The Palo Alto High School administration is awaiting the Board of Education’s approval of new furniture for the English building, causing a delay of a few months from the original plan to furnish over Winter Break.
According to Principal Kim Diorio, the process requires approval from the Board due to district policies and the Ed Code 60511 regarding donations and gifts.
“We were hoping to have the furniture in over the break, but because of the dollar amount to make the purchase, we had to go up to bid,” Diorio said. “What we need to do now is to take the bid to the Board of Education for approval, and then we’ll move forward. So it will probably take few more months.”
The Board approval is the final step before ordering and installing the new furniture as the selection process was already completed before Winter Break, according to English teacher Melissa Laptalo.
“We met with a designer individually, and she drafted an image based on what we told her about the way we teach and the ideas we had of how we wanted to use the space,” Laptalo said. “She then brought the images to us, and we approved them before Winter Break.”
Laptalo said she believes that the new furniture, which resembles furniture installed in the Media Arts Center, will be a great improvement to cater to current teaching styles.
“In terms of educational research, the furniture we have is bad furniture because it’s uncomfortable and limiting,” Laptalo said. “The way we teach now is different and doesn’t work well with this furniture. A lot of the new furniture at the MAC is more ergonomic, and it’s supposed to allow us to be more mobile and fluid.”
According to Diorio, the 300 and 400 buildings will also receive new furniture in the future along with new carpeting and painting.
“This [anonymous] donor also offered kindly to help us with the [furniture for the] 300 building and the 400 building,” Diorio said. “Basically all the old buildings would get a refurbishing. New carpet, new paint and new furniture are what we want to do.”