New Elizabeth School Promises 1-To-1 Learning

ELIZABETH – When the Elizabeth Board of Education opens iPrep Academy School No. 8, scheduled to open in 2013, it promises to offer students 1-to-1 learning.

Each student attending School No. 8 will receive a laptop or tablet to use during classroom instruction throughout the school day. The school will also participate in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program. AVID is a research-based instructional model that encourages students to prepare for and participate in a challenging college preparatory curriculum.

The 1-to-1 learning program at School No. 8 is among the latest efforts by Elizabeth Public Schools to emphasize the use of technology as a means of transforming education and preparing students for the 21st century workforce. The use of tablets such as iPads for classroom instruction has already been implemented at the John E. Dwyer Technology Academy. However, this will be the first elementary school to fully integrate 1-to-1 learning.

Another way the district intends to advance education through technology is the creation of “iLeap Centers,” digital media centers that gives students wireless internet access to a vast supply of online reference materials such as textbooks, instructional videos, newspapers, and magazines. School No. 8 will house an iLeap Center, joining Dwyer Technology Academy as schools with digitally enhanced media centers.

“We are very excited to move forward with initiatives that prepare our students for postsecondary education by integrating innovative technology with rigorous classroom instruction,” said Superintendent of Schools Pablo Muñoz. “Our vision for the iPrep Academy could potentially be the future model for education at many of our schools. I believe concepts such as 1-to-1 learning and iLeap Centers will ultimately revolutionize teaching and learning and will inspire students to achieve at higher levels.”

The school will operate on an extended day schedule and will require students to wear school uniforms. Amenities will include eighteen regular education classrooms, one special education classroom, one science room, one art room, two music rooms (one choral, one instrumental), a media center, a cafeteria, and a gymnasium.

School No. 8 will be located at the site of the former St. Patrick’s High School at 221-227 Court Street as a result of a proposed lease agreement between the district and the Archdiocese of Newark. The Elizabeth Board of Education has already partnered with the Archdiocese, adding annexes to George Washington School No. 1, Mabel G. Holmes School No. 5, Madison-Monroe School No. 16 and Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy through long-term agreements reached with Blessed Sacrament, St. Hedwig and St. Adalbert parishes in Elizabeth.

“The Elizabeth Board of Education is always seeking ways to increase educational opportunities and enhance classroom instruction for Elizabeth Public Schools students,” said Elizabeth Board of Education President Fernando Nazco. “Over the past ten years, we have been able to add twelve new schools that have provided our students with unique and innovative educational opportunities. With two more schools (Victor Mravlag School No. 21 and Elizabeth High School) currently under construction, we expect those schools and the iPrep Academy to follow in that lineage.”

The proposed lease agreement, like the previous agreements between the Board of Education and the Archdiocese, will reopen a closed private school site for use as a public school facility. Steven Belloise, Executive Director of the Office of Property Management Administration for the Archdiocese for the former private high school, believes the agreement is mutually beneficial.

“The Archdiocese is pleased that we have been able to maintain the primary purpose of this particular property as a place of education,” said Belloise. “We’re glad that we can make the transition easily so that this site will continue to serve families in Elizabeth.”

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