High school "redefining expectations" with new grant - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/03/09 - New London, TX

High school "redefining expectations" with new grant

By Reid Kerr
Posted by Michael Hetrick

NEW LONDON, TX (KLTV) - West Rusk High School just got wired.  The school received a three hundred thousand dollar grant to provide laptops for all students and teachers to use at school, and to take home. The laptops are just the next step in a school redefining expectations.

It's back to class for the teachers of West Rusk High school. They're the first to train to use the new MacBook laptops that will be issued to every student and teacher, theirs to keep for their entire career.

"Everyone was like, 'are you serious? We're going to get laptops?'" Sophomore Haley Copeland said.

"That's a big step," Junior D'Land Jones said. "Some kids can't be able to have one, so it's a dream for every teenager to have his own laptop."

Two years ago, West Rusk was "academically unacceptable." Last year, they made great strides and rose to the level of "recognized." The laptops are the next step in raising the expectations for their students.

"It's really easy to take money and build a new gym or upgrade your football facilities," West Rusk principal Wes Wood said. "This actually puts it in the kids hands, where they can feel it, touch it, they use it in class every day, it goes home with them. It is directly an impact on them."

The grant is a game-changer for West Rusk. Every student has one of the tools they'll need to succeed, and the teachers have many more options.

"Most of my kids don't have computers at home," English teacher Marsha Kerby said. "I've had to kind of limit what we could do in class with computers."

"I think everybody's happy," Jones said, "because now they're giving us a chance, they care enough to give us MacBooks."

The training begins, as the entire high school takes a big step into tomorrow.

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