Rowland Unified School District

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Apple Laptop Learning Program Launched at Oswalt and Ybarra Academies

Apple 1 to 1 Laptop Learning Program     Launched in Rowland Unified


21st Century Learning Begins This Week


Two K-8 schools in Rowland Unified -- Oswalt Academy and Ybarra Academy of the Arts and Technology -- have launched a visionary technology initiative that will change the way students learn, prepare them with the skills needed to succeed in a global society, and ensure equal technology access to all students – regardless of economic background. The Laptop Learning Program provides students and teachers with around-the-clock use of an Apple notebook computer and access to software and educational tools, where learning can take place 24/7.


 This is the first Apple Laptop Learning Program in the San Gabriel Valley launched in public schools. It is funded by parent purchases/multi-year leasing to own programs over three years, school fundraising, and community business support. (Businesses interested in helping with student scholarships or donations, please call (626) 854-8352).


This week will be the first week of instruction for 5th and 6th grade students at Oswalt Academy and Ybarra Academy of the Arts and Technology using the laptop computers. Families attended special “Roll Out Nights” last week, where 240 students from Oswalt and 131 from Ybarra received their Apple laptops.  Each iMac notebook computer is pre-loaded with educational and digital authoring applications, including iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb, GarageBand, iDVD, and ComicLife. Each computer also has wireless connectivity and a built-in video camera and accessibility features like text-to-voice. Teachers will also have ProScopes (a hand-held microscope) for science use. Both school campuses installed WiFi throughout the school this past summer.


“This program has caused such an enthusiastic response from our teachers, students and parents,” said Ybarra Principal Annette Ramirez. “To see the faces of our students at the Roll-Out nights when they received their computers – and see entire families joined together in learning – this will truly transform our school.”


Research has shown students who participate in a 1 to 1 laptop program are more involved in learning activities, spend more time working on schoolwork at home, delve more deeply into learning topics, have improved attendance and fewer behavior problems.


Both Oswalt and Ybarra Academies have recently expanded to become K-8 schools and are also in the process of becoming International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) Schools. There are only 100 PYP schools in the U.S. The program focuses on the development of the whole child as a learner that utilizes an inquiry approach and develops international-minded students, engages students to be critical thinkers, risk takers, problem-solvers, and caring individuals who are community service minded. Foreign Language is also a component of the program.  


“The Laptop Learning Program goes hand-in-hand with being a PYP School,” said Oswalt Principal Astrid Ramirez. “Our teachers are excited to offer this opportunity for our students and we could not have done it without the support and partnership with our parent community.”


Stanley G. Oswalt Academy is located at 19501 Shadow Oak Drive, Walnut.  Principal Astrid Ramirez. (626) 810-4109


Ybarra Academy of the Arts and Technology is located at 1300 Brea Canyon Cut-Off Road, Walnut. Principal Annette Ramirez. (909) 598-3744.


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