The Pottsville Area School District has been taking steps the last four years to better prepare our students for future careers through high quality teaching and learning accelerated by the utilization of technology. One of our first initiatives was to introduce the 1:1 iPad program to all Kindergarten and first grade students in the John S. Clarke Elementary Center (JSC) in the 2013-2014 school year. In 2014-2015, we added 2nd grade at JSC and 5th grade in the DHH Lengel Middle School (DHHL). This school year, the program expanded to include the 3rd grade at JSC and 6th grade at DHHL.
Our long-range plans have been bold and forward thinking. Two summers ago, our administrative team, along with one of our board members, spent time at Apple with their educational experts to help us develop and hone our vision for infusing technology to support teaching and learning in all of our classrooms. As research indicates, teaching students how to explore, design and create helps to prepare them for the future workplace.
The same administrative group, along with teacher representatives from each school, has partnered with Tom Murray, who serves as the Director of Innovation for Future Ready Schools, which is a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education located in Washington, DC. Tom has not only testified before the United States Congress, he also works alongside both that body and the US Senate, the White House, the US Department of Education and state departments of education, school districts and corporations throughout the United States.
On March 3rd, our Board of School Directors helped us take the next step by signing a new lease with Apple so that every student and teacher, for the 2016-2017 school year, will have his/her own iPad to utilize in their education. By signing this new Apple lease, which included a discount for us, we are able to realize substantial savings in our budget and taxpayer monies over the next four years, AND provide these devices for our staff and students.
Soon, you will begin to receive more information regarding our new TIDE 1:1 program and how it will be implemented across the three schools. The word “TIDE” will also have a new, additional meaning, “Technology, Inspires, Dynamic, Engagement” and we will also launch a brand new technology web site for our district in the very near future to serve as another communication tool that will contain all of the new technology forms and other updates as warranted.
We are excited to begin this new endeavor to provide teachers with the tools needed for 21st century teaching and our students with every tool necessary to succeed in a global economy.Sincerely,Jeffrey S. Zwiebel, Ed.D.Superintendent