STAMFORD, Vt. -- Funding for technology upgrades and full-day kindergarten for the 2012-13 school year are two of the warrant articles the school district is asking voters to support at the district's annual meeting March 5.
The requests include $20,000 to buy laptop computers and accessories for students to enhance the technology available for them to use at the school, and $25,574 to expand the half-day kindergarten program to full-day, according to the articles.
"We want to make computers accessible to as many children as possible," School Board Chairwoman Beverly Aase said Monday.
With fiber-optic, high-speed Internet expected to be available in Stamford by 2014 as part of the Vermont FiberConnect project, there is concern that some of the computers that currently make up the school's computer lab may not be able to operate effectively, she said.
Beth Choquette, Stamford Elementary School principal, said the school's computer lab doesn't have enough computers for a class to use, and the computers that are there were donated a couple years ago from Williams College.
"Providing students with one-on-one access to computers is no longer a luxury, but a necessity," she said.
Students are required to produce work using many different forms of technology, and there are changes taking place on the state and federal levels that require technology to be integrated into the classroom. An example is the state's standardized test, the New England Common Assessment Program, being replaced with the SMARTER Balanced Assessment, she said.
"Students will no longer be taking a paper and pencil state standardized test; it will have to be taken online," she said.
The request for funding for full-day kindergarten has appeared on the school district warrant in prior years but has yet to be approved.
Choquette said with the No Child Left Behind Act, and expectations being set for each grade level, it can be difficult to teach a full year of state standards in a program that runs the equivalent of half a year.
"This is something we've been thinking about for a long time," she said. "What students are required to know by the beginning of first grade is the same for students finishing a full-day program or a half-day program."
Children entering kindergarten have often had two years of preschool and are ready for a full-day program, she said.
"Full-day kindergarten will make them even more prepared for the first grade, providing them with more opportunities, learning and skills to help them in becoming successful," she said.
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