Tuscaloosa City Schools Testing Prototype Classroom This Year



This year, classrooms at several schools in the Tuscaloosa City School System have been converted to prototype classroom as the system moves forward with some significant construction projects.

Feedback and ideas from the prototype classrooms will be used in the design of future classrooms in new and heavily renovated schools throughout the system.

Woodland Forrest Elementary School has three of the prototype classrooms. The classrooms are equipped with unconventional furniture and new technology.

All of the furniture in the classrooms, including the teachers’ desks, are on wheels and easily movable.

The rooms are equipped with sound systems, where the teacher has a microphone and earpiece, and can communicate with students from any point in the room.

The classroom is covered in surfaces that can be written on, from two entire walls covered in dry erase boards, to desks that can be written on.

There are also large interactive computer screens and projection systems.

Teachers and students say they like the flexibility the prototype classrooms provide.

Woodland Forrest fourth grade teacher Dawn Brasfield says for many students, the ability to move more easily throughout the room can enhance learning.

“The opportunity to move, maybe in their seats, to a different area of the room to work, and with the new model design and everything that they're bringing into our classroom, it allows that student the freedom to do that,” Brasfield said.

“You get to move a lot more,” Woodland Forrest fourth-grader Keaundrey Aaron said. “They have these little stools that go 360 degrees around. I like it."

Aaron also likes the room’s sound system.

“The teacher doesn’t have to go from there to there. We can just press a button and she can just talk to us.”

Brasfield says she is excited about the opportunity to give input into the school system’s future classrooms.

“We’ll have the opportunity to give feedback. What style desks are working, what style chairs are working, what technology is working best in the classroom. So we’ll be able to provide that feedback and in the coming years, the other classrooms will be basically built around those ideas," Brasfield said.

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