The students in our school come from very diverse backgrounds and cultures. There are 16 different languages spoken as a first language at home by students. We are a Title I school and nearly 70% of our students receive free/reduced lunch, and are classified as economically disadvantaged.
Our school is part of the District Reference Group "H," which is the second lowest socioeconomic level a school can be placed in.
Often, students become disengaged in the academic process because they are discouraged by the connections made at school. This disengagement can result in absenteeism, behavior issues leading to suspensions, and poor academic performance.
Many students come to school and are disengaged. There isn't enough variety in their learning life due to a lack of technological supplies. Our curriculum is increasingly based in technology, but the hardware and resources aren't meeting the students' needs. With nearly 80% of our students being classified as economically disadvantaged, the access to technology isn't being provided at home either. With those increasing demands on students with regard to technology, they are experiencing more struggles with assignment completion. Students are failing to complete assignments that must be typed, and therefore are failing classes. The rate of students in summer school is increasing, and students are being retained as well.
The success of today's students is in no small part related to technology, and a lack of access to that technology due to economic disadvantages causes them to fall further behind their peers.
When I tell students that they can bring a device to the next class if they would like to use it, their faces light up. There are very few students that this is a reality for, though. So, instead of being able to interact with curriculum material, students are forced to read printed copies of slideshows. Instead of watching a video, or using a simulation, students are looking through textbooks. Instead of exploring the vast world of the content, and the limitless questions that abound, they are restricted. This restriction leads to a lack of work ethic and behavioral issues that sometimes result in suspension. Classes missed due to suspension, or excessive absences pile up and cause academic hardship for students. A Chromebook would make a huge difference for those students.
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