District 158 to add 3,000 devices this school year

ALGONQUIN — Recently recognized for its 1:1 program, School District 158 is looking forward to a technology expansion set to provide devices to all kindergarten through seventh-grade students next school year.

The district in June was recognized as an "international launch site" by CurriculumLofts, an Indianapolis-based company that helps districts transition from textbooks to technology.

The honor was given based on the "excellence and commitment it has demonstrated for its technology enriched 1:1 program," according to the announcement, released June 27.

The recognition further establishes the relationship between District 158 and CurriculumLofts, as well as HP, Director of Curriculum and Instruction Marisa Burkhart said.

"It's a reflection of all the work we've done," Burkhart said, "and shows we're committed to opening our doors to allow other districts to learn."

Plans to expand the program are slated for the upcoming school year, she added.

"We are adding 1,500 devices at the middle school level and about 1,500 devices in primary buildings," Burkhart said.

Middle schoolers will be using HP Chromebooks and those at the elementary level will get more Kuno tablets.

In two years, District 158 has implemented 1:1 technology in several schools, and hosted more than 30 visits for outside districts interested in the program.

As an international launch site, Burkhart said visits by other districts may be more established. Otherwise, implementation will continue the way it has for two years. It's gone extremely well so far, she added.

"From our perspective, there's a lot of things that go into it," Burkhart said. "What we see with 1:1 rollouts is there are small pockets of teachers or principals in a district that want to start going forward.

"The strength in our district, I think, is it's our entire leadership team that's involved, and being exemplary from our partners' perspective, I think they just see everybody here has come to live and breathe 1:1 learning."

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