East End School wins grant for iPads, early morning learning

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PORTLAND — The East End Community School on Munjoy Hill will use a $2.7 million federal school improvement grant to purchase iPods and iPads for its elementary school students.

The grant will also provide funding for a morning extended learning program and professional development for teachers.

The three-year grant comes after the school day was extended by a half hour to add a “Rise and Shine” program. Physical activities such as Zumba and other exercise, math and reading assistance, arts programming and community service opportunities will all be part of the program, which will begin at 8:15 a.m. every morning.

Additionally, the school will purchase electronic SmartBoards for each classroom and provide iPads for every third-, fourth- and fifth-grader at the school, for a total of about 250 tablet computers. The plan also includes an additional 20 iPads for a cart available to kindergarten, first- and second-grade classrooms.

The grant will also cover the purchase of 40 iPod touches for all of the school’s English language learners.

“Staff will receive the iPads this fall for initial orientation and training,” Katherine Theriault, one of the School Department’s school improvement grant coordinators, said. “We are aiming to put the iPads and iPods into the kids’ hands by January.”

Riverton Elementary School is also purchasing iPads as part of its federal school improvement grant, although the plan there is to purchase the tablets for children in grades K-2.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter: @emilyparkhurst.