Cardinal Community School District made a big announcement in a big way Monday.
During an all-school assembly, the announcement was made that the district received a $470,000 grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The school board matched that donation for a total of around $1 million over a three-year period.
The funding will buy 120 new computers for the elementary school. It will also redesign classrooms, the school entrance and a lounge, plus staff two technology coaches to lend support to teachers. Perhaps most exciting, a learning "hub" will be created for all teachers and students to use and encourage cooperative learning.
The focus of this investment is not solely on the technology, but on the impact it will have in the long run. The goal is to encourage innovation in the learning process.
"The technology is going to change, it may be a laptop, it may be a tablet, it may be something that isn't even invented, but the learning space is going to be important for whatever technology that we have, "said Joel Pedersen, Superintendent of the Cardinal School District. "The other thing I would say is I hope there is such an interest in this room that we will have to find resources to build more of these rooms as our teachers move to being as much a facilitator as what we call a 'keeper of knowledge'... just the kids are going to be learning and they're going to help facilitate that learning."
Next, construction plans will be finalized with Curtis Architecture and the project will go out to bid.
There is no firm date for the completion of the entire project, but Pedersen hopes a lot of work will be done this summer.