As education becomes more and more technology-based, Spencer Middle School (SMS) is working toward a goal of 1:1, meaning each enrolled student will be issued a specific Chromebook for daily use. The relationship between Farmers Trust and Savings Bank and 7th grade math teacher, Jenny Reis, helped SMS take a giant step toward that goal.
“Jenny Reis, a part-time employee with Farmers Bank and a full-time teacher at Spencer Middle School, brought this need to our attention. We love supporting the school and felt it was a worthy cause. We did purchase some Chromebooks a few years back, so this will be our second round of donations helping the school district and the kids,” said Dave Woodcock, President & CEO of Farmers Trust and Savings Bank. Farmers gave the donation to the Spencer Community School Foundation to be earmarked specifically for the 1:1 goal. Woodcock added that he is thankful for Farmer’s partnership with the Foundation, making it easy to support projects that enhance school.
While several Farmers Bank representatives were present, they visited with the students to get a first-hand lesson on how the Chromebooks are used and why going 1:1 will prove beneficial. Shana Herke, Marketing Officer for Farmers Bank, said, “We are excited to help with the goal of Spencer Middle School wanting to go 1:1 with Chromebooks. The school is important to our community, and the community is important to us.”
The adults weren’t the only ones excited about this opportunity. SMS seventh grader, Drew Hough, shared how he thought this would benefit the students saying, “We won’t have to share the Chromebooks with other students anymore. We can carry them to class and use them at any time during the day instead of having to wait for someone else to get done.” The Chromebooks are used heavily for interaction between students and teachers. “We use Google Classroom on the Chromebooks. Teachers use it for homework, and if you miss school, you can submit a paper through the program, and the teacher can check it,” added Hough.
Through her relationship with Farmers Bank, Reis knows how good they are at supporting the community. “When the 7th grade team of teachers identified the need for more Chromebooks, I just reached out to them, and they responded like I thought they would. Their donation will purchase a complete set of 30 Chromebooks.” Reis knows there will be several benefits by implementing 1:1, including less time spent on logistics and more time on learning. “We will no longer have to spend class time getting Chromebooks out and checking them back in at the end of the period. They can pull their Chromebook out and get to work whenever there is time throughout the day.”
For the first year or so, as the middle school works to roll out 1:1, the Chromebooks will be kept at school, giving students access to the same Chromebook all day, every day. “They will have a place to check it out every morning when they get to school, and they will check them back in prior to leaving at the end of the day. That way we know they will be charged and ready. We will eventually get to the point where students will be able to check out the Chromebooks for use outside of school hours, but right now we are trying to figure out how to do it in the building first,” said Pat Hamilton, SMS Principal. With enthusiasm, Hamilton ended by saying, “The 1:1 goal would not be possible without the help of community partners like Farmers Bank.”