New Furniture Headed to LBUSD Classrooms
This summer, nearly 17,000 new desks, chairs, bookshelves and other furniture will be installed in classrooms serving some of the Long Beach Unified School District's youngest learners.
The installation is the first phase of a multiyear plan to replace aging furniture in every K-12 classroom in the District. Old furniture will be swapped out for new, versatile pieces that can quickly reconfigure to create dynamic spaces for group work, independent learning or traditional classroom lectures. All LBUSD classrooms will be outfitted with new, future-ready furniture by the 2024-25 school year.
Furniture for LBUSD's transitional kindergarten (TK) and kindergarten classrooms will be in place by fall, in time for the District's new full-day programs for students in these grade levels. Furniture upgrades for subsequent grades will prioritize classrooms in Title I schools and campuses undergoing Measure E renovations. The District's existing classroom furniture will be recycled or donated to underserved schools in the U.S. and abroad, diverting an estimated 2,000 tons of waste from landfills.
Input from a group of teachers, administrators and District leaders informed the selection of furniture piloting in TK and kindergarten classrooms at Edison, Garfield, King and Webster elementary schools. Pilot sites are also testing equipment for the outdoor classroom, child-size kitchens and other furniture that encourages developmentally appropriate play and material for hands-on learning.
"Furniture for the modern classroom must support individual learning styles and encourage movement and collaboration," said Brian Moskovitz, LBUSD's assistant superintendent of Early Learning and Elementary Schools. "The District’s new full-day TK and kinder programs include professional development for teachers integrating the new furniture and learning materials into their day."
Pilots for furniture in grades 1 through 5 and secondary schools are underway at test sites throughout the District. Pilot classrooms opened their doors to District teachers and staff who wish to test drive the furniture and weigh in on pieces that best support 21st century teaching and learning. For career education classrooms with unique furniture needs, the District will assemble a committee of teachers who specialize in the District's learning pathways.
Furniture replacement and other facilities improvements are part of the District's Learning Acceleration and Support Plan, which aims to elevate the educational experience for all students and offer interventions to learners who need additional support. The new furniture, paid for by the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund allocated to LBUSD, is budgeted at $53 million.
ESSER dollars help maintain available bond funding for air conditioning, safety enhancements and other critical facility needs. Even so, the funds required to address all necessary repairs and upgrades across the District are hundreds of millions of dollars beyond what Measure E has made available.