- We are one of only three DPS schools awarded a grant to install. a SMARTLab in 2016 that provides innovative hands-on STEAM curriculum to all of our students.
- We were awarded the My Tech 1:1 Computing Grant in 2017 to provide all Middle School students with a Chromebook for school work.
- Our school Librarian is also a certified technology teacher who facilitates projects with all grade levels to teach kids how to use technology as a resource.
- Computers in the library, computer labs and classroom iPads use the latest up-to-date technology and software thanks to the Technology Specialist Para who is part of our staff, funded through a PTA grant.
Library research using technology projects
Our school Librarian is also a certified technology teacher who facilitates projects with all grade levels to teach kids how to use computers, some sample curriculum includes:
- 4th graders use netbooks almost daily to learn and practice typing, use graphic organizers online, write stories and complete research.
- Students write stories, then type them using Google docs. After printing them, they hand-illustrate them as picture books to be scanned for the kids to record a read-aloud of their story. The kids then create their own websites and link all of their digital work to start an e-portfolio that can be continued through 8th grade.
- Collect and graph daily weather data and creating a weather travel brochure.
- Produce Google doc presentations for life science.
- Design a two page magazine layout for their group magazine. This includes embedding text boxes, photos, recording and videos their pages.
- 5th graders create slideshows in teams for units of studies and also complete projects independently. For example, summarizing a novel they read and researching the primary culture in the book. Students take the facts they learned and finding examples in the novel that supported the fact. This helps drive home that fiction and non-fiction go together; they’re not opposites. Finally, students write an opinion paragraph in their PowerPoint presentation.
- Practice keyboarding starts in 3rd grade to be prepared for the state standards testing on computers. Learn about Typing Class!.
The PTA donated an extra $20,000 in 2014 to help upgrade the school’s computers
That money was used to purchase 60 Chromebooks for use in the 3rd and 4th grade classrooms. The school then used Mill Levy and Bond money to purchase: an additional 5 ChromeBooks for the 6th grade to make a full class set; 16 new desktops for the computer labs; replacement laptops for teachers; and 20 iPads for 1st and 2nd grades, complete with educational apps.
Special Needs students
- iPads provide a more effective and visual strategy for special needs learners. For example, instructors can pre-teach and re-teach lessons from online “BrainPOP Jr.” for money concepts and math facts that may be hard to grasp. They can also set up an effective reward system on “iReward” to help with motivation.
- Computer work also helps readers who are below grade level access social studies information through an online resource for students who have been identified for support.
- Each 6th grader has full use of their own school-provided Google Chrome laptop for the school year.
- Technology is at the forefront of instruction of 6th, 7th and 8th grade Middle Schoolers using their new Chromebooks for Stride Academy, which is a self-paced website that differentiates instruction in literacy, math and science.
- In Middle School science, students are assigned WebQuests, researching projects and online tutorials as part of every unit to strengthen their understanding with inquiry and the use of interactive computer models that demonstrate science concepts.