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Inglewood school to take part in program for Internet access

INGLEWOOD — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson joined Inglewood education and city officials in touring Crozier Middle School June 5 to see the work teachers and administrators are doing to bring the California Emerging Technology Fund’s School2Home project to Inglewood.

The California Emerging Technology Fund committed $200,000 to implement School2Home at Crozier Middle School.

Beginning next year, 300 seventh graders at Crozier will have home access to Chrome book computers. Parents and teachers will receive training on the best ways to use computers for learning while Crozier Middle School also will be provided a wireless Internet connection.

Torlakson praised the effort.

“This is a great example of a program that will reduce the digital divide by providing access and training to students to technology and the Internet so they have the tools they need to be prepared for 21st century careers and college,” he said. “It fits in with my initiative: No Child Left Online and my goal of providing each student access to a computer.”

Joe Dominguez, chief deputy superintendent for the school district, said the program is part of an overall plan at the district to improve Internet connectivity and access to technology for 21st century education. Overall this will enable the district to harness technology in the classroom for engagement and empower student achievement.

California Emerging Technology Fund’s School2Home is a program designed to help close the achievement gap and the digital divide by integrating the use of technology into teaching and learning at low performing middle schools in California.

“In talking to community leaders and talking with the mayor, we said let’s get something started and we are here today to see the result of that good effort, that good planning and that good thinking,” Torlakson said. “It is truly a team effort here today. … I want to keep building that and see you all keep building that.”

“[Former Assemblyman] Steve Bradford and I talked many times when he was in the Legislature … about how we could get more dollars … to match the kind of funds that the California Emerging Technology Fund has.”

“It is great to have the devices in the classrooms.”

“This is a key to helping with attendance in the district and to help our parents to stay and be engaged and believe in its future,” Torlakson added.

After Torlakson spoke, State Trustee Don Brann briefly addressed the audience.

“We’re thrilled with the nature of what this is and what a difference it can make for our families, our students, here in the city of Inglewood,” Brann said. “I just see this as an initiation, the start of something that grows way, way bigger. This is the 21st century, of course, and this has to be an integral part of education here going forward.

“We feel blessed to be one of the early participants in this. We’ll do the very best we can here, at this site and beyond to make this work and serve as a model for the rest of the district,” Brann added.

In support of the school’s emerging technology, several Inglewood city officials attended the tour including Mayor James Butts, Councilman Ralph Franklin and Councilman Eloy Morales.

“Access to the Internet for school-age youth is such a necessity to compete; it reaches the level of a civil right,” Butts said. “It is imperative to provide broadband access for all school children regardless of the financial capacity of their parents.”

The state Department of Education lists Crozier Middle School as a below average school with its most recent Academic Performance Index score of 731. Crozier has not met any of its growth targets in recent years, according to the state.

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