Beaufort Elementary students are getting a feel of what classrooms might look like throughout the school district if Prop Wildcats passes in April.
Principal Kendra Fennessey said the new “pilot classrooms” are an early look at a more mobile, technology driven classroom that helps teachers improve interactions between students.
“We kind of want to get our feet wet with it and see if it’s something really positive and hopefully, if the bonds passes, we could use those funds toward renovations of classrooms.”
The new classrooms were funded by a grant written by third-grade teacher Denise Greggor, and second-grade teacher Lynette Riechers who are now teaching their classes in the rooms. The two teachers, Fennessey said, wanted to have a classroom that pushed student to interact without having to move their desks.
Fennessey said with the increased collaboration between students in today’s teaching process, teachers are more actively moving desks around the room for increased interaction between students. She said this poses an issue when desks are bulky and house students’ things.
The new layout, which takes away individual desks and seats students at shared tables, opens up the room for more collaboration and interaction between students. Teachers, who once were tethered to a desk, now are equipped with mobile desks that can move around the room.
“It really opens the room up when you take the individual desks out and put the tables in,” Fennessey said.
While students’ supplies were once housed in their individual desk, cubbies have been installed in the classrooms, cutting down on clutter at desks.
Teachers’ mobile desks are wirelessly connected to the school’s server and the room’s smart TV projector. Fennessey said the pilot classroom teachers can project lessons from their laptop to a projector to better share lessons with students.
Prop Wildcats, if passed, will not only fund the construction of a new elementary school and several additions and renovations at other schools, but also fund technology and security upgrades throughout the district.
Fennessey said while the new furniture for the Beaufort classrooms was already being funded through the grant, Superintendent Dr. Steve Weinhold was interested in the new setup.
“They were looking at doing some reconfiguration with tables. Dr. Weinhold said we should set up some model rooms with a table setup so we can kind of live it before overhauling everything,” Fennessey said.
Weinhold said it’s a good way to get a preview to what renovated rooms, and the new rooms at the proposed new elementary schools might look like.
Prop Wildcats will be on the April ballot and will ask voters to approve a $20 million no-tax increase bond.