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Students use new furniture

Seated for Success

New High School Furniture Facilitates Peer Collaboration 

High school is a time of transition into adulthood, a period when students develop collaboration skills needed for their future in the workforce.  

In almost every profession, from corporate to healthcare, employees need to work together, communicate effectively, and solve problems as a team. By practicing these skills in school, students learn how to share responsibilities, listen to diverse perspectives, and develop solutions together. 

Recognizing the importance of collaborative learning, Manteca Unified is reimagining the traditional classroom setting with updated furniture that will enable a more interactive and engaging learning experience. 

This fall, high school English, math, history, and many elective classrooms will have a refreshed look and new layout designed so students can easily work with their peers. Imagine students in English class moving their desks and tables together to share their ideas about a book they’re reading, peer edit, or build a presentation together! This emphasis on small group work also means there is more space in the classroom for students and teachers to move around. 

different desk layout options. Tables, desks, and a mix of both

Furniture Options

How was the furniture selected?  

During the 2023/24 school year, 20 high school teachers volunteered to test new classroom furniture as early adopters and helped decide which furniture pieces should be purchased. Based on teacher and student feedback, four classroom layouts were designed, and high school teachers selected which layout they felt best fit their classroom environment!  

Pilot teachers voted on their satisfaction with the new furniture. On a scale of 1 to 10, the average furniture rating was an 8, and most agreed that they observed an increase in student engagement. They also shared that they had mostly positive feedback from their students.  

Students also had a chance to share their feedback via survey. Out of almost 500 student respondents, more than half found their classrooms to be “more relaxed and comfortable” and 70% shared that they would prefer the pilot furniture to be used in all their classes. Bella, a Senior at Sierra High, specifically said, “The furniture adds a sense of comfort and more of a relaxed feeling when in the classroom.”  

This is just Phase 1 of refreshing high school furniture! Classrooms with specialized seating (Science, Music, Art, Specialized Career Technical Education, etc.) will receive their new materials in Phase 2, coming soon!  

  • High School
  • Strategic Planning
  • furniture