Technology Upgrades at Los Olivos School

Interactive projectors, document cameras, Apple Inc. laptop computers and iPads are among the upgrades at the K-8 school.

Los Olivos is about to install 30 laptops, 30 iPad touch-screen tablet computers, 12 Texas Instruments projectors and 12 high-resolution Lumens document cameras, an upgrade from the old overhead projector, writes Julian J. Ramos at Santa Ynez Valley News.

The Apple equipment was bought through a three-year lease purchase deal. The $200,000 project also includes teacher training to be paid from funds dedicated to improving teacher quality.

The new technologies have been purchased using funding from the school’s foundation and a donation by the Fess Parker family.

“This is our big technology upgrade year,” said Superintendent Marsha Filbin last week.

The new equipment thought to be key to moving the school forward technology wise and vital to preparing students for the skills they’ll need to succeed, Filbin added.

Installation of the projectors in all 12 classrooms is expected to be completed by the time classes start Wednesday, Aug. 24.

K-6 students will rotate through a weekly inquiry-based science learning program in new curriculum. Teacher Laura Mudge will lead students in projects and research meant to teach problem solving and collaboration skills, writes Ramos.

The board of trustees approved a plan to reduce the number of transfer students, earlier this year. The plan was based on a priority system for the upcoming school year. According to district officials, the March decision to slash its interdistrict transfer enrollment is part of long-term planning for the financial stability of the two-campus district.

Of approximately 102 interdistrict transfer students at the school, 58 had been renewed and 44 had not at that time, writes Ramos.

“For the 2011-12 school year, 73 interdistrict transfer students are coming back, while 23 have been returned to their home districts, Filbin said. Some interdistrict students have moved on because of graduation.”

Having reached an agreement with the Valley’s other elementary school districts, transfers will be handled as they were in the past.

“Hopefully everything has settled down,” Filbin said of the difficult process which included appeals to the county Board of Education.


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