Mount Vernon News

By Mount Vernon News
May 30, 2012 11:43 am EDT


UTICA — The North Fork Local School District is turning to new technology to help students, getting iPads for every student in the high school.

Mark Bowman, Utica High School principal, said he is very excited about the possibilities this technology brings to the students in his building, “This gives our students the ability to grow, becoming courageous learners who are flexible thinkers, ready to face the constantly changing needs of the 21st century,” he said.

Bowman told the News the students are also very excited about getting iPads.

“I believe our test scores will go up simply because the kids want to learn with this [system].”

The cost-neutral program involves a four-year lease program with Apple that will reallocate textbook material funds and title money to pay for the iPads for the 2012-13 school year. At the end of the lease, the district will have the option to purchase the equipment from Apple.

Bowman said there are other potential savings for the district and the community once the iPads are put into use at the high school. Other schools that have implemented iPad programs have seen their school’s paper use decrease by 60 percent which equals thousands of dollars of savings for the district. Also, some school fees will decrease as students can access more information online. For example, the fees for College and Research Writing were $27 this year and will be zero next year since the students will be able to access the style manual information online. Bowman anticipates the school will be able to reduce or eliminate other fees as well.

The district will be getting about 500 iPads, enough for every student in grades nine through 12. The only outlay for students will be a yearly $50 insurance cost, if they want to take the iPad home, that will be required prior to taking the equipment home. The $50 may also be used toward the purchase of the iPad if the student so desires.

Bowman said students who choose not to pay the fee will still be able to use the iPad at school.

Michelle Snow, the district’s professional development coordinator, while excited about what iPads mean for the students, is also enthusiastic for what this means for the teachers, helping them to become “facilitators of learning in the classroom.”

Bowman said the 2012-13 school year is bound to be exciting at Utica High School. “Next year,” he said, “there will be more Advanced Placement classes, business classes that will allow students to earn college credit, and, now, iPads. Students will have more opportunities than ever before.”

Contact Pamela Schehl

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