TRSD Improves Technological Access Through Three Computer Grants

Triton Regional School District is thrilled to announce the receipt of three grants which will be used to fund three new mobile computer labs, two in the high school and one at Pine Grove Elementary

The first grant, in the amount of $20,000 was issued by the Newburyport Bank Charitable Foundation through the Triton Education Foundation and will help finance the purchase of 32 Chromebooks which will occupy a mobile cart, an additional 10 Chromebooks that will reside at a rechargeable station, a portable, wireless white board with projection, and 2 laptops for the High School Library Media Center. Librarian, Andrea Sargent, who wrote and applied for the grant, spoke of the critical need for improved technology and resources in the Media Center. She noted, “The adoption and integration of the Common Core Standards and 21st century skills commands a vast emphasis on the use of technology.” Further, she commented that “the addition of a 3rd mobile lab will greatly contribute to the teaching and guiding of students through the process of research, reading, and projects.” With the addition of the new computer lab, the library itself will be restructured to create a more work-centered environment. Andrea envisions separate spaces for labs, a quiet work study area, collaborative space and a snack area.

The second grant was issued to the High School English Department through teacher Mr. James Allen who received $13,000 from the Newburyport Area Industrial Development group. The funds received will go to purchase 26 small Chromebooks, 2 larger screen Chromebooks, 2 laptops, a mobile cart and a wireless printer for the English Department. Similar to Andrea, referred to the overwhelming need to have additional computers to satisfy the growing needs of the 700+ students at the high school. He stated, “These Chromebooks will be used for long- or short-term writing assignments, as well as research.” Since the computers will reside on a mobile cart, all teachers in the department will have easy access to them.

Of course, the addition of new technology to the school requires that teachers and staff are up-to-speed on how to instruct in the new medium. To ensure an adequate knowledge-base, professional development funds have been set aside to send at least 2 teachers from each department to a six-hour training on the Chromebook and Web 2.0 tools.

The final grant was issued to the Technology committee at Pine Grove Elementary and was written by fifth grade teacher, Erica Geyer, Library Media Specialist, Elizabeth Cominole, and IT Specialist, Lilian Chalifour. The Institution for Savings Charitable Foundation presented the school with approximately $40,000 which will fund the purchase of 50 teacher notebooks, plus an additional 60 notebooks and 2 recharging carts which will make up two mobile computer labs that will be available to all staff and students. The addition of the mobile computer labs to the two existing stationary computer labs will allow technology to reach a greater population through flexible scheduling and movement to classrooms. By arming children at an early age with digital literacy skills and integrating technology into the traditional curriculum, students will be better prepared to move on to middle/high school and beyond.

The use of the technology will be facilitated by the installation of district wide WiFi access during the summer. Triton is honored to be the recipient of these generous grants and is excited to continue moving forward with its technological resources for its students!

Pine Grove African Festival a Hit!

Africa PGS 2On Thursday, April 17th at Pine Grove school the gym was transformed into an amazing African festival. The 6th graders of Mrs. Laperriere and Mrs. Lojko’s classes brought visitors to an experience that was like no other. Upon entering the gym there was two African markets. Each market had kind people who worked there. They spoke the languages of their country and even had many foods and African artifacts to choose from. Each item was labeled and converted into the currency of their African country. Next up were the South African school houses. Here visitors could witness an actual lesson being taught.  Handmade text books sat on each of the desks. At the hospital, 3 doctors worked to inform people about the diseases in Africa. There was a patient was in the back of the tent being cared for and ribbons were handed out symbolizing Aids and Malaria. As you moved on you were met by 2 miners. Their dark mine was filled with gold and diamonds and they even had a mining cart they rode to work every day. They were busy working with their flashlights and mining tools. Egypt was our next stop. Here we experienced the Pyramids and learned all about Mummies and Egyptians. Three tribes awaited us on our tour, each of which was outstanding. Tribal members could be seen beading, eating, playing songs or hunting with their shield. The huts they lived in were made of sticks, straw, and mud. The students’ costumes were out of this world. The street performers played many African songs and entertained all of us. Every ten minutes a bell went off and all the workers would gather in the middle of the gym for a ritual African dance. You also could relax and learn to play some African games with three South African boys. Finally, we were greeted by the guest of honor, Nelson Mandela, who wandered the crowed greeting all of the guests and telling us his life story. He also showed us all the African poetry our students had written. The students did an amazing job! (as told by Nicole LaPerriere)

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