2016 Ask Update: Stand Up Desk Pilot

As we approach the 2017 Auction, we wanted to share an update on the 2016 “Auction Ask” – Stand Up Desks!

Piloting of stand up desks last year was based on research and teacher interest to see if engaging Anchorage students in standing for some portion of the school day would improve focus and decrease fidgeting.

Four classrooms led the pilot – Campbell, Wooldridge, McCoy and Flannery.

Over the winter, participating pilot teachers and students were surveyed about the stand up desks. We were thrilled to learn that teachers found fewer requests to go to the bathroom, less overall fidgeting, and they felt students were more focused. We were even more excited to learn that students felt the same (see full student survey results).

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In December, we conducted a focus group with teachers to determine next steps after the pilot. We always knew that we wouldn’t be converting every room to standing desks…but what did teachers want to see as a next step?

Teachers felt that, the stand up desks were great not necessarily because everyone was standing but because it was DIFFERENT and helped students ENGAGE and FOCUS in the classroom. Which is exactly what we wanted!

However, teachers didn’t want to more to more stand up desks. They wanted to try more alternate seating options. We could do that (however) we didn’t want it to be chaos!

In talking with Superintendent Ransdell and Principal Terry, we decided that if we fund the selection of a few more alternate seating options, the school would track and rotate them from class to class in an effort to create that DIFFERENT and ENGAGING feel teachers wanted. Out of that was born the transformation of the Stand Up Desk Pilot into the Innovative Seating Program.

As part of that expansion of the original vision of the pilot, just this month we funded Ergo seats, bean bag chairs, balance disks, seating rugs, wobble chairs, and knee pads to be added to classrooms in the school. We look forward to the rotation of innovative seating options throughout the school.

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