Community adjusts to Classroom Village, adapts new fitness curriculum


Photo credit: Nicki Rosenberg

Freshman exercise and play games during fitness class in the Classroom Village. Due to construction, some fitness classes are now held in the village.

At the beginning of 2018, Archer girls not only crossed over into a new semester and year, but also crossed over a bridge into the Classroom Village.

Due to Archer Forward construction, students now attend some classes in the temporary Classroom Village. 

The Village, as the community calls it, is filled with a series of temporary buildings  that are used as classrooms, offices, gym and a dance studio. The classrooms include English, history, math and science. 

The Village has now been in use for four full months. As of this week, the student store is also in the Village.

Having classes in the Village has mostly been positive, students said, they also report some challenges.

“I really like the Village,” Sophie Larbalestier ‘20 said. “It kind of creates a bigger campus for us students. I like how all of the classrooms are bigger, and they have AC. It’s also nice because all of the technology is the same, so there’s no real [down]side beside the long walk to chemistry — but that’s okay.” 

Each classroom has its own heating and air conditioning unit, along with the same technology (projectors, smart boards, etc.) as classrooms in the historic building. 

While most class curricula do not rely on the space in which the class takes place, fitness classes do.

Previously, Archer students were able to play sports including soccer, softball, volleyball and basketball just by walking outside to the back field. Although there is a small indoor gym in the Village — which includes treadmills, weights and stationary bicycles — the room only allows for a limited amount of students.

Due to this lack of space, Archer now uses the field at the Brentwood Recreation Center, just down the street, for fitness classes and sports practices. It takes approximately 12 minutes for an entire class to make the commute, according to fitness coach Amelia Mathis. 

“We sort of knew [construction] was coming, but it has been very interesting,” Mathis said. “I’m a teacher that stays on campus for the most part. Coach [Danielle] LeNoir and Coach [Stephanie] Ferri walk across the street every day, pretty much multiple times a day, to play flag football…In reality it’s a lot of walking, its a lot of getting to the park as opposed to actually playing. [Class] is really disrupted.”

Although the fitness department had to make adjustments, she said they have also used this period of change as an opportunity to create new activities and classes.

“Coach [Alison] Hirshan and I are teaching a self-defense and boxing class for the students who stay on campus,” Mathis said. “We are also going through a lot more games that we can play outside, say for instance spike ball and tic-tac-toe.”

“People are able to create more from this situation,” Mathis said. “I think this is what makes Archer, Archer.”