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Union Initiative Gives Laptops, iPads to Students

LAPTOPS TO NINTH GRADE: Principal Kenneth Moore with students displaying their new laptops.

Photo courtesy Union Public Schools

Union Public Schools distributed 1,200 laptop computers to every freshman at the beginning of the school year as part of the district’s 1-to-1 initiative.

“Our ninth grade students were excited to receive their laptops as we rolled out our 1:1 initiative at the ninth Grade Center,” said John Federline, executive director of Secondary Education. “Thanks to our voters who overwhelmingly approved this as part of the last bond issue, students will have a laptop that they will keep all year. This is an incredible opportunity for our teachers and our students to use instructional technology to increase achievement.”

Efforts by K-12 schools to give every student a laptop computer (called “1-to-1”) have been shown to increase student achievement in English/language arts, writing, math, and science.

“The Union 1:1 program is less about the device and more about creating a learning experience of discovery and creativity,” explained Gart Morris, executive director of Instructional Technology.  “We see this as a positive disruption to the learning process that will result in increased student engagement both during the school day and outside school hours.”

Union delivered about 1,200 Dell Windows laptops to freshmen and recently distributed 550 Apple iPads to students at Boevers Elementary.

Freshmen, who have signed “contracts” concerning the use of laptops will be able to take their devices home; iPads will be kept in classroom sets that cover every student in grades pre-kindergarten through fifth, Morris said. In addition, Union Alternative students also received laptops, which will be kept at the school site.

In February 2018, voters overwhelmingly approved the passage of a five-year series bond that included the implementation of the 1-to-1 initiative at Union Public Schools. Beginning in the ninth grade, every student will receive a laptop for use at school and at home. By fall 2019, every Union student in grades 9-12 will have the use of a computer 24/7. This initiative will enable teachers to deliver more personalized content to students, boost their technology skills, and empower young people to do more complex and creative work.

Updated 09-14-2018

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