WAXAHACHIE — A student’s school desk is essentially their home within the classroom. It should be a place the student is always comfortable and able to focus. In general, most desks are only able to be used while sitting and do not offer students much room for movement or organization.
Enter, The Marvel Focus Desk.
The Marvel Focus Desk allows students to either sit or stand, as well as adjustment the height of the desk and offers more than enough storage room.
Soon after Diane Leggett, a special education teacher at Shackelford Elementary, discovered the desk through a flyer, she filed for a 2015-16 Education Foundation grant to make the purchase. Soon after, Legget learned she received her grant.
“When I first learned about them I thought they would be a good asset to kids who need more movement. I did some research, wrote the grant and we got them. We had enough money to buy eight desks and they threw another one in for free. We now have nine of these desks,” Leggett said.
WISD Director of Public Relations Jenny Bridges noted that Shackelford Elementary was the only campus within the school system with the desks.
“The best thing about the Education Foundation grants is that a lot of times a teacher has a great idea and they receive the grant and if their programs are successful, we start implementing them all across the district,” Bridges said.
Leggett applied for the grant in the fall of 2015 and Shackelford had all nine of the desks by February of the following year. The desks are now even apart from the accommodations some students have listed in their files.
“The desks are not always in special education classrooms. Students with ADHD and other needs can also use the desks,” Bridges said
With the new desks come new rules for the students while in use.
“We have a contract with the kids who sit at the desk. We have rules they abide by while using the desks. They have to keep the wheels locked so they’re not just rolling them around everywhere,” Leggett said.
The Marvel Focus Desk also offers a file holder, a privacy screen, multiple cubbies for items and extenders on the side if the student decides they need more room, as well as being able to sit or stand at the desk that has the option of adjustable heights.
“Part of the research shows that when students are sitting up higher in a stool, they are able to breathe better and focus better if they’re feet aren’t touching the ground and they’re able to swing them. It helps keep their blood flowing,” Leggett said.
Leggett already had success stories with the desk before the 2015-16 school year concluded.
“We have a student who isn’t a special education student that used the desk last year. The student was always laying on the floor with his papers everywhere. When he used the desk it helped him become more organized and he liked to be able to stand up,” Leggett said. “He doesn’t need the desk this year. I believe it helped him get organized and helped him through a phase he may have been going through,”
Bridges noted that once the pilot year for the desks is over, consideration of placing them in the district will be held.
“This will probably be something the special education department will study. It’s a great pilot program. There’s a lot of research that shows how beneficial these are for students,” Bridges concluded.
Kelsey Poynor, @KPoynor_WDL