WILMINGTON — Chromebook laptop computers will be distributed this August to all Wilmington High School students.
Wilmington City Schools (WCS) Director of Curriculum and Instruction Nikki Quallen said Chromebooks will be distributed in the next month to staff.
“Providing devices to staff in advance of student device distribution will allow time for staff to become familiar with the device and prepare for the work in the fall with students,” said Quallen.
Chromebooks, and specifically the suite of Google Apps for Education, provide students with expanded opportunities to collaborate on documents, presentations, surveys and many more tools, she said.
“These tools allow for expanded learning beyond the school day — anytime, anywhere learning. In the WCS district, we have been using the Google platform for a majority of our work over the last three years. Adding a device for each student will allow for more opportunities for increased student engagement, productivity through personalized learning, and equal access to technology,” stated Quallen.
Initially, funds for the devices will come from the WHS technology budget ($34,839), a federal rural grant ($57,000), and the General Fund. After the startup year, student technology fees will support a majority of the costs, said Quallen.
There will be a $50 student technology fee each year. At the end of the four years, students will have an opportunity to purchase their device for a reasonable cost, she said.
In principals’ reports, Wilmington Middle School Principal Jeff Sherby said Sophie Blessing this week submitted her essay “Breaking the Sound Barrier” for the 2016 Breaking Barriers essay contest sponsored by Scholastic. Blessing is deaf with a cochlear implant. A cochlear implant is a small, complex electronic device that can help to provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing, according to The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
The Breaking Barriers essay contest celebrates the 69th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball, and provides a chance for diverse students across the country to share their personal stories of how they use Jackie Robinson’s nine values to face their own barriers, said Sherby.
Seventh-grader Charles Massie and eighth-grader William Perez placed in the upper half at the MATHCOUNTS regional competition at the University of Dayton in late February.
And in a Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) essay contest, students in the Wilmington Middle School’s eighth grade finished first through third in Clinton County: Paiton Walker captured first place, Emily Spendlove placed second and Madison Moore was third. Colin Ames received third place in the sixth-grade competition.
Holmes Elementary School Principal Carrie Zeigler reported that in conjunction with National Women’s History Month, students will be asked to vote after listening to the children’s book, I Could Do That: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote by Linda Arms White. Holmes’ fourth-grade classes have created campaign videos that will be shown to the other grades.
On March 11, the first Father-Daughter Dance at Holmes was attended by 110 families.
“Dads and daughters danced in the gym, while munching on snacks,” said Zeigler of the event.
East End Elementary School Principal Jen Martin reported that during Black History Month in February, second- and third-grade students did “close reads” about Martin Luther King Jr. — his story and how he made a difference in people’s lives.
A community cardboard art challenge will be held in April, said Martin, where students “will participate in play and experimentation which are essential to thinking and learning. It exercises brains, engages students in creative and critical thinking, and builds the curious minds that 21st century employers are seeking across career fields.”
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.