IPS School 19 trades classroom chairs for yoga balls at students' desks

Officials say tests scores have 'skyrocketed'

INDIANAPOLIS - An Indianapolis Public School is not resting on classroom tradition.

Frederick Douglass School 19 on the south side has replaced some the students' desk chairs with yoga balls.

"We've been testing out some different types of yoga balls," said principal Aleicha Ostler. "And some have these prongs on the bottom that will hold them still on the floor, some are free moving."

School officials say these yoga balls are being used in several classrooms now, and they're helping students learn and lead better lives.

"This school focuses on health and wellness," Ostler said. "We want to teach students how to lead a healthy lifestyle."

Kindergarten teacher Katie Petelik said at first she was a hesitant to use the yoga balls in a classroom setting, but now she likes what she is seeing.

"Their test scores have skyrocketed, they seem to be more focused, more excited to go to school, great behaviors," Petelik said.

Students said they like the yoga balls.

"They're fun to bounce on," one student said. "It helps us to concentrate so we don't get bored."

"They help us to keep ourselves up," another student said.

At School 19, they're using other types of physical fitness to learn, including fitness equipment along with the yoga balls in every room.

IPS officials say only a handful of schools in the country are using the yoga balls as chairs.

They also say test scores have skyrocketed since they've been doing this.

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