Half of St. Vrain's high schools get iPads in technology rollout

Silver Creek High School environmental science students used their new iPad minis to answer a warm-up question and start reading "The Tragedy of the Commons," with instructions to finish the article at home if necessary.

Next class, they'll use the devices for an aquatic species lab to take pictures of the insects they collect and to record data.

"For my kids, the iPads are my most valuable tool," said teacher Barbara Keith. "It gives them one more piece of technology they can work with and become proficient on. We just have to figure out the best ways to use it."

Students at half of the St. Vrain Valley School District's high schools — Silver Creek, Longmont, Frederick and Mead — received iPads this fall. The rest of the high schools will distribute iPads next school year.

The iPad high school distribution is part of the district's four-year technology upgrade, which is now in its second year.

The learning technology plan, funded through a 2012 mill levy override, allocates $2.2 million a year for all students in sixth through 12th grades to have their own iPad minis over three years.

Altogether this fall, the district distributed 4,475 high school student iPads and 6,750 middle school student iPads.

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Students use their iPads to take a quiz in an economics class at Silver Creek High School on Wednesday. (Lewis Geyer / Staff Photographer)