The key to improving learning outcomes for kids with learning disabilities and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) could all come down to the perfect classroom.

In Kiryat Malachi, a city in Israel’s southern district, Darca High School, has implemented a unique and innovative “Yes I Can!” classroom. Children with ADHD and learning difficulties are unable to sit quietly and concentrate in classrooms of “normal” design. Understanding these unique needs, Lior Ben-Shitrit, architect, spent time observing and talking to students before developing details and furnishings to enable a learning environment where these kids could thrive, not just survive.

The “Yes I Can!” classroom is a pilot project built in a 60 square meter room and includes 55 learners with difficulties. Though the results are yet to be reported for this subgroup project, they hold great promise, as similar innovations have been implemented in English language classrooms within the same school, and have shown “a huge rise in the number of students earning academic diplomas and considering higher education,” reports Abigail Klein Leichman, on Isreal21c.

Classrooms for Improved Concentration and Performance

Clean Distraction-Free Design

Unlike a regular classroom commonly filled with notice boards, posters, accessories and other decorations, the “Yes I Can!” classroom has none of these, using a simple clean design to minimize distractions, encourage concentration, and create a calm atmosphere.

Furniture on Wheels

The classroom has tables on wheels, and even the workstations can be easily moved, giving teachers the ability to redesign the classroom based on different educational activities.

The-students-report-that-it-is-much-easier-for-them-to-study-and-concentrate-in-the-distraction-free-classroom.-Photo-by-Roi-MizrahiXnet-e1444752384815 The Perfect Classroom for Kids with Attention and Learning Disorders

Featured Image Credit: Roi Mizrahi/Xnet via Israeli21c

Bouncy Chairs

Instead of standard chairs, the “Yes I Can!” classroom uses yoga balls nested within a metal chair frame. The goal of these chairs is to enable students to move, shift, and even bounce to harness their energy without distracting themselves or other learners by moving and shifting in noisy chairs.

Living Green Wall

Inspired by the popular video game “Minecraft,” full of pure geometric forms and a very green environment, the architect incorporated geometric shapes and a green wall of vegetation within the classroom.

Unique Colors and Shapes

“The classroom has translucent, colored surfaces and the furniture is based on circles, rectangles and squares,” states Design Indaba.

Enclosed Workstations

The “Yes I Can!” classroom hosts three enclosed workstations, made of translucent colored surfaces, where students can engage in isolated study or one-on-one training time. The objective behind the design is to allow students to be free from noise and other visual stimulation, yet with the translucent surfaces, students still feel connected.

darcaclassroom2 The Perfect Classroom for Kids with Attention and Learning Disorders

Featured Image Credit: Roi Mizrahi/Xnet via Israeli21c

Parental Involvement

Within the program there is also a great emphasis on parental involvement in the educational journey, recognizing that the activities and engagement that occurs in the classroom is part of a holistic picture that influences functioning of the family unit and vice versa.


These same design principles could be used and applied in many instances and show promise that more attention focused on the learning environment could be the key to improving overall learning outcomes in kids with learning disabilities and ADHD.