The number one thing you need to do here is bring your own light. The institutional-quality fluorescents have a number of strikes against them:
- It's going to be ugly, low-CRI light which does not cover the whole color spectrum and probably tends towards green. This is not flattering to humans.
- They'll flicker, making it hard to set white balance to even partially compensate.
- It will be relatively dim, requiring slow shutter speed (blur from moving subjects), wide aperture (impossible to get multiple rows in focus), or cranked-up ISO (noise).
- They might not be placed well for nice lighting. (Or maybe they are, but depending on the room and layout, that might be part of the problem.)
If you are shooting for an image that will end up in a relatively small print or in an online magazine, don't worry at all about raising the ISO to a level where you can get both a fast shutter speed (¹⁄₁₀₀th or faster) and stop down to f/8 or f/11 for depth of field — that is, more in focus from back to front.
And, if you have three rows, try focusing on the middle row rather than the front. As a rule of thumb, the area of acceptable focus is spread out about ¹⁄₃ in front and ²⁄₃ behind the point where you focused, so if you focus just on the front row, you're wasting some of that on the area in front of those people where there's nothing.
As Michael notes in the comments, if you are going for black and white results, the color rendition and spectrum problems are less of a problem. But, in any case, you'll still need to worry about the overall dimness.
If your school has a little bit of budget, an interesting choice might be the Godox V850, which is a relatively powerful manual flash with radio control which you can set from the camera, and which will work with any camera with a hotshoe. Combine this, or a pair of them, with some big umbrellas and budget flash stands, and you can control your own destiny (both making for better photos, and making a better educational experience — hopefully with the two of those combined, you can convince the school to spend a bit.) You can get this flash from eBay, or the identical thing branded as "Neewer TT850" from Amazon, or for a higher price but with better customer service and one-day repair turnaround from Cheetah Lighting. (Or some other model of budget flash will do; this just happens to have the radio trigger at a nice price; of course, specific models and technology will change quickly, so this is just an example of something that might be useful.)