Mobile classrooms to be implemented in District 95


Photo by Photo by Zach Lawler

Beginning during the 2019-2020 school year, mobile classrooms will be implemented as Spencer Loomis. Although this was not the original plan, Kaine Osburn, district superintendent, assures that will not drastically the learning environment for the students.

Caroline Sun, Co-Web Editor-in-Chief

The next few years will be ones of construction and change for District 95, and one of these changes involves mobile classrooms in between Spencer Loomis Elementary and Middle School North, beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.

Mobile classrooms, also known as modular classrooms, are portable buildings installed in schools for a temporary amount of time, in order to provide extra classroom space. Although these mobile rooms are a common sight in many school districts according to Kaine Osburn, District 95 superintendent, it will be the first time in a while that District 95 has had the need for them.

“The enrollment is not currently even [throughout the elementary schools], there’s a little bit more enrollment at Spencer Loomis than at the other schools and that’s putting pressure on having enough room for all the students to have classes and normal class sizes,” Osburn said. “We have proposed putting modular classrooms in the courtyard between the two schools where we could put classes and relieve some of the pressure there just for a while.”

While this will be a change for elementary schoolers, Osburn has reassurances that this experience will not be very different from traditional classrooms.

“[Mobile classrooms] are very much just like normal classrooms,” Osburn said. “All the construction materials used for them are just like you would use for a normal fixed building, […] and all the materials are up to building codes. When you go in there, you’ll see they’re very nice, they’re very put together, and there will be one hallway [that] four standard-sized classrooms [will stem off of]. They’ll be heated and cooled just like all the other classrooms in Spencer Loomis so they’ll have all the light [and] technology they need so there really won’t be any noticeable difference for students who are in that classroom.”

The idea for mobile classrooms, however, was not the initial solution. According to Osburn, the original plan was to possibly redraw the boundaries for  District 95 schools, which would have also fixed the issue of unbalanced enrollment.

“This school year, we were going to start a community engagement process to look at the boundaries for all the schools in the district to determine if we needed to redraw the boundaries so enrollment [could be] more balanced,” Osburn said. “But we needed to put a pause on that because we’d rather wait until after the referendum [and all its constructions].  If we changed the boundaries, students [would] need to move from one school to another, [and] we thought it [would be] more appropriate [to wait until after] all the schools had construction done and all the facilities were truly equitable.”

While this community engagement process has been deferred until after the completion of the referendum constructions, Osburn says the mobile classrooms will only need to be around for three years, maximum.

Although Osburn admits that the situation is “not ideal,” the reception of people around the district has been “very constructive, as [everyone] has asked very good questions and they’ve been very patient and supportive.”