Every summer, there are a multitude of technology projects to complete at Tahlequah Public Schools. Last summer saw the completion of the Windows-10 migration and a significant influx of Chromebooks and iPads.
The primary project for this summer is to complete the first cycle of the Chromebook initiative. We will add another 25 carts of Chromebooks for the high school. This will add an additional 750 Chromebooks to assist students in their education. With the addition of these Chromebooks, there will be one Chromebook available for every student from the third grade through 12th grade. We will actually complete this initiative one year earlier than expected because of grants and other funding. The technology plan written in 2016 estimated that it would not be completed until 2020.
iPads are still our primary device for grades pre-K through second grade. However, our second-grade classes use both Chromebooks and iPads. This summer, we will be adding five iPads per class at the Pre-K Center.
During the summer months, the technology team checks all student devices to make sure they are in working order and are ready to be checked out to students in the fall. This includes all Chromebook carts and iPads throughout the district.
The technology team will also be implementing the fourth year of the technology replacement plan. This summer, they will finish replacing computers at Greenwood Elementary School. Computer replacements were started last summer, and this will complete the project at that site. In addition, we will also look at upgrading some of our security cameras at the high school, as well as Heritage Elementary School.
STEM has become a big priority in all the schools and there are many 3-D printers, robots, and other gadgets throughout the STEM labs at our sites.
The job of technology at TPS never slows down, and there is always a challenge ahead. We always want to be prepared to meet those challenges, and to help our students engage and learn by using technology.
Every year, we make advances and we strive to keep moving forward.
Leon Ashlock is superintendent of the Tahlequah I-35 School District.