By Nolan Patrick Smith
High Desert Daily
(Victorville) Monday marked another monumental day for the High Desert, as it was the day that Excelsior Charter School deployed iPads to their Eighth graders, and even some Seventh graders. The event was marked with a large line of eager students and equally excited parents.
Excelsior announced earlier that iPads were coming for their Eighth graders, and Monday marked their disbursement to the students. Around 200 Seventh and Eighth graders will receive an iPad as a technological tool that will follow them all the way to graduation if they continue their studies with Excelsior. Seventh graders who are in Algebra 1 were eligible for an iPad along with the Eighth graders. Monday afternoon, students and parents lined up for this milestone event, as staff worked diligently to not only distribute the iPads, but to make sure the devices were set up properly with help by a plethora of Excelsior staff members. Karen Wright, Administrative Assistant to Junior High Principal Jess Descalsota, spoke to High Desert Daily about the importance of the iPads.
“Those that don’t have access to the Internet at home now will have that access. It will help them if they need help in reading or math or any of the other subjects that they can obtain information for online. As long as they graduate from Excelsior, the iPad is theirs to keep.”
Junior High Principal Jess Descalsota took a moment to speak about the goals for the iPad, taking a small break from the crowds for this massive turnout. “The main goal for the iPad is to get our students prepared for the 21st century technology, and we believe that the iPad will be around for awhile. Its part of being technologically savvy in the real world, this is one of the tools that they will need to use.”
Among the massive line bending around the courtyard of the new campus, Victorville resident Raymond Mudd stood with his Eighth grade son as they awaited their turn for this technological leap in education. Mudd spoke about his views on this event, and what it means in terms for learning. “I think it’s a good idea. I think it’s a privilege for the kids, for the school to show the kids another apparatus for learning, another way of learning.” When asked what his first response was when he heard about students receiving iPads, Mudd replied, “At first, when my son told me, I was a little unsure. I mean, I heard of universities giving out iPads as part of their tuition, but for a high school, and a junior high at that, I was a little shocked at first; but like I said its a good opportunity for them to learn.”
Established in 1995, Excelsior has served the High Desert proudly for the past 17 years. Providing an alternative independent study educational program for grades 7-12, Excelsior currently serves over 1,300 students at the Victorville Campus, as well as over 150 at each of the Barstow and Phelan sites. For more information on Excelsior’s programs, visit their website at www.excelsior.com.