The Mountain Times

°F Sat, April 19, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Hopes are high for iPad fundraising efforts in Killington

KILLINGTON-After officially announcing the initiative in May, organizers are hopeful that summer fundraising efforts will help them to equip students at Killington Elementary School with iPads and interactive textbooks for this school year.

All Killington property owners have now received a letter from The Sherburne Education Foundation regarding details about a their fundraising effort, Killington Selectman Jim Haff says.

"Just this year, we began to use the iPad as a powerful and versatile tool for students who experience learning challenges and quickly noted the wide variety of benefits that would enhance learning for all students," Peter L. Phelps, a parent volunteer spearheading the initiative in Killington, states in the letter on behalf of The Sherburne Education Foundation. "We see the iPad combined with interactive textbooks as the wave of the future in education," it continues.

This initiative certainly puts KES on par with those schools in Vermont (and nationwide) with the best of reputations for education. Rural Vermont might seem an unlikely place for technologically advanced classrooms, but KES is not the first or only small town school that is fast adopting technology.

Enosburgh, Vt., part of Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union, adopted the so-called "1-to-1" iPad initiative last August, becoming the first school in the state to issue iPads to every student in high school- about 350 - as well as 60 students in elementary school, including kindergarteners.

The most recent Education Technology Report issued by VDE Jan 31, 2012, says that just over 6,000 students in 75 schools were involved in 1:1 computing programs during the 2010-2011 school year. Roughly 1,000 of those devices were iPads, a much more personal learning device, the report notes. VDE helped establish over 25 of those 1:1 programs with innovative grants last year.
The end goal is for every student K-6 at KES (about 75 total students) to have an iPad, but organizers expect the first round purchase to be much smaller. Phelps remains hopeful that enough can be raised the first year to cover the cost of 15 computers - enough for a classroom and a good first benchmark.

The Sherburne Education Foundation plans to purchase the second version of the iPad at $399 each, plus a MacBook Pro and two Learning Labs that are needed for powering and syncing the iPads. The total cost to fund the school will be about $30,000, which includes discounts for educators and for bulk purchasing (for every 10 iPads you get $200 off), Phelps explained.

"Towns with highly prized schools are magnets for families for whom education is a priority… please consider a donation of any size to the Sherburne Education Fund," the Fund state in the letter.

Donations can be made to the Sherburne Education Fund, 686 School House Road, Killington Vt. 05751

Tagged: Killington Elementary School, iPads