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Going... going... green!

Burton Street uses new technology, becomes environmentally friendly

Kindergarten teacher Lisa Smith records her students completing a mathematical pattern activity with one of Burton Street Elementary School’s  70 iPads on Dec. 20. Recently, the school has taken steps toward reducing the amount of paper used, and streamlining communication between teachers and parents.

Kindergarten teacher Lisa Smith records her students completing a mathematical pattern activity with one of Burton Street Elementary School’s 70 iPads on Dec. 20. Recently, the school has taken steps toward reducing the amount of paper used, and streamlining communication between teachers and parents. Photo by Pierce Smith.

— Even though blue and gold are the official colors of the Cazenovia Central School District, Burton Street Elementary has been slowly turning green.

Over the past year, students and educators at the school have been utilizing modern computer programs and technology to broaden the scope of their studies. This January, the school plans to launch an electronic monthly newsletter, which can be sent to all parents.

“We look at technology as a way to be more environmentally friendly and a way to better communicate with parents, getting information out at a quicker, more effective pace. It also helps us to support our students academically,” said Burton Street Elementary Principal Mary-Ann MacIntosh. “When there are students at various levels of education, and teachers wanting to work closely with small groups, we want to be more effective with our instruction. This is our way of working smarter. It is the way of the future, and we want to be on the cutting edge.”

Adhering to statewide Common Core Learning Standards, Burton Street educators have begun to expose students to modern technology. Along with music, gym and art, students attend a special computer period throughout the week, educating them further on the usage of computers.

The district-wide newsletter, The Blue and Gold, recently made the transition to electronic form, reducing the amount of paper needed to inform the community of educational developments while saving costs on printing and distribution. Burton Street Elementary is looking to do the same, and plans to begin distributing school-wide newsletters electronically in 2012.

In anticipation, many of the teachers at Burton Street have begun to use the school’s iPads to record and immediately distribute important developments in their classroom.

MacIntosh credits first grade teacher Beth Anne Kempf as one of the first educators at the elementary school to establish a “living newsletter,” where parents can be updated on their children’s daily activities via a website Kempf maintains.

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