New grant for Sheppard Elementary means new technology

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE (KAUZ) - New learning tools are coming to Sheppard Elementary, the lone campus at Sheppard Air Force Base, after the school received a second $500,000 grant.

Those additional funds bring the total to $1,000,000 awarded to the school by Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA).

130 third to six-graders received new Google Chromebooks after the school received the first grant three years ago.

"They really skyrocketed student performance," Lauryn Taylor Sheppard Elementary DoDEA Project Director said."

"We had no computers," Mrs. Dianne Hill Sheppard Elementary fifth-grade teacher said. "We were lucky to have whiteboards. We had no extra money nor did we have any extra money for tutoring."

Fifth-grade students raved about the benefits of their new computers which they no longer had to share.

"The Chromebooks have kind of helped us learn more," Asharee Davis said. "Every time we didn't know something the teacher would say 'Oh, you can use your Chromebook.'"

"It's better [now] because we don't have to take turns and we can go on there if we need anything," Clara Fertz said.

The school also bought two Boxlight interactive touch-screen smart boards with the first grant and now plan on buying a third.

Mrs. Hill said it has been easier to identify students' strengths and weaknesses using the Boxlight. Sheppard Elementary is the only school to have one of those.

Taylor said the grant has helped create transformational learning.

"Our scores have seen a 30 percent increase, in the advanced scores, of students that are scoring the top on that STAR test every year."

Taylor said the school plans on purchasing 200 more Chromebooks for its pre-K to second-grade students. The school currently has 330 students and increase by 50 from last year.

Copyright 2017 KAUZ News All Rights Reserved