Hartford CT Area School Gains Technology And More For Students

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St Joseph’s School in Vernon, Connecticut has found unique ways to provide new education tools for their students. Over the past two years, St Joseph’s School has received new reading and math textbooks, multi-media displays for every classroom, new computers, remodeled their library and learning center, and built a new playground. The academic environment is growing at this elementary and middle school.

“We have the good fortune to be able to personalize our curriculum for every student."

Vernon, Connecticut: St Joseph’s School has been providing Christian education for Pre-kindergarten through 8th grade students since 1907. Even in a struggling economy, this academic institution has managed to make technological advances. Over the past year the school has received new reading and math textbooks, multi-media displays for every classroom, new computers, remodeled their library and learning center, and just built a new playground.

School budgets, student overcrowding, and staff downsizing has taken most of the attention in the media over the past year. Academics are at risk for our future generation. St Joseph’s School, just outside of Hartford, CT, in Vernon also recognizes the concerns that exist and has spent the last several years developing a strategic plan to continue to provide for their community.

St Joseph’s School in Vernon/Rockville, CT first opened in 1907 and offers schooling from Pre-kindergarten through 8th grade. While St Joseph’s is a private school they also have the same financial pressure as public schools. When the economy is down, enrollment typically declines and private schools need to find different means for revenue. They left the traditional academic mode of thinking and found new, creative ways of financing and educating.

Through strategic methods of grant writing, donation submitting, and financial planning, St Joseph’s School has made leaps from where they were even two years ago. This year, they remodeled their library, received a grant award for new computers, a donation for new multi-media displays in every classroom, funding for all new reading and math textbooks to facilitate a new curriculum, and a fundraising donation for a new playground.

The library updated everything from new carpeting to adding computer and listening stations. The remodeling was a complement to a brand new media center with more computers that enables plenty of instruction for students to become more technologically savvy.

A computer grant awarded by Central Connecticut State University was really a shot of adrenaline for the school. Having more computers and smaller class sizes now enables the teachers to integrate technology more effectively. This facilitates an ever changing way of teaching to meet today’s needs.

Coupling the new computers with a donation of flat screen TV/monitors for every classroom sets the stage for a 21st century classroom. Students learn better through visual example and employing more video and visual presentations will help St Joseph students excel beyond expectations. A church parishioner and along with the St Joseph’s Church Men’s Club donated the televisions for the classrooms.

Beginning the 2011-2012 school year, St Joseph’s School is implementing an updated curriculum that enables students to excel at different rates. “We have the good fortune to be able to personalize our curriculum for every student. We monitor student progress through multiple assessments. Small classes allow us to know students individually, and this allows students many opportunities to demonstrate their learning. These results provide us the information we need to individualize students’ learning plans and adapt our instructional strategies to better meet the students’ needs.” Kathy Peck, principal, described the updated curriculum.

In order to incorporate this, they needed to purchase new textbooks for all grades from Pre-Kindergarten to 8th grade. Through another donation, St Joseph’s received a new supply of Math, Reading, and Language Arts text books. The Developmental Reading Assessment supports the latter and helps provide that personalized education structure.

Last year, the University of Connecticut Air Force ROTC program pursued and received a grant on behalf of the school for playground equipment. “I think the children are most excited about this generous gift,” Kathy added. For many years a detractor for many families considering St Joseph School has been the lack of outdoor activity, more specifically a playground. Mrs. Peck feels that this helps to level the playing field for families considering various schools for their children.

All in all, St Joseph’s School in Vernon, CT has recognized traditional methods of education need to be altered. Raising money and staying current with technology is paramount to future academic success. They have operated for over a hundred years and are poised to educate our youth for another hundred years.

St. Joseph School is a member of the Norwich Catholic diocese located in Vernon/Rockville, CT. The school offer students of all faiths academic opportunities in a nurturing, Christian environment. If you are interested in learning more about St Joseph’s School, visit us at 41 West St, Rockville, CT or call at (860) 875-4943.


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James Kotwis
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