By Heidi Reinhart, History Teacher
The summer of 2021 was a loud one at Duchesne. Hammers ripped old chalkboards off walls, saws cut down plaster, and walls disappeared as the Academy transformed six smaller classrooms into state-of-the-art learning laboratories. There are three new learning labs, one on each floor. I am fortunate to teach World Cultures in the first-floor room.
I was excited to start the school year in a newly renovated space. Students immediately noticed that the area is bigger and brighter than what was previously there.
“Wow, Mrs. Reinhart, your classroom is awesome and huge!” is the most common reaction I get from students. “It’s like Duchesne has entered the current century,” another told me.
The old school wooden desks that graced Duchesne’s classrooms for so long may be iconic, but, unfortunately, they have become impractical. Without complaint, students have balanced iPads and learning materials on the small desks, their laps, and even their feet sometimes. The new desks are more spacious and comfortable. They also spin and roll, which not only makes them more fun, but also help the girls stay focused.
In addition to more collaborative furniture these learning laboratories have more advanced technology. There are four large monitors on which teachers and students can project information. This is perfect for groups working together to prepare presentations or if I set up different learning stations around the room. Students now have the capability to use the latest technology to tackle real-world issues.
This investment is a bold step forward to ensure our students’ learning experience as engaging as possible. And I am very grateful to belong to a generous community that made this renovation possible. I look forward to students calling more of our rooms, “the coolest classroom ever.”