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Tucson's Sunnyside District Goes 1-to-1

Sunnyside Unified School District, a self-proclaimed "tech-savvy school district" in Tucson, AZ, has completed the introduction of a 1-to-1 program for the 2012-2013 school year for students in grades 4 through 9. As part of that initiative, the district, with about 18,000 students, implemented a new learning environment with digital curriculum aligning with the Common Core State Standards for core subject areas, encompassing math, language arts, social studies, and science.

In the area of math--of particular concern to the district--Sunnyside has taken a number of measures. It has adopted Conceptua products for grades 3 through 9 and Agile Mind for grades 6 through 9. On top of that, the district has begun putting put in place an online and adaptive intervention program from Ascend Math that provides before-school, after-school, and Saturday-school tutoring.

Post-test results have been "extremely encouraging," said Math Coordinator Christie McDougall. "The data show significant growth in a core curricular area where it has historically been very difficult for us to raise student performance."

With the new math initiatives, students do assessments provided by the software and then teachers weigh in on next steps by choosing "the appropriate level of intervention by selecting individuals or small groups for additional instruction or by moving students forward," explained Pam Betten, director of school improvement and the 1-to-1 program.

During this school year, the district tapped funds from a successful $88 million bond vote to invest $27 million for technology upgrades and expansion of 1-to-1 computing in all K-12 classrooms.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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