Archive for Thursday, September 7, 2006

Students give thumbs up to modular classrooms

September 7, 2006

Jake Schaffer didn't know what to think.

Like his classmates, the Eudora Middle School sixth-grader had a lot of new things going on. He had to adjust to a new building and a new style of learning. He no longer had just one teacher and the school was much bigger.

He also found out one of his classrooms was connected to the school by a wooden walkway.

"I originally thought it was going to be a trailer house," Schaffer said. "It's actually much better than a regular classroom. You don't have an intercom so you don't get interrupted, and you can control the air conditioning."

Schaffer and the rest of his classmates are breaking in one of the newest additions to Eudora USD 491 ---- its modular classrooms.

The district brought in the modular classrooms this year because of a space crunch at the middle school and Nottingham Elementary School.

Although the district plans to alleviate the space problems with an upcoming bond issue, the $250,000 classrooms seem to be working so far.

"They feel different because you have to walk outside to get to them," sixth-grader Izzy Fry said. "But once you get there, they seem the same as other classrooms."

In all, the district purchased four units, two for Nottingham and two for the middle school.

The units at Nottingham ---- used by the first-grade class ---- are more complex than their counterparts at EMS.

The Nottingham units have fully operational bathrooms, but all the units have electricity and air conditioning.

For the most part, the sixth-graders seem to be enjoying the novelty of the new classroom.

"I think it's nice because we get to from page 1a

get out in the fresh air," Britani Shrum said.

Although the unit itself is new, the inside of the modular units resemble the classrooms inside the main school building.

Inside one of the units Friday afternoon, students took their place at tables throughout the room and began to silently work. The classroom is filled with posters, books and a writing board.

Shawn Burns noticed the similarity of the modular classroom to the past classrooms he's had.

"It feels about the same," Burns said.

As the students settled in after lunch, sixth-grade teacher Deanna Thompson directed the students to work on a craft project.

"I really like it in here," she said.

Although working in the modular classroom hasn't really changed her teaching approach, the size is different, Thompson said.

"It's a little smaller," she said.

So far, the logistics of shuttling the students from the main building to the modular unit have also been running smooth.

The fact everything's running smoothly with the classrooms doesn't surprise Eudora Middle School principal Rich Proffitt.

"It's been very smooth. We have no issues with them whatsoever," Proffitt said. "The kids have been able to get to class on time."

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