Local School Moves Towards Modern Classroom Layout

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-  More schools are moving away from the traditional classroom look and taking on a more modern layout. In the high school classrooms at Sioux Falls Christian Schools, they’ve created what they call a “21st Century Learning Area.”

In each class, students can choose from different types of seating. There’s hi-top coffee shop seating and rolly chairs. 

“There are kids that may have ADHD or have a need to move a little more than others, so the swivel chair allows that to happen,” said Superintendent Jay Woudstra.

There are also couches. 

“We know their learning styles are different and the atmosphere they learn in is different and so we want them comfortable,” said Woudstra. 

Administrators say students have reacted positively to the seating.

“If you get to sit in a classroom with couches, you would think there would be more difficulty with that, but the students are handling that very well,” said Woudstra. 

No teacher is the same as well. So all furniture is on wheels for flexibility. No classroom looks the same.

“A teacher can change a classroom in a matter of 30 seconds,” said Woudstra. 

The rooms are also designed so there is no front to the classroom. There are white boards and projectors on both sides of the room.

“Where the teacher can move wherever he or she wants. They can teach from the middle if they want. It’s all designed around student learning and we want the best atmosphere for student learning and that doesn’t always mean the teacher is talking for the entire time,” said Woudstra. 

Sometimes chairs will be moved into a circle so students can have a discussion with each other. 

Everything is also tech friendly. Outlets are accessible all around the classroom, so students can plug in their computers.

Administrators say this modern look will help prepare students for their future after highschool. 

“I think if you would go throughout businesses in our community even, you would see a lot of furniture like this, both in businesses and hospitals and we want our kids to become accustomed to living in this environment and learning and working in this environment,” said Woudstra. 

Outside the classrooms there’s also a collaboration space. There are different style chairs set up with tables made of white board material. Students can hangout there, write on the whiteboard table and work on projects together. Some of the seating is even set up around a fireplace. 

Categories: Education, Local News, News, News Top Story