New Rooms


Addison Lusk

Coming back from spring break Lee’s Summit High School students walked back into school with many new additions. LSHS has been under construction since 2020, now in 2023 we are seeing many new changes and updates. Such as a new breezeway, and after a semester and a half without one, students and staff alike are thankful. 

“The new carpet, new paint, and new furniture. I see people like ‘This is awesome!’ You know, just from those reactions, I think it’s just something to give a little more energy, a little more light. You know, a breath of fresh air.” English teacher Kevin Hoffmann said.

The spring quarter had a very positive start when it came to the building itself. But after adjusting back from break, there is more and more talk of plans for next school year. With the new building, LSHS will also bring a different setup for staff which some see as less positive.

“I think it’s cool to change. I think the library’s very cool. I like updating and all of that. I think that’s neat. So that part doesn’t bother me, but I just feel like, you know, why doesn’t every teacher have his or her own classroom?”  English teacher Stacy Allison said.

In the 2023-2024 school year, LSHS teachers will not have their own classroom, they will have to schedule their learning spaces. And they are supposed to schedule 5 different rooms a semester. There will be different types of classrooms meant for different types of teaching, and the options include the library.

“Every teacher will technically have to sign up for a location. Now there’ll be some that will move less. There’ll be some more. But every teacher will have to go through the process of signing up for a room.” Social studies teacher Nate Smith said

Most teachers will move between classrooms on a regular basis. But teachers of programs such as broadcasting or band will still have to schedule their classroom, but nobody else will be able to.  

“The theory goes that the more you move around, the more people you see, the more collaborative you can make your environment.” Smith said. 

While some teachers like Hoffman and Smith are excited to try the program and see how it goes, other teachers do not necessarily understand the point or agree with it. 

“I don’t understand the philosophy of asking teachers to move spaces when it is a space that makes a teacher’s environment welcoming and comfortable for kids.” English teacher Kelli Wilson said.

At the end of the day, teachers did not get an option when it came to implementing this new program, though they did get the opportunity to join and form small committees to discuss and decide how the program will be implemented next year. 

“I feel like I’m a successful teacher. Kids are learning in this room just fine. I can’t wrap my brain around it yet. How learning will be different in a different room because of the furniture. Like I don’t get that yet.” Allison said.                     

Allison has worked for LSHS for 21 years, and in her entire teaching career, she has always had her own classroom. She’s not alone in this aspect, students and staff have never had to switch between learning spaces like this before, and many claim they can not find any research that would be beneficial to our school.

“Much of our student population thrives on consistency. And so if students are stressed about where’s my teacher this week? Or last month, we were in this room, but next month, we’re in this room, and maybe that kid doesn’t do well with change, then we’re stressing that kid out even more. We have teachers like that, who thrive on consistency.” Wilson said. 

The accessibility of the program is also to be questioned. How is an environment that changes constantly going to give any student or teacher some sense of consistency, habit, or connection? Most students and teachers have agreed that it will not. While teachers did get to give input on how the process works, students were not involved at all. With nearly 2,000 students enrolled in the school who have to switch in between seven classes a day, one would think they would be asked for input on a decision that will impact their learning. This brings up other issues such as, how will anyone, let alone freshmen at a new school navigate the building? How will they do it on time? With many different opinions on the program, it is unclear what impact it will have on all of LSHS into the future.

“I want my own classroom. All day. Every day. Permanently.” Allison said