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Mount Vernon Schools Accept $100K Grant For Technology Upgrade

Senator Jeff Klein presenting the grant to Mount Vernon students and interim Superintendent Judith Johnson.
Senator Jeff Klein presenting the grant to Mount Vernon students and interim Superintendent Judith Johnson. Photo Credit:

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – As the Mount Vernon School District begins its transition to a “K-8” model , it will have some additional funding for some technological advancements after accepting a $100,000 direct aid grant.

Senator Jeff Klein (D-34) awarded Interim Superintendent Judith Johnson and the district the grant, which will be used to upgrade technology for sixth and seventh grade students.

The technology update will include new tablets, Smart Boards and laptops for sixth and seventh graders as the district prepares for the first phase of the transition, which involves consolidating the Longfellow Middle and Elementary Schools, and the Graham and Pennington Elementary Schools.

“Investing in cutting edge, digital classrooms, is an integral part of keeping our students three steps ahead,” Klein said in a statement. “All of these tools make the curriculum more interactive and train our students to use devices that will be essential.”

Earlier this month, the district laid out a multi-year restructuring plan that should help the district accommodate fluctuating enrollment.

District-wide enrollment has decreased nearly 20 percent in the last 15 years. According to projections from Western Suffolk BOCES, elementary enrollment is expected to increase, while enrollment at the high and middle schools should continue dropping in the next few years.

The new model, which will be implemented over the next several years, will increase cohesion amongst students, families and teachers, as they would be together for nine years before potentially being split up. Under the current plan, ninth grade students will return to the high school. Which high school a student is assigned will be determined by a lottery.

“Our schools are faced with growing financial demands, while student needs are on the rise,” Johnson added. “We have to be smarter in our spending so we can adequately prepare our students for high school.”

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