Students and staff at Mary of Nazareth School are exposed to a wide variety of educational technology, including LCD projectors, interactive whiteboards, iMac computers, iPad and Chromebook mobile labs, and Lenovo touch-screen PCs. Students have access to several platforms, including Apple, Google, and Windows. Mary of Nazareth is a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) school and students have access to Google tools including word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, website design, and Google classroom.
Technology is used by students in a variety of ways:
basic computer programming and coding
- group work and class projects
Mary of Nazareth School has a dedicated computer lab, consisting of 33 state-of-the-art iMac computers. Students in kindergarten through eighth grade attend a weekly computer class in the lab, while students in grades two through five have an additional weekly writing lab.
The lab is utilized for teaching students a variety of computer technology skills. In addition to learning how to code, students in kindergarten and first grade learn the placement of the keys on a keyboard with Keyboard Zoo and ABCYA, how to type in a web address, and to program a robot. These students also use Starfall.com and Teach your Monster to Read to enhance their reading skills.
Students learn about their digital footprints and about internet safety. Additionally, students learn about plagiarism, how to correctly use images and effectively conduct research on the internet. Students continue to develop their skills in keyboarding, word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. Special projects during the school year include creating brochures, writing business and persuasive letters, the science fair report, QR codes, and creating comics.
Apple iPads and Chromebooks are available for teachers and students to support classroom learning. Students have access to five technology carts on a daily basis. Teachers access mobile learning labs regularly to integrate 21st Century tools into the learning process. The variety of platforms offered to students at Mary of Nazareth School prepares them for the technological diversity they will experience in high school. We have 60 iPads, 37 Cares Act iPads, and 22 IPad Air Tablets. In addition, we have 180 Chromebooks that are split among 4 carts. These are used by the elementary students. All of our middle school students are issued their own Chromebook at the beginning of the year for class and home use.
The James Cardinal Hickey Library has over 27,000 books including picture books, early readers, chapter, nonfiction, audio books, young adult, and Spanish language books. It also includes a teacher resource room, a reference room, and a media research center. Each class visits the library once a week to check out books and learn library skills. The library was awarded the "We the People Bookshelf” award in 2008 and 2009, as well as the “Picturing America” award in 2009. These are grants that are awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. The purpose of these grants is to encourage young people to read classic books and to explore themes from American culture and history.
The Don and Bee Heck Media Center houses 16 personal Lenovo 92Z All-In-One PC’s with touch screen capability and Windows 8.1. This center adjoins our newly renovated James Cardinal Hickey Library and supports student learning and skill development in a variety of ways. In this state-of-the-art media center students conduct research, attend Spanish Lab, and participate in writing workshops.
Mary of Nazareth School has the latest standards in technology that the market is offering. Our wireless network, high speed internet, and network security are state-of-the-art. We utilize Windows 7 and 8, IOS and Google platforms throughout the building, and our internet is protected by two web filters.
The safety and well-being of our students is paramount. Mary of Nazareth School has developed a critical incident plan in line with ‘Best Practices’ in school safety and security. This plan follows ADW policy and is consistently reviewed and updated. Our school building is secure and locked at all times, visitors sign in at the main office, and all employees and volunteers undergo a criminal background check. Additionally, the entire school is monitored by a twenty-four hour video security system.