The Beautiful, Empty, New Classrooms

The Beautiful, Empty, New Classrooms

Taylor Moore, Staff Writer

     The concrete giant of a trident, the fresh, green Senior Park, and brand new classrooms are all new additions to the Sea King campus.  These things are all great to have on campus, but there is one change that affects all of those on campus directly and immediately — the new classrooms.  These new classrooms were started last August, completed over the summer, and topped with finishing touches this fall.  Dr. Park speaks very highly of this new construction and its new technology. “It’s like a multi-media room, you have a doc cam, an iPad for the teacher, Apple TV, and [surround] sound,” says principal Dr. Park, “and once we do bring your own device for the students, they’re going to be able to use their laptop…to link into what’s happening and what they will be doing.”  Technological updates seem to only mean good things: more connections, more opportunities, the ability to pause lectures, better visibility and sound… But it poses yet another hoop for administration to jump through.  At the moment, it’s undecided which teachers are going to be put in the rooms.  “We are going to make sure the teachers going into those rooms will use all the [technology] that’s in there; that’s key.  Whatever it is, it’s going to be a thematic group,” tells Dr. Park.

      It is important that related subjects are taught in these classes.  Four of the ten classrooms are set up with adjoining panels that can be folded back to combine the two classes.  Many teachers are very opposed to the idea, due to past teaching experiences. “It’s terrible. You hear all the noise from the other class. If your class is testing, and they’re watching a movie, it’s noisy. If a teacher doesn’t have classroom control, then you’re going to hear their problems all year long,” says an anonymous teacher, voicing the concerns of other teachers. “It’s a huge waste, because this [wall] doesn’t touch the floor,” claims another source.

     Dr. Park contradicts these sources, and tells The Point that this is not so.  “It is not a curtain.  I want to be very clear on that.  It is a moving wall … it’s an incredible phenomenon.”  This moving wall consists of nine moving panels that click into place. “It moves and when you lock it into place, it’s soundproof to the point it’s like a wall… open it up … turn the tables one way, and now the teacher can teach to 70 students.  And if we have a career speaker, it’s perfect.”

     Other staff had different ideas on the uses for the building.  Butch Ihde, school janitor, was hoping for it to be testing rooms, for the AP Exam and CST make-ups, or maybe an improved testing center.  Students of Palos Verdes High were hoping to see more club rooms, or a place for study period.  Whatever the use, these classrooms are bringing welcome change to Palos Verdes, and these new buildings will surely make our lives easier and better.