Verizon will provide iPad tablet computers to students in the upper grades at five CMSD PreK-8 schools as part of an effort to help students nationwide close the “digital learning gap.”
Devices will be distributed next school year to middle-school age students at Almira, Miles Park, Patrick Henry, Wade Park and Whitney M. Young schools.
The grant also will cover a four-year data plan, partial subsidy of a full-time instructional coach at each of the schools for two years, training for teachers and an opportunity for classrooms to connect with dozens of schools across the country.
The CMSD schools are among 100 that Verizon and Digital Promise plan to add to the Verizon Innovative Learning initiative next school year. The initiative, which already serves 152 schools, seeks to bring more equitable access to technology in high-poverty areas.
Giving each of the students access to a device and the Internet will sharpen keyboarding skills critical to taking online state tests, create easy access to homework and reduce the amount of money schools spend on curriculum materials, said Tamika Taylor-Ivory, principal at Miles Park. And, she said, it puts a wealth of information at their fingertips.
“This is really big for our District,” she said. “I am elated that students will have one-to-one technology and can take their learning beyond the school walls to the world.”
A number of CMSD’s PreK-8 and high schools have one-to-one technology throughout their buildings.
Every student at Orchard STEM School has access to an iPad, supplied by Apple under a White House initiative in 2016. Two years later, Orchard’s use of the devices earned it designation as one of fewer than 500 Apple Distinguished Schools in the world.
Since 2018, many CMSD high school students have received free tablets and Wi-Fi from Sprint so they could complete online schoolwork at home. The number of students is now at 1,300.