SAUK RAPIDS -- It's a trend many schools are looking into. Getting away from the standard desk seating to a more alternative seating arrangement.

Pleasantview Elementary Principal Aby Froiland says several teachers were looking at trying to keep students more active in the classroom.

"We had lots of teachers saying the kids need to move, so it basically became teachers finding a needs for students," says Froiland.

5th Grade teacher David Hiedeman has been teaching for over twenty years and this year wanted to give his students options when it came to seating.

"Typically I've had desks or tables with chairs and this year I wanted to mix it up and give the students choices," says Hiedeman.

Hiedeman revamped his classroom to included bench seating, stand up desks, or having students sit on stability balls. He says since the change he has noticed more focus and class involvement from the students.

"I would say it's been a big success, I think the students enjoy it. I think they like the flexibility and it's brought new energy to me and what I do with my teaching," says Hiedeman.

Stand up desks and alternative seating have become more popular throughout the state. Sartell-St.Stephen Communications Director Amy Trombley says they've also added stand up desks and stability balls in some of their classrooms.

Froiland says it cost about $1,500 to $1,800 dollars to revamp Hiedeman's classroom and since that time, the schools three other classrooms have asked about doing the same thing.

"My other fifth grade classrooms have come up to me and said 'hey I think I want to ditch some of my desks too. I think the desks are good for some students but not for every student'," says Froiland.

Froiland says the alternative seating initiative has been fun and wouldn't be surprised if every school does something similar moving forward.


Pleasantview Elementary classroom uses alternative seating arrangement (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)