Magazine article District Administration

Bringing Mobility: A Mobile Computer Lab for Practicing Reading and Math Skills Will Help Raise Achievement for At-Risk Students

Magazine article District Administration

Bringing Mobility: A Mobile Computer Lab for Practicing Reading and Math Skills Will Help Raise Achievement for At-Risk Students

Article excerpt

IN THE SMALL TOWN OF Sulphur Bluff, Texas, most residents head to nearby Sulphur Springs for work, as their own small town's dairy farming industry has dried up over the past few decades.

The Sulphur Bluff Independent School District, which includes a single school building with one section for pre-K6 and another for grades 7-12, struggles financially and needs more technology, including a mobile computer lab, to especially help its at-risk and special education students and English Language Learners.

Kayla Ross, the district's account secretary and grant coordinator, became one of two finalists in the Second Annual DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION X-Factor Student Achievement Grant program. Sulphur Bluff ISD, which has 242 students, won a year's worth of AutoSkill Academy of READING and Academy of MATH software and professional development training to help improve its academic achievement.

The district was rated "academically acceptable" for the 2007-2008 school year, with students scoring 75 percent or above in math and reading tests in grades 3-12. This year's goal is to reach "recognized" status, which means a 75 percent pass rate on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test and State-Developed Alternative Assessment II, and a 0.7 percent dropout rate.

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"We're small and we want to help our at-risk students and help get them where they need to be," says Superintendent Robert Ross, who is married to Kayla Ross. "I think technology helps teachers get at-risk kids where they need to be. …

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