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The most structured classrooms at Carmel

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The most structured classrooms at Carmel

Sarah Erickson, Reporter

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Background

The Carlos J. Serna Learning Resource Center was established in 2009 to support the students of Carmel with challenges that affect educational performance. Services may include classroom and/or testing accommodations within the general education setting.

“We strive to have inviting and calm classrooms with flexible seating,” learning resource teacher Kari ​Kalscheur said. “When you come into any of the resource rooms you will notice many things that you may not find in the general classroom.”

During class, she gives her students the option to choose to work in groups at tables or individual desks.

“I believe the environment in a classroom is very important. The furniture and how it is arranged can impact the flow of the classroom and activities that can be done,” Kalscheur said. “If there are too many things going on in a classroom, it can be distracting and not allow students to have the movement that they may need with our long class periods.”

Structure

The Serna Center is made up of three classrooms and the additional Testing Center. When you walk into Kalscheur’s room, you will notice things similar to what you might find in a living room on Pinterest.

In one corner, she has a large recliner chair sitting on a rug surrounded by a table and lamp. In another corner, she has a large rug and two low-sitting chairs with throw pillows.

Lighting

To avoid the harsh fluorescent lights, none of the learning resource classrooms use overhead lighting. On cloudy days, the overhead lights are dimmed down low.

“I use several different lamps and white string lights across the board so I never have to turn the overhead lights on,” Kalscheur said.

The Testing Center

The Testing Center is a separate room in the Serna Center that is structured to help students focus on tests specifically. The room has desks that are spread out and blue light covers over the fluorescent lights in the ceiling.

“We chose to put the blue light covers in testing center because of how straining the fluorescent lights can be on the eyes,” Kalscheur said.

“The blue lighting provides a calmer testing environment for our students.” “

Being able to take tests in the testing center has helped me tremendously,” senior Marisa Marti said. “The dimmed lighting and quiet environment has helped me concentrate fully on my tests and reach my academic goals.”

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