As Tuxedo’s George F. Baker High School readies itself for a new school year, there’s a general excitement underfoot about the district’s future. With the recent delivery some 150 shiny new Google Chromebooks, the Tuxedo’s STEM Academy has steered a course away from any concerns about closing that will allow all 7-12 grade students to log in and learn.
Nancy Teed, the interim superintendent for the Tuxedo Union Free School District, who replaced Carol Lomascolo at the end of June, said the Chromebooks are part of the district’s technology initiative that will enable students to compete at high levels and engage in an evolving world of rich educational opportunities.
Chromebooks distribution to George F. Baker students will continue during the final two orientation sessions taking place at the high school — August 19 at 6:30 p.m., with the final session set for next Wednesday, August 26, at 6:30 p.m.
A longtime member of the TUFSD as former director of students services and human resources, Teed was excited about the upcoming school year — “It really is a new beginning for us,” she said.
Teed’s steady hand will help will steer George Mason and George Baker through a school year that includes new George Grant Mason Principal Jason Schrammel and George Baker Principal Art Schouten, who returns for his first full year at the helm of GB. Schouten took over mid-year last year
— George F. Baker (@TuxedoSTEMAcade) August 18, 2015
Schouten, a Google Certified Trainer/Teacher as well as Technology Integration Specialist, said GBH is all in this school year using Google Docs, a tool of growing importance for educators across the country that allows students and teachers to access materials via a school’s proprietary Google cloud
Schouten also helped unite the school and community with a rousing speech to the GBH 2015 graduating class here. In June, the Tuxedo school district finally lost Greenwood Lake students — GWL accounted for some 75% of the high school student body.
Schouten said GBH teachers have been training all summer for the Chromebook rollout. He said students will be able to take one home the evening of the orientation class after signing a a waiver — students must attend the orientation with their parents and will then get to take home their very own Chromebook to use for the entire school year.
Teed said the technology initiative was made possible by the significant Mulford Funds Grant of $500,000 from Tuxedo Park residents Christian and Sally Sonne and distributed through the Rockland Community Foundation. The grant has gone toward supporting resources for Tuxedo district K-12 students, as well as toward scholarship opportunities for out-of-district students who want to attend Tuxedo schools.
iPads all around
The TUFSD technology emphasis includes new iPads for use during school for all George Grant Mason students, K-6, who will use the iPads for any number of educational activities.
Teed said Rene Blume-Meagher will work to expand and modify Tuxedo’s STEM program into George Mason’s elementary school academic program. Blume, also an elementary school teacher at GM, is a savvy technology integration expert who has a wide-ranging educational skill set.
Blume-Meagher has also been working with GM staff throughout the summer to roll-out the iPad enrichment-program. Principal Schrammel has a brand-new YouTube channel that is sure to broadcast all sorts of interesting GM information in the upcoming school year.
So, with new TUFSD board members and superintendent, a stream-lined student body and curriculum, and heavily-invested community, both George Mason and George Baker are poised to launch into a school year that will start an exciting educational chapter for Tuxedo.
With nearly the entire community committed to supporting the small but excellent school district experience, local students are sure to benefit when they log into the new beginning.