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Boston College Pledges $300K for Technology Upgrade in Newton Public Schools

01/25/12
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Countryside Elementary School second grade teacher Michelle Powers, a 1995 graduate of Boston College, uses her laptop and a digital visual projector to lead her students in a writing lesson at the Newton school. BC President William P. Leahy, SJ, joined Mayor Setti Warren and other Newton officials yesterday to announce the University will contribute $300,000 over the next three years to upgrade educational technology in the Newton Public Schools. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

By Ed Hayward | Chronicle Staff

Published: Jan. 25, 2012

Boston College President William P. Leahy, SJ, joined Newton Mayor Setti Warren to announce a new three-year, $300,000 initiative to help upgrade computers and other educational technology in the Newton Public Schools.

Fr. Leahy recently joined Warren, a 1993 BC graduate, Newton Superintendent of Schools David Fleischman and Lynch School of Education Interim Dean Maureen E. Kenny at the Countryside Elementary School in Newton Highlands to unveil the Boston College-Newton Technology Collaborative.

“The Boston College-Newton Technology Collaborative deepens Boston College's partnership with the City of Newton and the Newton Public Schools,” said Fr. Leahy. “Through the Lynch School of Education, BC provides dozens of student teachers and graduate students each year, as well as faculty expertise. This new collaborative draws on those strengths and will play an important role in providing Newton students with the benefits of today's educational technology.”

Newton School Committee Chair Claire Sokoloff, committee members Angela Pitter-Wright and Margie Ross Decter, and Board of Aldermen members Cheryl Lappin and Brian Yates ’71 joined Mayor Warren, who called the partnership between BC and the city crucial to ensuring all students benefit from today’s educational technology.

“Education is the bedrock of our community, and Boston College understands how important it is that our students have access to technology in the classroom,” Warren said. “I am so pleased that Boston College is willing to strengthen our partnership by continuing to improve the learning that takes place in our classrooms with the resources needed.

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Boston College President William P. Leahy, SJ, Newton Superintendent of Schools David Fleishman, Mayor Setti Warren, Countryside Elementary School Principal Emily Ostrower and Lynch School of Education Interim Dean Maureen E. Kenny at the Newton Highlands School. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

In its first year, the Boston College-Newton Technology Collaborative will fund the purchase of 81 Apple MacBooks, a dozen ELMO digital visual projectors, a dozen flat screen televisions and a dozen media carts for elementary schools in the greatest need of updated technology.

Countryside second grade teacher Michelle Powers, a 1995 BC graduate, and graduate student teacher Rebecca Finkelstein ’12, demonstrated a writing lesson using some of the technology that will be purchased through the grant.

BC’s Lynch School of Education has developed a long-standing partnership with the Newton Public Schools. During the past five years, 680 BC students have worked as student teachers and counselors in Newton. Veteran teachers are eligible to take classes tuition-free at the Lynch School in return for mentoring BC students. In addition, Lynch School faculty have worked collaboratively with the school system on program development and research.

“Our longstanding partnership with the Newton Public Schools is mutually beneficial,” said Kenny. “Our students gain experience through working with accomplished teachers, while the schools benefit from young and enthusiastic student teachers who are immersed in the study of teaching as a practice. This infusion of technology resulting from this collaboration will give Newton students hands on experiences while allowing our student teachers to train with the most cutting edge classroom tools available.”