Southern School Notebook: July 21

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Grant will mean new Apple devices at Holy Cross

Four years ago, Holy Cross Catholic School in South Portland became the first diocesan school to provide one-to-one electronic devices to students in grades four through eight. The initiative was made possible by a four-year grant that supplied every third-and fourth-grader with an iPad and every middle school student in grades five through eight with a MacBook Air laptop.

“Both students and staff have journeyed together to discover new and exciting ways to integrate technology into learning and the classroom,” said Christine L’Abbé, principal at Holy Cross. “The question for us was always, ‘What’s next?’”

The answer has arrived in additional funding secured through a grant and school fundraising to create a new four-year round of technology at Holy Cross. This fall, students will return to school to find new laptops and new iPads that will span all grades.

The school has secured a one-to-one matching grant of up to $23,000 per year from an anonymous donor. In essence, if the school raises $11,500 annually, the donor will match it over the length of the grant. A second anonymous school supporter has already donated the school’s $11,500 match for the first year.

“I feel extremely blessed to be supported by wonderful people who provide our students with the newest technological tools,” said L’Abbé. “… (W) e are ahead of the curve, as our students have been working with many different technology devices throughout their educational experience here.”

The grant will provide new MacBook Airs to students in grades five through eight and iPads with detachable keyboards for all second-, third- and fourth-graders. iPads now being used at the school will be given to students in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade. In addition, each teacher’s laptop will be updated as well.

Cape student wins National Merit Scholarship

National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced James A. Planinsek of Cape Elizabeth was one of around 900 additional winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by colleges and universities. Officials of each college selected their scholarship winners from among the finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution.

Planinsek, whose probable career field is diplomatic service, received a George Washington University Scholarship.

SMCC to accept students on the spot Aug. 16

Southern Maine Community College is holding an On-the-Spot Acceptance Day, allowing prospective students to meet one-on-one with college representatives and complete the entire admissions process for the fall semester in a single visit.

The SMCC Admissions Office will be open for extended hours on the South Portland campus Wednesday, Aug. 16, when students can complete their application, take their placement tests, start the financial aid process and sign up for new student orientation. No appointment is necessary and application fees will be waived. Students who register that day will be entered to win a free class.

Prospective students can also stop by the admissions office anytime during regular business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Fall semester classes begin Aug. 28.

For more information see, email or call 741-5800.