School grant to fund iPad math learning
BARSTOW • Students at Henderson, Skyline and Montara could be learning math on a new iPad next year, as the Barstow Unified School District snagged a $540,000 federal grant for military families.
The three elementary schools enroll at least 15 percent of military-connected families — those whose parents are enlisted in or employed by the military. These families make up 14 percent of the BUSD’s student population, qualifying the district for the grant awarded by the Department of Defense Education Activity Educational Partnership, said Teresa Healy, assistant superintendent of Education services.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for our kids and we need to support our military kids,” Healy said. “This gives us a chance to do that.”
Barstow schools serve students whose parents are stationed or employed at the Fort Irwin National Training Center and the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Barstow.
Healy said the partnership specifically looked for several unique programs, including schools with programs that infuse Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) principles.
As schools across the state prepare for the new Common Core standardized test, to be introduced in 2014, Barstow Unified has been preparing “STEM infused” Common Core curriculum, Healy said.
“What we’re finding is military-connected kids, because they move from system to system, they’re not as proficient in mathematics, as proficient as we’d like, possibly because they do have to move from place to place,” Healy said.
With the money, the district will purchase iPads for all sixth-graders at the three elementary schools and for all teachers at the schools, Healy said. These iPads should enrich mathematics learning especially, officials said, because it’s interesting for students and more interactive. Also, the programs on the iPad make mathematics learning more collaborative, according to Healy, even pulling students into the higher levels of thinking. Ultimately their test scores go up.
The iPads will be kept in the classroom like a textbook, Healy said.
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