New tech attempts to level playing field for student success in SD8

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By Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A new age in learning has dawned as the school district has commenced provision of laptops for some students to augment their studies for the first time in its history.
Last spring School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) board of trustees approved the lease of laptop computers for all students in Grade 7 and Grade 10 across the district.
In September and October the Student Laptops for Success initiative was delivered and 850 laptops made their way out to students across the district.
One of the aims in the initiative is to improve student success by increasing equity of access to learning tools in the “form of modern, portable devices to all students,” said SD8 board chair Lenora Trenaman.
“(The goal is) to provide access to district-purchased and supported software applications; to support learning outside the traditional classroom; (and) to ensure all students have equal access to technology-rich learning opportunities,” she said.
The cost of the initiative is far less than the $750,000 that was first touted by some when it was announced in February, with $230,000 being spent on the lease cost for the machines, which is funded out of the operating funding provided by the Ministry of Education.
Only one trustee voted against the initiative — Al Gribbin of Creston — and made a motion (that was defeated) to delay the approval at the time in order to examine the implications of the initiative and investigate other options.

A laptop in every lap
Although only two grades will receive laptops this year the idea is that eventually...continued.

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