Taking Lessons from the Pandemic for Classroom Design and Flexibility.
Moving Forward for Schools, Teachers, & Students.
Jonti-Craft Supports Evolving Education Needs With Flexible, Durable Furniture.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we’ve all heard the “wash your hands often and stay socially distant” public health guidance and advice. Now, the guidance is changing with students back in classrooms. As conditions evolve and improve, the team at Jonti-Craft—a Minnesota-based educational furniture manufacturer—is helping to meet new challenges with new products, and updates to current products to answer new needs in classrooms and beyond.
A Legacy of Quality, Value, and Innovation
Located in the small town of Wabasso, MN, Jonti-Craft has been designing and manufacturing furniture, storage solutions, and classroom products for 40+ years, with a specialized focus on schools and daycare facilities. The company’s product lineup is known for quality, durability, and innovation and in 2010, they developed the Clean Hands Helper line of portable sinks. More recently, the company introduced a variety of See-Thru Table Divider Shields. Both product lines were vitally important to current and new customers during the national health challenge and continue to be in demand to address the need for safe and clean learning environments.
Matt Hinkle, Jonti-Craft’s VP of Sales explained, “We’re known as a leading provider of children’s furniture for schools and daycares and now, we’re seeing rapidly growing demand from the healthcare sector for our Clean Hands Helper Portable Sinks, See-Thru Dividers, and other products. For more than 10 years, our portable sink solutions have answered a growing demand for hand washing in classrooms without plumbing. These products helped many of those schools and daycares meet standards and achieve certification requirements associated with sanitation and handwashing.”
Portable Sinks, with No Plumbing Required.
A Smart Answer Today and Tomorrow Jonti-Craft Clean Hands Helper Portable Sinks go wherever frequent hand washing is a priority, and without any plumbing required. They are available in two heights—one for children and one for adults—and in two sink options, a one-piece molded plastic sink, or a stainless-steel sink insert. These mobile sinks meet licensing requirements and give users the flexibility of moving them quickly to areas of need. The sinks feature electric on-demand water heaters to warm water to a safe 40°F above room temperature. More importantly, these sinks arrive ready for use, needing only the faucets and handles attached and water filled. The product lineup also includes a non-electric option for areas where plugs are not accessible.
Seeing into the Future
Matt Hinkle explains, “Since March of 2020, we have supplied portable sinks to sites all over the United States, helping schools and day cares safely bring students back to the classroom. Along with our portable sinks, we’ve also seen a surge in demand for our See-Thru Table Divider Shields. The need for products to help schools achieve social distancing in tight spaces has, understandably, skyrocketed. Most schools don’t have the budget to redesign and refurnish every classroom to meet new and often changing health guidelines. Our customers need affordable ways to re-configure classrooms as enrollment, curriculum, and health conditions evolve and our See-Thru Table Divider Shields along with our modular furniture options—including many pieces with casters—deliver that flexibility,” adds Matt .
The See-Thru Table Divider Shields separate tables and worktops with a physical barrier so children and adults can be safely placed closer than 6 feet apart. Constructed of a sturdy see-thru acrylic, these dividers provide maximum visibility and make wiping down easy. Jonti-Craft designs a wide variety of sizes and setups to accommodate any need and table or counter configuration. The line also offers an option with a small opening at the bottom for sliding papers through making it ideal for teachers and a great solution for central office, libraries, and other learning environments. Additionally, schools are also grappling with the need to separate supplies and take-home items. Jonti-Craft offers both shared storage options, and solutions that give each student and staff member their own storage bins and cabinets.
Designing with Flexibility in Mind
Every inch of space matters in today’s classrooms. Jonti-Craft’s furniture is stable yet easy to move around. The furniture gives teachers the flexibility to separate spaces and students. Quiet reading areas can be separated from active play areas. Many products are multi-use too. “Our multi-use solutions maximize return, so there is no wasted space,” Hinkle says. Desks can be nested together for a group activity and come apart quickly. Optional back options on storage units such as dry erase or magnetic with dry erase, provide teachers with additional instructional surfaces while a plexiglass back option allows for better line-of-sight. Items like the Activity Tables with dry erase tops allow students to write on the table. “They have the whole table as a canvas,” Hinkle says.
Beyond making high-quality furniture products, Jonti-Craft’s complimentary Design Service can help educators and their interior and architectural teams design and arrange educational spaces. They take space and age restrictions, activity needs, and curriculum requirements into account to create rooms and spaces that enhance students’ comfort, confidence, and enthusiasm for learning. They even offer a VR option so customers can get a real feel of what their room can look like before purchasing.
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