The Ins and Outs of the Referendum
On November 8, 2016, Indiana residents were able to vote for several distinct changes. In Mishawaka, one of their changes was marketed by the slogan “Check yes twice.” By checking yes twice, residents agreed to support a plan to improve the schools in the city so they would no longer be lingering in a dark, battered cave. Next school year, incoming freshmen will be able to find their way through their high school career with their very own iPad. Along with the iPad the students will be “provided an Apple engineered and approved protective case” states School City of Mishawaka’s Director of Technology, Eric Johnson. Mr. Johnson is responsible for everything that deals with technology from wells systems and software that support all computer work, to many vision initiatives and future planning, and grants. As of now, the exact model of iPad is undetermined; however, Mrs. Johnson is in high hopes of obtaining the 9.7” iPad Pro. If a student can make it through a quick four years of high school without damaging their iPad they may purchase the devices at a fraction of the retail price.
With all the significant updates provided by the referendum, other organizations have aided the districts progression towards a “1:1” school system. The district has also received money from an Indiana Department of Education Innovation Planning Grant, which provided $30,000. More aid came from a government program called “Computers for Learning.” The district received 1200 HP laptops and 500 HP desktops.
Aside from the personal technology, the main focus is safety and security. All nine schools will have updated visitor check-ins, video camera surveillance, and door lock hardware installed. The high school also will have much of its infrastructures repaired. The high school’s track will be completely torn up and replaced with the “latest and greatest track surface,” says Director of Operations, Mr. Mike Faulkner. Mr. Faulkner’s main role is to keep in contact with the schools about the plans for any changes. He has plans for the school to have “extensive” work done on both the pool and heating and air systems. The football field will have its lights replaced by “high efficient LED, Musco Lighting.” The stage in the auditorium will receive a new floor. Other fixes include windows, roofs, and updates on fire protection. Mr. Faulkner is in high hopes that “students and staff will feel as if they are attending school in very safe environment and are being equipped with the necessary upgrades to enhance their educational experience.”
The plans for Mishawaka aren’t just meant to “digitize worksheets” or cover up the disrepair, they are intended to help excel the district’s learning and teaching ability in a safe environment so that we can grow as fast as other schools districts around us. From Mr. Johnson to Mr. Faulkner, everyone is very excited for the long awaited repairs that will catapult Mishawaka students towards whatever they set their minds to.