Credit: Lara Smith
Clearwater Valley Elementary School students in Kooskia use the Chromebooks purchased through award and grant funds.
As of Tuesday, November 7, 2017
KOOSKIA Thanks to a national award earlier this year, Clearwater Valley Elementary School students are plugged in. Or in many cases, they’re wireless.
CVES was honored for its efforts to offer quality education to all of its students. The school was rewarded with the The National Title I Association Distinguished Schools Program Award, and was only one of two schools in the state to receive the award.
With the recognition came $30,000 for the school. That money helped purchase Chromebooks for the students.
“Our staff discussed the many ways the money could be used and decided to purchase 120 Chromebooks,” said principal Susan Hill. The school had previously purchased 30 Chromebooks with a grant from the Nez Perce Tribe, bringing the total number of Chromebooks to 150.
“Our students are able to use the devices to research, write essays, and access math and reading programs and a variety of other uses,” Hill said. “Everyone is excited to have this technology in our school.”
The award was received specifically for closing the achievement gap within three groups: economically disadvantaged, Hispanic/Latino students, and students with disabilities.
In order for a school to qualify for the award, a school must have a poverty rate of at least 35 percent for the selected school year, demonstrate high academic achievement for two or more consecutive years, and meet or exceeded state-determined criteria based on two or more consecutive years of achievement data.
CVES was selected in the state’s category 2 group for being in the top 5 percent of schools meeting the qualifying criteria. For student who are economically disadvantaged, achievement increased by 25.25 percentage points. The Hispanic or Latino student subgroup achievement increased by 42.5 percentage points, while the students with disabilities subgroup achievement increased by 35.3 percentage points.
“I was so excited when we first found out about the award,” emphasized Hill. “My teachers work hard, and it is wonderful to see them recognized for their efforts. The biggest winners are the students, of course. It is great to see the hard work transform into positive student outcomes. As a staff, we are all very excited to be receiving this award.”
CVES has 200 students which makes 25 Chromebooks for each of the three 4th/5th grade classes. Each of the 2nd/3rd grade classes have 15 per class and the Kindergarten/1st grade classes use 5 per class. A few remain for library use. The Chromebooks remain at school.
“Currently, our WiFi cannot support all of the devices at the same time,” Hill added. “We expect the state to upgrade our WiFi by spring 2018. We are also looking at some other options.”
Hill said a substantial number of CVES students only have access to this technology at school, so it is an important addition to their education and technology preparation.
CVES librarian Lara Smith said she agrees the devices are useful.
“It’s so exciting to watch the students of CVE getting to use technology at such a young age that will be a fantastic tool to help them with their academic career,” Smith emphasized.