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  • Writer's pictureKayla Miller

Elementary students sample future of learning classroom furniture

The freedom to move is the new name of the game in elementary education. 

Jeremy Zonts, principal of Haverhill Elementary School, said experts in education know now that elementary students need to have the freedom to move their bodies while learning in class.

Every day, students in 2nd grade at Haverhill can choose which type of seating they prefer for the activity. They can even switch when moving from one classroom activity to another, he said. 

Students can choose from traditional chairs, wobbly stools, rocking chairs and floor cushions, among others. But, regardless of whether it’s a wobbly stool or rocking chair, Zonts said the ability to move while learning is revolutionizing students’ attention spans and behaviors in the classrooms. 

The pilot furniture is being tested at both Haverhill and Central elementary schools ahead of the opening of the new buildings in 2025. The schools are trying out a variety of furniture types to figure out what works best in the learning environments. 

Other classroom furniture such as bookshelves, storage containers and desks are on casters and can be moved freely to fit the activity of the hour, Zonts said. The new buildings will feature shared spaces for each grade level where teachers can work collaboratively on lessons for multiple classes. Moveable furniture makes this process easier. 

Another change being piloted is carpeting the classrooms at the elementary schools, Zonts said, which has been a game changer for flexible seating and learning. Students can work in a variety of positions that fit them best. All the classrooms in the new buildings will be carpeted, he said. 

The decision on what furniture will be included in the new Central and Haverhill schools will be made in the fall, said Assistant Superintendent of Operations Johnny Edwards. Staff and students will be surveyed and interviewed to offer their real experience working and learning on the classroom furniture. 

The new Central and Haverhill elementary schools are being built as part of the Building the Future of Learning Elementary project, which was made possible by the 2021 bond.



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