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|Wichita Public Schools District Expands Partnership with School Specialty to Bring More Modern, 21st Century Learning Spaces to Students|
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/eb6ef406-b1c1-4f63-94f8-3857f2b00e2b
For the initial 2016 project, School Specialty and its Projects by Design (PbD) group focused on modeling two classrooms at L’Ouverture (second and fifth grades). This included installing flexible and mobile seating options that could transform the traditional and typically rigid environment into a more modern setting, adaptable to different teaching and learning styles. The versatile furnishings were so well received by faculty and students that the district expanded the project to another sixteen K-5 classrooms, as well as the library in 2017.
Following a federal grant secured by the district’s magnet schools department, a portion was designated for classroom enhancements, with the objective of supporting a “deskless” environment that promoted more student movement for learning and enabling teachers to utilize various instructional methods for greater collaboration, communication, creativity and critical-thinking. At L’Ouverture, they wanted students to have the option to sit where it was most conducive for their learning – and not be restricted by the stationary desk and chair layout typical of a traditional classroom setting. This could only be achieved with the appropriate furniture and equipment.
“Our School Specialty team met with
“We assisted the L’Ouverture team with identifying certain furniture options – type, size, color – that would be most beneficial to their goals and consulted directly with teachers to determine what they hoped to accomplish for their students,” continued Wade Seeley, School Specialty’s Market Development Manager, Furniture and Equipment. “Chiefly, administrators were seeking flexible and mobile furnishings that would give them the ability to shift instructional methods according to learning needs and on a continuous basis. As partners, we were committed to developing more contemporary educational spaces that would benefit both the
School Specialty and Projects by Design provided a combination of solutions from its Classroom Select line, including NeoMove™ and NeoRock™ furniture, as well as products from vendor partners such as Smith System, MiEN and Media Technologies. NeoMove™ and NeoRok™ seating enable students to move gently (forward, backward or side-to-side), promoting a calming effect and encouraging them to concentrate. This is especially beneficial for students with special needs, for whom sitting still can be a challenge and distraction.
“Since outfitting our classroom with the new furniture, it has been a game changer,” stated Candice Ulbrich, fifth grade teacher. “The kids absolutely love the different seating choices; instead of sitting at their desks for several hours, they’re able to move around more and interact with their classmates to share views and ideas. Already I’ve seen notable changes in behavior and attitudes as students come in very excited and eager to learn every day. As their teacher, I’m also able to walk around the classroom more easily and hear all the conversations. It’s just a more comfortable and open environment that can support whatever form of instruction that’s appropriate or whatever learning needs there are for all my students.”
“We must commend the SSI/PbD team for giving us the blueprint to be truly deskless. As a tech-focused school, we had this notion of creating a ‘deskless’ environment that would be flexible and collaborative. Yet, there was a lot that we didn’t know about effectively executing this concept and the SSI team worked closely to see us through the process,” said Stephanie Doshier, Grant and Curriculum Facilitator. “It has been a huge learning experience; we understand the importance of providing a classroom setting where all children can learn and one that can grow with changing requirements. We’re hearing students say how much they love their classrooms and being able to engage more with their peers and teachers comfortably and securely. On the professional development side, the makeover has positively impacted the teaching approach, as our faculty members look more thoughtfully at lesson plans and expand their mindset. We’re proud of the results and excited by the constructive feedback from other local and national school districts that are paying attention to L’Ouverture’s 21st century transformation.”
In related news, L’Ouverture Career Explorations and Technology Magnet School was most recently recognized as a trailblazer in education. Principal Greg Croomes and Teacher Stephanie Doshier were both honored with the National Principal and National Teacher of the Year awards for Region VII, given by Magnet Schools of America. For more information about these honors, please go to https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=T5yrlwyUoyI and see Principal Croomes and Teacher Doshier share more about their vision and achievements.
Company Contact: Andrea Johnson Director of Marketing – Early Childhood and F&E Tel: 920-740-2361 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Media Contacts: Glenn Wiener and Dionne Manchester