School district awarded tech grant

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 12, 2010

NATCHEZ —High school students will soon be able to learn about Newton’s laws of motion and the French Revolution via broadcast instruction.

New technology, including hardware with the ability to broadcast, will soon be added to six classrooms at Natchez High School and Central Alternative School. The Mississippi Department of Education awarded a $182,600 grant to the Natchez-Adams School District this week to fund the new age tools.

The grant is part of a program called Enhancing Education Through Technology program for Title 2 Districts (E2T2).

Grant writer Ernest Palmer said approximately half of the money would go toward technical enhancement of classrooms in science and social studies, and the other half would go toward training teachers and staff to use the equipment. He said staff training is a helpful advantage of the grant, so teachers can smoothly integrate new tools into the classroom.

Existing classrooms will be transformed into what the MDE calls “21st century classrooms,” Palmer said.

Palmer said the technology would be useful for at-risk students at Central Alternative School to keep up with their peers at NHS. For example, students can take a Biology 2 class that is not offered at Central via broadcast rather than fall behind when re-entering NHS or heading to college.

NASD Superintendent Dr. Anthony Morris said technology engages students because they do not see it as a chore.

“These children are more turned on with the technology approach because that’s how they survive,” he said.

The grant’s purpose is to provide resources to low-achieving schools that are committed to raising student achievement. Eight other school districts in the state received similar grants.