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Middle School gets technology upgrades posted on 02/01/2019

Winter break at Welches Middle School (WMS) meant time to work, as the Oregon Trail School District (OTSD) installed technology upgrades, including new interactive and short throw projectors, larger screens, teacher iPads, wireless keyboards, docking stations and central speaker systems with microphones.

“I think the ability to do a lot of different learning activities has just expanded with the tools,” Principal Kendra Payne said, adding that the school had to have some other upgrades, such as wiring, to accommodate the new technology.

Payne noted that the technology will help improve the classroom experience, as teachers will be able to move around more and help engage all students, with better screens for displaying material and amplified voices to bring everyone into a conversation.

“I feel like accessibility, in those ways, have been pretty big,” she said.

The district also installed similar technology at Boring Middle School (BMS), following the move of Cedar Ridge Middle School into the Pioneer Building, which needed technology upgrades as part of that transition. Scott Coleman, OTSD Director of Technology, noted the upgrades at BMS and WMS totaled approximately $70,000, with the equipment paid for at the end of the last school year and the install done in-house.

“It’s a better learning environment for the kids,” Coleman said, noting that studies have been done that indicate a measurable difference for kid’s attention levels at the back of classrooms that include improved audio equipment. “It’s one fewer barrier for them.”

Coleman added that the upgrades put the schools at the “front of the middle of the pack” when comparing to other middle schools, but that the district looks for things that are “tried and tested” before choosing to invest in them.

Payne noted that the school also received a $5,000 donation from the Welches Parent Teacher Community Organization for new Chromebooks, replacing ones that were bought six years ago. She added that these improvements come on the heels of adopting new computer-based science curriculum at the middle school last year.

“We’ve had quite a bit of good tech upgrades over the past two years,” Payne said.

By Garth Guibord/MT

 

Parent Teacher Corner

(Information provided by Welches PTCO.)

The 2018-19 Welches Spirit Wear is here! Order forms will be going home soon and due back to the school by Friday, Feb. 22. Make sure to look for those order forms, you won’t want to miss out on this year’s designs, both created by two of our very own Welches students.

The Annual ABC Auction is just around the corner. Don’t forget to save the date on your calendar for Saturday, March 16. If you are interested in helping with auction donations or volunteering to help the Auction Committee, please email the WTPCO at welchesptco@gmail.com

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