Sitting smart at Warren County Middle School

FRONT ROYAL – Two Warren County Middle School teachers have been mixing up their classrooms by providing their students with some alternative seating choices.

Teachers Jacqueline Solenberger and Rebecca Webster talked to the Warren County School Board about their arrangements on Wednesday evening during the board’s regular October meeting.

The two have used funds raised from a Donors Choose project to purchase seating options like bungee chairs, beanbags and butterfly chairs for their classrooms. Students are able to choose where they sit, and Webster said the flexible arrangement suits growing middle schoolers.

Webster and Solenberger read notes from their students, who wrote that they learn best while moving or that creative seating helps them ward off drowsiness in class at the end of the day. Webster said that “it’s definitely been a learning experience” on her and Solenberger’s end, and it’s changed the way they teach.

Solenberger said she was inspired by attending an active classroom workshop at James Madison University in the spring.

“It was more the idea to have more of a collaborative classroom,” she said, where students are able to move around and work together.

After their presentation, Superintendent Greg Drescher said other teachers have also been experimenting with similar alternative seating methods.

During his own presentation, he reported that the division has likely surpassed the number of students budgeted for this school year, but that the official numbers would be in by the end of the week. He also provided an update on facility projects, announced that October is Bullying Prevention Month and reported that around 260 dads participated in Bring Your Father to School Day last month.

Staff previewed upcoming events for students like the World of Work Expo on Oct. 13 and the Same Sky Project Community Event at Warren County Middle School as part of Disability History and Awareness Month.

Also at the meeting, the School Board:

  • Approved nominations for a local gifted advisory committee.
  • Accepted donations from the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation of DVDs about Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign.
  • Accepted $61,269 in security equipment grant funding from the state.
  • Approved spending $93,195.30 to expand the school’s wide area network fiber to the new middle school.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or