Case Histories (Real-World Solutions)
Bringing 21st-Century Furniture into the Classroom
Stratford Schools partnered with School Outfitters to create modern 21st-century learning spaces that fostered collaboration in the classroom.
When Stratford Schools opened in 1999, every classroom was designed to look the same — so no matter which school you walked into, it looked familiar, providing school identity and sense of place. But the group stays on top of trends and embraces 21st-century education – including contemporary furniture. This need for change lends itself perfectly to a partnership with School Outfitters, who specializes in meeting the demands of today’s education.
As installations began, students soon found themselves going from old brown and chrome traditional book-box desks to new sleek furniture accented with maple. Every grade has different colored chairs to set them apart — and with bulk order savings, even the teachers got contemporary desks. For collaboration in the classroom, Stratford chose the Learniture Hex Desk, which the students use in groups of two, three, five, or any number they need. And every classroom from second grade and up has casters on desks and chairs for easily moving in and out of groups.
Perhaps the biggest indicator of success is that there is nothing Stratford would have done differently — from the furniture choices to the ordering and installation. “To make it through and do four schools, and have it done beautifully — it was seamless. And I don’t think there’s anything we would change,” said Stratford Purchasing Manager, Pat Dorsey. Not only was everything delivered in time for the schools’ first days, the students and teachers love their new furniture.
School Outfitters loves being a part of success stories like Stratford’s, and values these partnerships — and are happy their partners see it the same way; as Dorsey said, “I literally could not do my job without School Outfitters. It’s a phenomenal company, the customer service is superior, and I felt like [my reps] were with me every step of the way.”
This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of School Planning & Management.