Lakota Sixth Graders Now Part of 1:1 Program

Lakota Sixth Graders Now Part of 1:1 Program
Posted on 08/08/2019
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photo of students with WE are Empowered SignWhen students return to school this fall, sixth graders throughout Lakota Local Schools will have a new tool to enhance their learning: the ‘WE are Empowered’ initiative, introduced to secondary students during the 2018-19 school year, will encompass a new grade of students. 

“We are excited to be able to provide district-owned Chromebooks to our sixth-grade students this year,” said Lakota’s Chief Technology Officer Todd Wesley. “This new group of students will have access to enhance their learning in a manner similar to their older counterparts.” In this modified program, the Chromebooks will only be used at school while seventh- through twelfth-grade students are able to take their devices home.

Members of Lakota’s technology department have worked diligently throughout the summer preparing the devices for students. The decision to distribute the devices to this grade level was done with fiscal responsibility in mind. “These Chromebooks were collected in May from last year’s eighth-grade students,” said Wesley. “It has been our intent from the start of this program to redistribute the eighth-grade devices to our elementary schools when collected,” he continued. Funding for the program is from the District’s Permanent Improvement fund, which stipulates that purchases are utilized for at least five years. 

“This is a great opportunity to not only put a new dedicated education tool in the hands of our students, but it will also help prepare our sixth-graders for junior school,” said Keith Koehne, executive director of curriculum. “While our elementary and early childhood schools are equipped with devices for teachers to share, this rollout will continue to enhance personalized learning for our students while giving them a taste of what is to come the following year.”

Innovation specialists will support the sixth-grade teachers as they incorporate innovative instructional content, increased collaboration and communication into their lessons. “In order to prepare our students for life beyond high school, technology must be incorporated into classroom learning,” said Koehne.

Wesley agrees. “The expansion of a modified ‘WE are Empowered’ program to our sixth-graders will further empower our learners through a more personalized experience. The program is designed to complement Lakota’s teachers by providing access to a robust learning tool to enhance student learning.”

All students in grades three through six will benefit from their new Innovation Hubs. Over the summer, each of the District’s eight elementary schools’ media centers were transformed into collaborative learning spaces that will feature green screen technology, virtual reality stations and more. Principals worked with Lakota’s technology and operations departments to bring their individual visions to life.