by Kelsey Friesen
Students will see the end of construction and the implementation of new technology at Irving Middle School this school year.
“Construction is slated to be done for school to start in August,” Head Principal Jonathan Atchley said. “There will be six new classrooms, there is a new office, and a gym we will use for volleyball and, primarily, wrestling. The gym will also serve as our safe room – tornado shelter.”
Irving’s construction project started when Norman voters passed Bond Issue 2014. The bond allowed for the Norman Public Schools district to make repairs and expand on existing schools, like Irving.
“The really good news, our prefabs will be gone. So no one will have a classroom or even an office in one,” Atchley said. “The new structure will be beautiful. And, we will have new paint. The kids will see a more welcoming look.”
The PTO will also provide two shaded structures with square benches that offers seating all around. Atchley also said Irving will have new sidewalks.
Along with new construction from the Bond Issue 2014, NPS received money to implement the iTech Initiative. Starting the 2017-2018 school year, sixth to twelfth students will have individual MacBook Airs to use in and out of the classroom.
“Within the first few days of school, every student will have their MacBook,” Atchley said.
Much goes into students receiving their MacBook Air, including Digital Citizenship and basic set-up. Teachers will also have various uses for the MacBook Airs in their classroom. Several subjects, like Language Arts, have digital textbooks.
Teachers like Kerry Friesen, Norman High School, see the long term benefits of students utilizing MacBooks in the classroom.
“Students will have more real world skills leaving school,” Friesen said. “Especially with students receiving the Macs in middle school. There’s more opportunity for growth. Right now, kids are digital native. They’re born with technology. It surrounds them. But, they don’t know to use it use it. They can download apps and open Google. This will hopefully make them digital savvy.”
To watch Friesen’s full interview, go here.
Atchley believes teachers, parents and the community will see a more realistic and real style learning with the Macs.
Breakdown of NPS’s iTech Initiative