Willow Creek Elementary is receiving significant technology upgrades this year, thanks to the Cherry Creek Schools taxpayers who passed a budget and bond election in 2012. These technology investments will pay big dividends for our students!
We received 30 new Dell laptops and 94 Samsung Chromebooks just this fall. (You may have noticed the large pile of boxes in the third-grade hall during conferences!) After a long November marathon of working seven days a week, our techs finally have everything out of the box and set up for students.
Second- through fifth-grade wings each have a cart of 22 to 25 Chromebooks — enough that a full classroom of students can each use a Chromebook for their work. Since every student and teacher in Cherry Creek Schools has a CCSD Google account, the Chromebooks are an easy way for students to create and turn in work to their teachers.
When it comes time for online state assessments, the Chromebook carts will be wheeled to the classes being tested so that an entire grade level can take the assessment at the same time. Up until now, online assessments could only be given in our computer lab, which can accommodate just 30 students at a time.
The district also provided 30 Dell Latitude laptops to each elementary school to refresh computer labs. Since we already have great machines in our lab, those Dells were distributed to our fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms, where students do more demanding computer work. These machines replace our venerable eMacs, which are 8 to 10 years old. (They've been wonderful machines, but can no longer be upgraded to meet the demands of the latest web browsers.)
Through private grants, we have purchased RAM and license upgrades for the computer lab, so that the iMacs now have 8 GB of RAM and will run OS X Mavericks (10.9). Private grants have also paid for the iPads for Teachers program, and we continue to purchase iPads for student use as money allows. Our current cart of 27 iPads belongs to our daycare program, Willow Creek Cares for Kids. We are thankful that we get to use that cart during the school day, and students in WCCK really love getting their hands on them before and after school!
Within the next few months, the district will be almost doubling our wireless network capacity and improving coverage. Right now, we often "choke" during the school day when everyone is trying to get online at the same time.
After four years without any technology investment for students, we are delighted to be receiving new machines. While Willow Creek still does not have enough new computing devices to replace every one of our obsolete computers, we are thrilled to have made such a big leap forward this fall! Thank you, Cherry Creek taxpayers and stakeholders!
If you would like more information about the spending from the bond election, visit this webpage on the Cherry Creek Schools' website here