Technology focus eases mission of education

Our technology department, with the leadership of Claudia Wenholz, secured two additional grants this year. One is the Intel Teach to the Future Grant where Jan Pender, one of our elementary teachers, instructs 20 teachers a year on how to use technology to enhance learning.

Mrs. Pender received $5,000 worth of supplies and equipment for her classroom and each teacher in the class receives many pieces of software. The teachers seem to have a great time creating Power Point presentations and many other new learning tools. Last summer, we had a waiting list for the class and the next class will be June 3-7 at the elementary school lab.

Another grant secured through the technology department was the $40,000 Technology Literacy Challenge Grant, which allows us to invest in creating a class for networking computers. At the high school, next year we want to offer a computer repair class, Aries, and a networking class, Cisco.

High school students who complete either of these classes and pass the certification tests can secure jobs, some of which pay over $30,000 a year.

Each year, we add more computers, software, printers, and servers. Now we have over 425 computers, 140 printers and seven servers. Our technology department does a great job of maintaining this equipment. It is quite a challenge keeping our hardware, software, and "mind ware" up to date.

Each classroom has a high-speed connection to the Internet and our teachers have access to the Internet as an employee benefit. We have approximately a dozen staff members using this benefit.

In addition, each teacher has voice mail and e-mail and many parents communicate with teachers using these technologies. I’ve heard many good comments about our homework hotlines. All you need to do is dial the teacher’s classroom to get information.

Another way technology helps us communicate with our community is through our web site. Check us out at cvaz.org\cvs. Next year, we hope our high school students will manage the web site.

Many students this year are taking a new class where they learn to build and maintain web sites. Also, the high school maintains radio announcements within a two-mile radius of the school. Remember, when you are in Cowboy Country to tune into KBOY and get the latest school news. An announcement that is running now reminds us to pay our tax credit of $200 or $250 by Dec. 31.

Technology is a wonderful thing and our students and staff enjoy the challenge and benefits of technology.

Marilyn M. Semones is the superintendent of the Camp Verde School District.

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