ELIZABETH, NJ — Terence C. Reilly School No. 7 has been selected as an Apple Distinguished School for 2015–2017 in recognition of the school’s exemplary learning environment for innovation, leadership and educational excellence.
The Apple Distinguished School designation is awarded to schools that demonstrate visionary leadership, innovative learning and teaching, ongoing professional learning, compelling evidence of success, and a flexible learning environment.
School No. 7 provides iPad minis to all second-graders and MacBook Air laptops to all students in grades three through eight while employing challenge-based learning, which motivates students to utilize technology to solve real-world problems. Challenge-based learning requires students to work collaboratively with classmates, teachers, and community experts to develop deep subject-area knowledge.
Staff members at School No. 7 receive training in challenge based learning through Apple professional development workshops and in-house workshops. The in-house workshops, offered through the school’s Apple Distinguished Educator and Apple Vanguard Team, provide additional support and training to staff, students, and parents in all grade levels and content areas.
Areas of training include the Safari, QuickTime, iLife, and iWorks applications; facilitating real-world learning; designing interactive assessments with Keynote; authoring dynamic documents with Pages; and making data meaningful with Numbers.
Workshops showcasing Mac applications were also offered to parents to enhance technology integration at School No. 7.
The successful training sessions have resulted in parents requesting more advanced student-led workshops on various Mac applications. In addition, other districts have visited to learn programs and techniques associated with successful one-to-one initiatives like the one found at the newly awarded Apple Distinguished School.
The award is emblematic of the ongoing transition of the Elizabeth Public Schools to digital learning environments that incorporate the latest technological innovations and instructional practices. District Superintendent Olga Hugelmeyer was selected by The White House and the U.S. Department of Education to participate in the “ConnectED to the Future Convening” at the White House last fall in recognition of the district’s commitment to future-ready schools.
President Barack Obama announced the ConnectED initiative in June 2013, setting a goal of connecting 99 percent of students to high-speed Internet within five years. Model schools and districts across the country are using technology to create personalized learning environments as its impact on education has grown.
Hugelmeyer and more than 100 other exemplary district leaders from across the United States were recognized for their leadership in helping transition their districts to digital learning.
In September 2014, Elizabeth Public Schools initiated a groundbreaking and transformative installation of their one-to-one computer initiative, “Leap to the Future,” which provided every student in grades three through twelve the tools to access, create, and collaborate as thriving 21st-century digital citizens.
Hugelmeyer commended School No. 7 for receiving the Apple Distinguished School designation and its commitment to innovating teaching and learning through the use of technology.
“I congratulate School 7 for receiving this prestigious award, which would not have been possible without the remarkable collaboration that has taken place among team members, students, and parents,” said Hugelmeyer. “Terence C. Reilly School No. 7 is a great model for the type of digital learning environments we want to create in all of our schools.”
“The ways in which they have implemented technology into their curriculum has created an atmosphere that has motivated and inspired the entire School 7 learning community to embrace the teaching and learning process.”
“Incorporating technology into our classrooms and transforming our schools into digital learning environments is imperative to ensure our students receive the most comprehensive education possible and graduate college and career ready,” said Elizabeth Board of Education President Ana Maria Amin.
“School 7 being named an Apple Distinguished School is a symbol of the successful results we have had so far with the transformation to future ready schools.”
For additional information, visit www.epsnj.org.