Flexible seating pilot’s approval soars


Kennedy Sheriff, Reporter

Big Spring High School welcomes a new flexible seating pilot in order to allow more personalized learning throughout this year, and potentially years into the future. The seating is seemingly very popular among all ages of students in the high school. “I enjoy options to students and their personalized  how comfortable it is, and the options it gives us,” said Bailey Gutshall, freshman. Flexible seating brings forward new ways to go through class including, couches, bean bag chairs, bar stools accompanied by high tables, standing desks, and regular seating options in many classrooms.

“Traditional classroom furniture doesn’t always support innovative and engaging learning activities teachers want to use in the classroom,” said Robyn Euker, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction. The purpose of the pilot is to help teachers accommodate to different students needs, and to “explore how furniture can support personalized learning,” said Euker. Bentli Burke, senior, said, “If used in the correct way the seating could definitely be beneficial to a class.”

The seating was voted on in the May 21 School Board Meeting, and it was unanimously voted (9-0) that the seating pilot would begin. There are 24 participating teachers throughout the high school and middle school. Each teacher was given a $3,000 grant. Overall, the pilot cost $62,000, coming from the Capital Project Reserve fund. The furniture came from Tanner Furniture of Harrisburg.

Laura LaRose, Spanish teacher at the high school, said this on why she chose to participate. “I think in language classes especially it was really important to me that moving around and having room for projects is possible. The seating really facilitates collaboration.” She also elaborates on how at first, it was just an idea, but approval and excitement built among teachers after the pilot was approved.

One potential problem with the seating is that it could pose a distraction to students. “Anything’s a distraction to kids in our grade,” said Lexi Trimble, a freshman. LaRose points out that it has already become a motivating factor for chattier classes.

Students also agree on the fact that regular seating should be available in all of the classes. The regular seating could be used for students who are distracted by the new seating, or for those who simply prefer it. “Regular seating should definitely be an option in each class, but I think that flexible seating should be in all classes,” said Bailey Gutshall, freshman.

The only other concern is that there won’t be enough of the seating available! Makhyla Hockley touched on this subject, and said, “There should be the opportunity for all students to use it.” Some students don’t have any of the seating in their classrooms, and think that it should be implemented into all classrooms in the future.”

LaRose agrees that it should continue in the future. She said, “For a high school to model the real world is important, and it engages.”