Development fees to help classroom technology at Avon Elementary School | VailDaily.com

Development fees to help classroom technology at Avon Elementary School

AVON — The chalkboard has gone digital, and Avon Elementary School wants to make sure its classrooms are equipped with the latest in interactive smart board technology.

A town ordinance requires new development to pay into a fund to support schools, either through a property donation or cash.

The Basecamp development, located at the confluence of Beaver Creek and the Eagle River, put $25,000 into that fund, Eagle County Schools chief organizational officer Sandy Mutchler informed the Avon Town Council last week. After hearing a speech from Principal Roy Getchell, the council voted in favor of putting the money toward instructional technology at Avon Elementary. Getchell said he wanted to use the funds to get six more smart boards. The school currently has one, which it received as a donation.

"Something that we are going to be working on is global-ready skills," Getchell told the council. "We need to really put into our students' hands technology to prepare them for the next century."

Smart boards would be an example of such technology,

"What (smart boards are) going to allow us to do is really get a lot more hands-on, enhance our global-ready tasks and put our kids in front of, possibly, students from other parts of the world," Getchell said.

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International Baccalaureate

Avon Elementary is currently a candidate to become an International Baccalaureate school, which would place it in a worldwide network of schools that work together to share best practices.

Getchell ran an International Baccalaureate school in Colorado Springs and liked the way his students achieved.

"IB education is internationally benchmarked," he said. "When you reach that benchmark you have reached an incredibly high international standard."

As an International Baccalaureate candidate, there's a lengthy list of standards that must be met in order to achieve accreditation. Among them, the physical and virtual learning environments, facilities, resources and specialized equipment at the school must support the implementation of the International Baccalaureate programs.

The library, multimedia and resources play a central role in the implementation of the programs, so having smart boards will be "a critical component of that verification authorization," Getchell said.

This story contains material from a previously published story by Vail Daily staff writer Randy Wyrick.