Montgomery may give iPads to all students

MONTGOMERY – Montgomery Area School District unveiled a plan to provide iPads for students in every grade and approved several varsity coaches during their Tuesday night meeting.

In September 2012, Montgomery High School students received iPads provided by the district as part of a technology initiative. According to Superintendent Daphne Ross, the program has been so successful that the district hopes to provide all students, from kindergarten to high school, with their own iPads by 2015.

Sixth-grade students will be the first to receive the new technology, which the district hopes to hand out in September. An $18,000 grant from the district’s newly formed Red Raider Foundation will fund the venture, according to Ross.

“We have already given our middle school teachers their devices, so that they can get a jump start on next year,” Ross said.

Nina Green, a high school chemistry teacher, explained that she initially had been reluctant to embrace the technology shift, but has seen positive results as time has gone on.

“I am someone who is more ‘old school’ in my teaching style, but as time has gone on I’ve come to believe that this technology was one of the best things the district could have provided for the students,” Green said.

In one of her classes, a student wrote and performed a rap song about chemistry. That kind of creativity flourishes on the iPads, according to Green.

“The students taking these are really making them their own; it fosters their creativity. When they have questions they’re much more hands-on about researching the answer themselves,” Green said.

Several athletic appointments were approved at the meeting, including: Tom Persing, varsity football, at a salary of $4,000 for the year; Craig Weaver, varsity softball coach, $4,368 for the year; and Persing, varsity baseball coach, at a salary of $4,325 for the year.

The board also appointed Grant Evangelisti as the district’s business manager, at a yearly salary of $80,000 plus benefits. His position will begin on March 6.