PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

July 16, 2014

PAISD to purchase new tools, renew computer software for students

PORT ARTHUR — The Port Arthur Independent School District recently approved the purchase of brand new tools for the district’s eighth and ninth graders, as well as the renewal of multiple computer software programs for each grade.

To comply with a state mandate that says all eighth graders need calculators for the school year, the district will buy 1,200 TI-84 calculators for students at Jefferson Middle School, Lincoln Middle School and Memorial 9th Grade Academy.

“We want to help as many students as we possibly can — that’s why we also got them for Memorial 9th Grade and not just for our eighth graders,” Mark Porterie, PAISD superintendent, said. “We know the calculators are important. We do feel that every student should be able to have a calculator in hand throughout the year and be able to practice.”

The district will pay $97.10 per calculator — $116,520 total — to D&H Distributing Co. to acquire the needed items.

“Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills is totally different this year,” Porterie said. “Math is totally different this year. We’ve had to write a brand-new curriculum. All of these things are new, so we wanted to be able to give our students as many advantages as we possibly can.”

Another advantage, Porterie said, is renewing the district’s student subscriptions to various learning programs.

“We have a range for elementary through high school,” Porterie said. “We have computer labs, and we also have computers in the classroom. Students are able to learn those lessons based on the instruction of the teachers, and a lot of it is self-paced. And they have their own log-ins so they can access the programs at home.”

The district will renew the following programs:

• Ignite! Learning — an interactive software designed to promote critical thinking — for middle and high school campuses

• Comprendo! — instructional content delivered in English and Spanish to assist bilingual and ESL students — for K-3 students

• Sparkito! Kinder — a language acquisition program that complements ESL instruction — for Pre-K and K students

• I Can Learn — a full-curriculum mathematics software targeted to Common Core State Standards for fifth grade through algebra — for Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson middle schools, Memorial 9th Grade Academy and Memorial High School.

Email: chenderson@panews.com

Twitter: @crhenderson90

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