The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

December 18, 2012

Joplin school board tests furniture for new schools

JOPLIN, Mo. — As they prepare to furnish several new schools with desks, tables, chairs and other furniture, members of the Joplin Board of Education on Tuesday night got a lesson on ergonomically designed furniture from one of the manufacturers that the school district had scouted.

In a presentation to the board, Dieter Breithecker, a consultant for the parent company of the North Carolina-based furniture manufacturer VS America, said schools should move away from rigid chairs in the classroom. He said students who are uncomfortable in their seats tend to focus more on the chairs than on learning.

Representatives from VS America brought with them to Tuesday’s board meeting several chairs from their showroom to show board members. The chairs featured inclined seats and flexible, curved backs that are designed to help students with posture and movement, Breithecker said.

“Here they can carry out all those necessities which we call movement, and this has an influence on posture health, on the (consumption) of more energy, of more blood flow, of more oxygen supply,” he said. “More physical activity is more muscular activity, and when there is more muscular activity, there is more blood flow, and when there is more blood flow, there is more oxygen to the brain.”

Breithecker said an increase in blood flow and oxygen to the brain can help students stay alert during school and could improve their ability to learn.

The session was not the school district’s first exposure to ergonomic furniture or to the specific manufacturer that brought the chairs.

A few administrators over the past several months took a handful of trips to manufacturers, paid for by the companies themselves, to see their products firsthand. One of the trips was to VS America’s showroom in Germany; they also visited Steelcase in Grand Rapids, Mich., and KI in Green Bay, Wis.

Administrators have said the trips were necessary to test the products before spending what is expected to be millions on furniture for the schools currently under construction.

Assistant Superintendent Angie Besendorfer said after the meeting that VS America arranged the presentation and arranged to bring the products to the board. She said the district is not locked into buying the particular chair model that board members were shown. She also said that VS America is not the only company the district is working with in scouting furniture.

“We’re not sold on anybody,” she said. “We’re sold on making sure we do the exploration (of furniture options) in an appropriate manner.”

Besendorfer said bids for furniture will come after input from the schools’ design teams — groups of parents, teachers and administrators — based on a list of options prepared by administrators.

In other business Tuesday night, the board:

• Reviewed its annual audit, completed by Mense, Churchwell and Mense in Joplin. Chris Churchwell, with the firm, said the audit was clean and found no compliance issues on the part of the district. He said the audit included the Joplin Schools Foundation, which has taken in substantial donations since the May 2011 tornado.

• Approved four change orders for bid packages for Joplin High School, Franklin Technology Center and Irving Elementary School, as well as bid packages for weather barriers, and painting and wall coverings at East Middle School.

• Formally approved a memorandum of understanding among the school district, the city and its master developer related to a tax increment financing district that is scheduled to come before the Joplin City Council by the end of the month. The document spells out the agreements reached among the parties on several challenges to the TIF district that school officials had worked to negotiate.

‘Brains in motion’

ANGIE SCHULZ, a representative of VS America, said the manufacturer’s products accommodate movement, a natural need for students. “We have embraced the idea that we want bodies in motion and brains in motion,” she said.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • r072814mailcar.jpg Rail car passes through downtown Joplin

    With a police escort leading the way, postal car No. 34 breezed through downtown Joplin on Monday en route to its new home in Redings Mill.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin council names Edwards as city attorney

    Peter Edwards has been named Joplin’s new city attorney.

    July 28, 2014

  • Jets Camp Football.jpg Jets’ Aboushi helped create 185 smiles in Sudan

    Oday Aboushi gently placed the young boy on the hospital room bed, and quickly stepped aside.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Public awareness is challenge for Carthage bond proposal

    If there is a challenge facing a Carthage wastewater bond issue on the August election ballot, it may be spreading the message to voters.

    July 28, 2014

  • Our view: 'Yes' on 7

    Opponents of Amendment 7 say this: “Missouri families are already hard pressed to pay their bills during this period of slow economic recovery.”

    July 26, 2014

  • Red Sox Tale of the Ring.jpg Lost Red Sox title ring returned by Yankees fan

    A lost Red Sox World Series ring is back on the finger of its owner, thanks to a nifty pickup by an ardent New York Yankees fan.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 253.jpg Explore: Against the current

    Along the lower Buffalo River in Arkansas lie 29 miles that may be as isolated as any left in the Ozarks, perhaps the Midwest.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe

    As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.

    July 27, 2014

  • 072814_jd anderson.jpg VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show

    The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • r071114redoak2.jpg Red Oak II: Lowell Davis’ ‘dream, art, love’ and final resting place

    The collection of buildings would become a town (though he didn’t intend for it to, and it has never been officially recognized either by the U.S. Postal Service or the state of Missouri).

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo