classrooms and other learning spaces that are conducive to using the technology.”

According to Field, the new furniture, once purchased, will not be put in every classroom. To compensate for increased enrollment, GBN and GBS will be adding and constructing classrooms in the schools over the next few years.

Additionally, if all goes well, there is a possibility that all of the the current desks at GBS and GBN will gradually be replaced.

According to South Senior Tori Lothian, replacing the desks might not be the best use of South’s resources.

“I think there are better ways that GBS can spend their money than on new desks,” Lothian said.

Partially disagreeing, South Sophomore Gracie Hambourger felt that replacing the desks and getting new desks for the classrooms could be very beneficial to students.

“I think that the desks in rooms right now are good but I think there can be improvements made because we have such a wide variety of students,” Hambourger said. “One standard type of desk might not always be sufficient.“

Field commented on how the furniture will serve as an improvement toward South.

“Teachers [are developing their students] collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity skills,” Field said. “Now we will have the furniture to enhance that experience.”