The 2018-2019 school year brings with it several exciting new technology initiatives at the Farrell Area School District. We are continuing our work to bring some of the latest educational technology to the district. Our goal in this effort is to offer ever expanding opportunities for our students to engage with classroom tools that will help prepare them for higher education and the modern workplace.
We are excited to begin the first phase of our 1:1 student Chromebook initiative. This school year, every student in grades five through eight will be issued their own Chromebook for use in their classes. Teachers within these grade levels will now be able to take advantage of an incredible amount of digital resources available through the Chromebook. We believe that this technology will help transform the classroom into a more dynamic and engaging learning environment.
This year, we are also continuing our efforts to make technology available to our younger students by introducing a brand new cart of iPad tablets to our first grade classrooms. Last year, our kindergarten classrooms utilized their iPad cart to help build skills ranging from reading to coding. Those students will be able to continue to benefit from access to powerful apps and resources this year in first grade.
Parents and students will also notice they have access to a new portal to access grades and attendance information. The new PowerSchool portal will display up-to-date class grades as soon as they are entered by teachers. The portal also shows class attendance to help give more insight into academic performance.
We have been hard at work on several other smaller yet vital projects including moving to a more reliable and secure email provider installing brand new multifunction printers throughout the district, and several initiatives to improve student safety and security. These projects all support the same goal of providing our students with more opportunities to take advantage of technologies and resources that can help them succeed.
-Brad Hoagland, Director of Technology