photo illustration courtesy of Britt Haney
In order to accommodate the growing student store and number of marketing students, the marketing room will be changed to a “workspace” style classroom over the summer. The traditional classroom will transform into a much larger space by knocking out surrounding walls.
After the construction, it will be twice its former size and have features such as conference tables and TVs that can be plugged into laptops to share ideas. The classroom is expected to replicate a modern-day office with no “cubicles” or desks lining the room.
The size of the marketing department at East and the number of students involved is already almost too big for the room, spilling out into the halls on most days, according to marketing teacher Mercedes Rasmussen.
“In the current classroom, space is so tight we are working on top of each other,” Rasmussen said “We also do not have the space to produce the type of products and projects we are working on.”
This “workspace” will be achieved by knocking out the wall in between the Chinese department classrooms at the end of the fifth floor hall. After the wall is removed, the new room will be used to support the expected forty-student marketing classes and the Chinese classes will shift to the former marketing room, room 505.
“The increased space will be so helpful for everyone because so many kids take marketing and it’s such an interactive class, so space is necessary to get things done,” junior marketing student Chace Prothe said.
Marketing classes spend most of their year working on large projects and real-world operations. The bigger room will even provide space for an apprentice at ESPN next year, something Rasmussen has been planning.
The idea of remodeling was introduced after East administration visited Shawanoe Elementary, and toured the first and only “workspace” classroom in the district. After seeing the super-sized classroom, associate principal Britton Haney, along with other administrators, decided that the room would be beneficial to the marketing department at East. Haney first applied for an educational grant to build the classroom but instead, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Michelle Hubbard reached out and offered to fund the project.
In order to accustom the students to the unique room next school year, Rasmussen will be working over the next few months to revamp her current marketing curriculum.
“I have some wonderful new curriculum planned for next year including collaboration with community and national businesses,” Rasmussen said.
The curriculum will be altered to make things easier for all students to be involved even with the forty-student class sizes and only one teacher available. It will change from being mostly lesson-based learning to more project-based. With the room, students will easily collaborate to work with each other on projects so it is important that the curriculum matches the type of work that can be done in it. DECA, managing the student store and producing projects that are capable of being more competitive will become easier once more space is created.
“When the students go to New York and visit businesses next year, it will be clear to them why we constructed the classroom,” Haney said “Because cubicles are seen less now and these big workspaces are being introduced into businesses.”
Without a teacher at the front of the classroom, towering in front of thirty individual desks, the room has hopes of inspiring students to work with one another at tables. Depending on how the year goes in the room and if it helps or hurts the students’ function, more “workspace” environments are planned to be built in East and other schools in the SMSD district.