Ray Huard …Temple Heights Elementary School has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program for 2016-2018 for providing iPad tablets to each of its students to support personalized learning.
“When you walk into a Temple Heights classroom, you feel the energy as young students research topics, create interactive projects, collaborate and share them with their classmates,” said Kim Morton, principal of the Vista Unified School District school.
“Activities like these give our students real-world, problem-solving experience and ownership of their learning, while building global competencies,” Morton said. “At Temple Heights, iPad inspires creativity and makes a real difference in student learning, thereby opening doors to the future.”
The Apple Distinguished Program designation is reserved for schools that meet certain criteria for innovation, leadership and educational excellence.
The schools also must demonstrate “a clear vision of exemplary learning environments,” according to Apple.
Temple Heights does that in part by ensuring that each of its more than 660 student has access to iPads.
Students in grades three through five are assigned iPads which they can take home and use for homework and class projects, said Assistant Principal Kerry Perez.
The students check out the iPads from the school library, much like they would check out textbooks, Perez said.
“We’re looking at the iPads as their 21st century textbooks,” Perez said. “The iPad doesn’t replace paper and pencil, it just sort of supplements and enhances our program.”
Students in kindergarten through second grade are assigned iPads to use in class, although the take-home program has been so successful that the school may expand it to the lower grades, Perez said.
A survey of parents at the end of the 2015-2016 school year showed they liked the school’s use of the iPad tablets.
“People were very excited that their students had access to the iPads,” Perez said. “Overwhelmingly, they were positive.”
In applying to become an Apple Distinguished Program, Temple Heights prepared a digital book telling its story. The book is available for download in iBooks.