In the spring of 2014 Kloiber Foundation has partnered with Cardinal Valley Elementary School in Fayette County, Kentucky. The foundation has begun by donating enough money for five mobile laptop carts, each with 30 computers.
Cardinal Valley is recently renovated with several green solutions applied to the construction. Also on the list of improvements is wi-fi network connectivity throughout the school. Unfortunately for them, that is roughly where the money ended, leaving them with a nicely tech capable school and almost no tech to use.
The new principal, Matthew Spottswood, has a team of tech savvy teachers and administrators to work with and all the teachers in the school are passionate about improving their student’s education in any effective way possible. While 21st century skills are an acknowledged must for today’s youth, neither the school nor the district had the money to improve Cardinal Valley’s one outdated computer lab. Roughly 25-30 computers, with a few more scattered around the school, almost all of which are 5 years or older are simply not enough for 703 students to participate in any meaningful curriculum that utilizes computers. An added hurtle is the months the lab is unavailable for classroom work due to it’s key role in testing.
Cardinal Valley is implementing a new program to help close the gap for over 70% of their students who are Hispanic and have varying degrees of English understanding. Based on programs proven to be effective in some Southwest U.S. schools with high Hispanic populations, the program is designed from early on to turn these kids current disadvantage into a marketable advantage in the future. Namely they will be able to read, write, and speak fluently in both languages.
The implementation of Cardinal Valley’s program will be greatly aided by the addition of five mobile laptop carts that can be used in any classroom throughout the school. This versatility means that each and every teacher in every grade can make use of the computers regularly in their curriculum, not just for the gap students. With each student having their own computer during a session, their assignments can be tailored to their needs, be they below, at, or above grade level.