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Technology is key in Kent School District

KENT- Technology is becoming an important tool in today’s education.

National statistics show that 40 percent of classroom instruction relies on access to computers. But school districts are struggling to find a way to pay for it and make it universally accessible even outside the classroom.

The Kent School District has a three point plan to make sure everyone has access to a computer and the internet. They first start with the kids. Once a student enters the 7th grade, they get a laptop. It’s their computer until they graduate high school and they even get to take it home with them.

“Technology will be a key part of their life so we want to give them every advantage for college and career,” says Superintendent Dr. Edward Lee Vargas.

Each year, the district has a surplus of 2,000 computers. Student volunteers refurbish them and give them to families who could use a little help.

Almost 4,000 families in the Kent School District now have computers in their home.

Kent“We are seeing test scores improve, graduation rates go up, and seeing a digital community instead of a digital divide,” says Chris Loftis, Executive Director of Communications for the district.

What’s the good of a computer with no internet? The district’s thought of that too. They have kiosks around the community that act as hot spots. The kids and the parents can use the computer or the kiosk to look up homework assignments, grades, announcements, all for free.

Voters passed a $20 million tech levy in 2000 to pay for the program and continue to support it today.

To learn more about the program, click this link.

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