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Grace Academy soars into technology challenge with new programs, equipment

September 10, 2012

Technology is moving faster than lightning, and Grace Academy is trying hard to keep up with the challenge.

The 2011-12 school year ended with a bang and school officials are excited to start the 2012–13 year with enriched technology opportunities. The school has moved ahead with its technology integration vision in many ways.

It has upgraded its wireless capability to handle the many laptops supplied by the Government Surplus Agency. 

In the next school year, Grace will pilot its Bring Your Own Device program in grades 11 and 12.  

It will also be rolling out Google Apps accounts for students in grades six through 12.  With this new project, the world of teacher and student collaboration is increasing. This vision of collaboration, coupled with student-focused projects, allows students to be thinking out of the box to promote 21stcentury learners. 

All rooms will be outfitted with interactive whiteboards. The elementary hallway will have Smartboards, and middle and high school classes will be experimenting with document cameras and carts of laptops. 

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In addition, this fall will be the first online course offerings for the school’s Hagerstown Area Virtual Christian Academy to other Christian schools in the surrounding areas.

Several online instructors will be offering a diverse selection of advanced online classes and electives to broaden the school’s coursework but also offer the experience of online instruction before going to college. 

Lastly, a new math program titled Maple 15 has recently been added to push its STEM, or Science, Technology Engineering and Math learning, and teach those higher-level math and engineering skills.

School administrators Jack Appleby and Nikki Bowers are  supportive with budgeting time and money for technology professional development.

“We could not do it without supportive administration and the efforts of our staff that stay so positive when I approach them with yet, one more technology idea,” said Ashley Evans, technology specialist. “Our full-time systems analyst, Nathan Behe, has contributed immensely to the vision and helping grow our program.  With so many pieces of equipment, a full time IT person, trainer and willing teachers are needed to complete the picture of success.”  

In its efforts to push higher-level thinking, Grace Academy is moving forward, trying to keep up with technological advances and train future generations. 

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