APRIL FOOLS: Class sizes too big? Double up the desks!

APRIL FOOLS:  Class sizes too big?  Double up the desks!

Double-decker desks not only save space and money; they also give new meaning to the term “top of the class.”

Kate Alaks, Staff Reporter

Due to RB’s current financial state, larger class sizes in the future seem inevitable. However, classrooms can only hold so many students, or so everyone thinks. A new policy in the school might change all that.

For the 2012-2013 school year RB is planning to implement a double-decker desk policy, where classrooms could be filled with an extra layer of desks, and therefore, students. As a trial run, all English, Math, and some Social Studies classrooms will be fitted with the new desks. Science classrooms, which only have limited space for labs, will not receive new desks.

The desks will represent a significant savings to the school. The cost of installing them will be about $1111 dollars per classroom, but the school will save money by lowering teaching and energy costs in those classrooms.

“They will basically combine two classes into one,” said English teacher Kim Hayes. “They won’t change the content of material teachers will need to teach, just the class size.”

As a result, classrooms with the new desks will be able to hold a target number of 45-50 students per class.

Hayes said “It might be a little harder to control the classes. But it will encourage students to work harder on their own.”

Hayes said that the new classroom setting might change her teaching strategy to include more partner work. “It will be easier to pair people up,” she said.

“I think it’s great!” said sophomore Laura Pellizzari. “I’ll have a much better chance of having classes with my friends.” Pellizzari also pointed out that friends in the same class can help each other with homework easily. “I think it will be easier to have bigger classes,” Pellizzari said.

Not all students are so excited. Sophomore Nichole Cleveland said, “I don’t want to end up on the top desk. I’m kind of afraid of heights.”

Another concern with the new desks would be safety. However, the school is confident that an increased risk in the seating situation will be accompanied by increased care in students’ behavior. They estimate that the number of classroom injuries will not change drastically.

If the two-layer desks prove to be successful, the remaining classrooms may also be fitted with the desks. Science classes may evolve to two-day labs, where half the class does the lab each day. If the desks work, RB classes could become very different environments.