May School Using Smart Schools Bond Act
St. Catherine’s Center for Children’s R & E May School has developed a plan to take advantage of a one-time funding opportunity through New York State’s Smart Schools Bond Act (SSBA) passed in 2014. The amount of the funding is $15,345.
The SSBA offers a financial incentive that encourages schools to finance improved educational technology and infrastructure to enhance learning opportunity for students throughout New York State. Schools benefiting from these funds include special education programs such as St. Catherine’s R & E May School.
The May School has developed a plan that capitalizes on current resources and enhances technology for students. The goal is to use the latest technology tools to ensure that the May School addresses the educational needs of all students while increasing learning opportunities within and beyond the classroom.
The R&E May School intends to enhance teaching and learning on a sustainable basis through the purchase of Chromebooks. The diverse student population served at the May School includes students between the ages of 5 and 13 who are identified as having a variety of learning and behavioral disabilities. Since many students with disabilities struggle using traditional reading and writing strategies, the R & E May School works to provide the best learning environment for students.
Chromebooks will provide the following advantages for students:
Touchscreen devices are easier for all to use, especially for the younger students;
Having an individual device will allow students to work independently, and learn more through differentiated instruction;
Enhanced learning opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom, through a hands-on approach to a wide array of learning possibilities that meet an individual student’s needs.
The May School also intends to spend a smaller portion of the allotted funding, approximately 30%, to update computer desktop units and accessories in each classroom. Upgrading these units with the latest technology offers the added advantage of providing students with a more mainstream learning experience, thus preparing them for a return to traditional schools and learning environment.
The plan has been presented to St. Catherine’s Board of Directors, and has received their approval. A hearing for interested stakeholders will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, February 17 at the offices of St. Catherine’s Center for Children at 40 North Main Avenue in Albany.