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Each Gilmore Middle School student could soon have a laptop and serve as a test for how to roll-out a district-wide laptop program at the middle school level. With curriculums moving away from textbooks and more into higher engagement digital channels, RUSD Chief Academic Officer Rosalie Daca told The Journal Times that providing a laptop to every student will increase their interest in subjects. “As a former math teacher, if I had the tools that I’m seeing right now available when I was in the classroom, I know that I could have reached more students because they don’t have that visual piece,” she is quoted as saying. “These types of resources are really going to help the kids actually engage in their curriculum in a much stronger way.” The plan was presented to the Board of Education Monday, and they will vote on it at their Dec. 21 meeting. To provide a laptop to the 680 students at Gilmore, the district will have to purchase 500 additional devices with an estimated cost of around $200,000. The money would come from the referendum voters approved in November 2014, the story continues. Details still getting worked out include how to replace damaged computers, whether or not students will be able to take them home and how to provide Internet access to families who might not have it. Because the computers will stay with students throughout the day, officials hope to see a reduction in behavioral issues and an increase in achievement and engagement.

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In addition to our education features, we’ll be kicking off a series of stories highlighting how parents, students, and educators are adapting to the impact of COVID-19 on education. If this is important to you, please consider donating to our education reporting fund. https://business.facebook.com/donate/1846323118855149/3262802717172659/