This picture shows limitations of traffic flow. Food lab on left, tables and chairs in middle and sewing machines on right side of classroom.The facsimile shows how the space problem can be alleviated with the building addition and renovation.

Bond issue can help solve crowded room conditions

In an effort to present the need for renovation through approval of an upcoming School Bond Referendum, the Mascot is providing articles each week defining the issues in an effort to create better reader understanding. This week’s article by LeaAnne Bot explains the need to renovate the Family and Consumer Science (Home Economics) area.

One of the five main areas of the school building that needs major attention is in the high school. Included in the bond vote on August 22, 2017, is the expansion of the Family and Consumer Science (Home Economics) room into the adjacent courtyard to provide much more needed student space. Currently, the space in the Family and Consumer Science (FACS) classroom is overcrowded due to the room configuration, the large class sizes and the varied curriculum.

The FACS department has outgrown the current classroom and it has become more difficult to meet student needs. What once was a Home Economics classroom where homemaking skills were taught is now a classroom where 21st century career and technical skills are being taught.

The FACS department offers courses in junior and senior high including:

•General Life Skills,

•Innovative Foods with a food science and product development emphasis,

•ProStart Foods with a professional food service emphasis,

•Creative Crafts and Leisure Arts with a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation,

•Child Development with a focus on child and family related careers and a Living on Your Own course with an emphasis on career preparation,

•Financial fitness and independent living.

The classroom has five food labs, tables and chairs for 30 students and 12 sewing machines. Each instructional area overlaps and causes crowding. Students spend valuable class time setting up and taking down equipment. It’s common for class sizes to exceed the functional use of the classroom. This crowded environment can create a negative impact on student learning. Traffic flow is restricted and sometimes blocked by the students, cabinets and equipment. It is difficult to move freely around the classroom to provide individual instruction and assistance to meet student needs. Over the years, new technology such as the Smart Board, has been introduced which greatly enhances the effectiveness of instruction.

However, overcrowding and classroom seating limitations makes it hard for many students to be able to see the board for important information. Students Benefit through Effective Learning Environment Overall, the classroom environment plays a crucial role in keeping students focused and engaged, allowing them to be more productive and successful. The current classroom would be more spacious with less equipment (sewing machines and cabinets would move into new area) and be rearranged to better meet student needs.

The expanded space would be used for classroom/sewing lab. The sewing lab provides opportunities for students to develop skills in creative problem solving, technical reading and time management.

The FACS department is planning to add an embroidery machine to the sewing lab. Students will gain experience as entrepreneurs in developing a custom embroidery business. The expanded space will also provide the much needed room for Child Development students to set up learning centers for Pre-K teaching labs. The expansion into the adjacent courtyard will provide the much needed student space for learning as well as equipment and storage and will allow for better use of the current classroom.

Superintendent’s Note: LeaAnne Bot has been hired full-time for the 2017-2018 school year due to the high demand of students signing up to take her classes (previously, she’s been four hours a day). The FACS room will now be used full-time! — By Supt. Dan Deitte.

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