Updated flexible seating options for the Weatherford Independent School Districts’ libraries was approved at a board of trustees meeting Monday evening.
The $100,000 investment comes from the Weatherford ISD Education Foundation, a non-profit founded to help raise money for WISD educators.
Classroom seating can have positive learning ramifications according to multiple research studies.
Alternative seating options can cut down on classroom disruptions and engage learners who fidget more than others, according to a 2014 study from Gannon University in Pennsylvania.
A motionless body may lead to reduced brain activity and furniture where students are capable of transitioning from lecture to group settings and seamlessly engage them more, according to a 2013 Buffalo State College study on seating considerations for students and staff members.
WISD superintendent Jeffrey Hanks supports the seating as something that will improve schools.
“What our education foundation has done; a very generous donation to the district for us to equip libraries in all of our campuses with flexible seating so that students not only have a modern environment to work in, but it’s also a research-based advantage in that this furniture helps kids in their learning,” Hanks said.
Flexible seating is already in place at the district’s newly constructed Hall Middle School and renovated Tison Middle School, so the next phase is to expand it, Hanks said.
“We learned a lot whenever we did the new Hall Middle School and then the addition at Tison about furniture,” he said. “We did a lot of investigation on that. We found that we can get kids engaged in a lot of different ways simply by putting them in furniture that’s engaging, that wiggles, or moves if they need to move.”
“We’re going to go back into all of our elementaries, our ninth-grade center, and the high school and begin infusing the flexible seating into those places as well,” he said.
Libraries serve as essential learning centers for each campus, Hanks said.
“That’s the heartbeat of the campus, so that’s why we chose to start it there,” he said.
Having the ability to configure furniture in a variety of ways helps student interaction, Hanks said.
“It also gives the ability to quickly and easily move the furniture around so that you could put it in learning structures that are different from what the typical library might be,” he said. “It could go from a large group setting to a small group setting to an individual setting just very quickly and easily.”
“It just makes whatever library space you have endless in possibilities as far as how you might arrange it,” he said.