Keeping tabs on learning

New or used, school seeks out iPads for students

Amy Woodward
Leslie Ortiz-Lopez, left, and Cindy Villaba, far right, sit at the iPad station with their teacher Mrs. Parrish to read a book followed by discussion and assignments related to their reading.
Mrs. Parrish’s second-grade class at Pleasant View Elementary.
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The iPad is transforming the way students are learning in the classroom. A study in Auburn, Maine which focused on 266 children instructed with an iPad resulted in higher literacy rates among kindergartners who were instructed with the use of an iPad versus those that were not, according to the Auburn School District.

Jeffco school’s has taken up an initiative to ensure that classrooms are equipped with iPads that have educational apps and Pleasant View Elementary is hoping to be one of those schools with the tools and resources needed for education in the Digital Age.

But the school will need help from the community to do it.

With around 300 students in grades K-6, $75,000 is needed for iPad sets in the classrooms. Although new iPads with covers is the goal, gently used iPad’s are also welcome.

“We want our students to have the same opportunities as any other student,” Janace Fischer, principal at Pleasant View Elementary said. “Most kids nowadays are brought up with technology and are thought of as technology natives, and our kids really aren’t.”

As a Title 1 school, over 85 percent of the students who attend Pleasant View qualify for free or reduced lunches. Coming from lower income families, most students are not exposed to technology on a daily basis, Fischer said. In the classroom, when it comes to looking up words or information, kids are still going to books that are time consuming by today’s standards. Most students at Pleasant View are only exposed to technology while at school.

“In a lot of schools in Jeffco they are having to keep up with the kids’ knowledge of technology,” Fischer said. “We’re having to give our kids the knowledge they need, the skill they need to really use technology effectively.”

Fischer added that as Pleasant View students move on to Bell Middle School and Golden High School, it is apparent they don’t have the skill set needed.

Laurie Arnold-Kelly, PTA president at Pleasant View is heading the 1:1 iPad project through an online donation site. So far, $500 has been raised in a little over three weeks. Principal Fischer was able to receive a classroom set for a first grade class, an almost complete set for a second grade class and at least a half dozen iPads scattered throughout sixth and fourth grade classes.

“That’s an awesome start,” Arnold-Kelly said. “As the PTA president I am the queen of applying for grants but typically the grants we get in PTA differ a little than the school does,” she said. “A $1,000 here, a $1,000 there, at that rate it’s going to take us 20 years.”

In Mrs. Parrish’s second grade class, students spend time at different stations during the Daily 5. One table is an iPad station for five students who receive a reading assignment on the iPad, followed by discussion and work associated with the reading.

“The biggest benefit I get is when we differentiate instruction because I have kids that are reading in this class at a kindergarten level up to fourth grade level,” Karen Parrish, a teacher at Pleasant View said. “Being able to download the leveled books and it’s so instant we can bring them up so quickly we don’t waste time shuffling books around, they just come right over and pop open their book.”

“Golden is so supportive of the schools in many different ways,” Fischer said. “We would really like this to be reaching out to Golden, reaching out in our local community and asking them for the support.”

To donate, go to or contact Principal Fischer at 303-982-5921. For more information on iPads and their role in education visit .