Technology is a vital part of our learning and administrative environment. St. Thomas School is diligent to keep pace with the ever-changing enhancements needed to keep our school technically progressive.
In the summer of 2011, MacBooks replaced all Computer Lab computers. Computers on Wheels (COW) with 25 MacBooks utilizing WiFi was purchased and is now utilized in grades 4-8. In 2013, 2 iPad mimi carts housing 25 iPads each were purchased for teacher classroom use. Also, high speed internet service was greatly enhanced to allow for these technology additions. This Apple environment was chosen to better prepare our students with exposure to both the PC and Apple worlds. 85% of our graduates attend Peoria Notre Dame which offers a one to one computer program. Current plans for the next school year are already underway.
My Access, an on-line writing program which promotes writing disciplines and creativity, was purchased and put in place for the 2011/2012 school year. All students in grades 4-8 use this program in conjunction with MacBooks in the classroom and can also be accessed at home. My Access offers instant feed back on the mechanical and grammatical development of the student’s writing; it then allows for correction and remediation by the student as a pre-write before the teacher’s final evaluation of the assignment.
A full-time Technology instructor provides all students Pre-K through 8th grade with weekly technology training. This training is conducted in the St. Thomas Computer Lab situated within our Library. In addition, 4 computers are available for student use in each classroom and 20 computers in the Library. Students have many opportunities to use these computers as a resource for keyboarding skills training, power-point preparations, Accelerated Reading tests, Discovery Education, WebQuest, games related to subject areas, and much more.
Smartboards are located in every classroom. With the use of several interactive learning programs for the Smartboard, it has rapidly become a valuable learning tool for our students.
Renweb is our school management software; it provides parents with on-line access to their child’s progress as well as to school information such as: parent alerts, school schedule changes due to inclement weather, calendars of activities, newsletters, emails to faculty, and daily curriculum assignments. In a technology-driven society, it is important that we embed the skills and concepts needed for the 21st century learner.