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MidWeek Staff

Mililani Schools Join Tech Pilot

Two Central Oahu schools have been selected for a pilot program that aims to boost technology.

Mililani Mauka and Mililani Waena elementary schools will join six others in the Common Core Digital Curriculum Pilot Project (CCDC), based on their technological readiness, commitment to integrating technology in the classroom and readiness to implement a schoolwide project.

The program uses new digital curricula aligned with the Common Core State Standards, which are new learning standards for English, language arts and math. Each student and teacher at the participating schools will get a tablet or laptop, as well as new curriculum and training on Google Apps for Education. Following teacher training, the schools will begin receiving their equipment. The two Mililani schools are scheduled to get theirs in early 2014.

“The introduction of both the CCDC along with the Common Core State Standards in our schools helps set a high standard for student achievement, and pushes our efforts even further in preparing our students for postsecondary success,” said schools superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

The program builds on the successful work of other Hawaii schools. Keaau Elementary, which has provided the devices to students for two years, has seen a significant difference in the classroom dynamics.

“The use of digital devices in our school has been a tremendous help in accelerating our students’ love of learning, which translates into higher test scores and better attendance,” said Keaau principal Chad Keone Farias. “We’ve surpassed the state average in math and are on par with the state average in reading, which is a huge improvement over the last few years.”

The 2013 state Legislature appropriated $8 million to fund the pilot program.

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