All Bethel School District students get an iPad this year

KOMO photo.

GRAHAM, Wash. - New this year, an iPad goes into every student’s hands in the Bethel School District, all the way down to Kindergarten.

"And so there will be this system wide focus on using digital tools to help further and deepen learning,” Kathy Quick-Gunther, Bethel's director of curriculum and professional development, said.

Before the iPads get passed out, teachers go to class at Cougar Mountain Middle School, learning and collaborating on best use practices.

"We don't want to replace good instruction with technology. We want it to be there to enhance it,” Dawn Moye, the district’s director of digital learning, said.

Moye said a voter-approved levy is paying for the iPad so that every student, regardless of financial background gets the same level of education. That’s why the district is making sure all teachers are also versed in the best ways to use the devices to help prepare students for the world they'll live and work in.

"Giving the devices to all grade levels, gives the kids a chance to learn the way they're going to be experiencing it outside of school,” Moye said.

Quick-Gunther says that when she started at the district 36 years ago, they hardly had any textbooks. Now, in her last year before retirement, she's excited to see this advancement.

"Bethel has always been a very innovative district and they are cutting edge and trying to really provide an education for their students that will prepare them for the future,” Quick-Gunther said.

One big question with putting expensive technology into the hands of so many - what if any of these devices get lost or broken?

The District offers an optional insurance plan for families, based on income level, that ranges from $10 to $30 for the year. The middle and high school students already have iPad that they are allowed to take home.

Now the younger kids will have them, though their devices will remain locked up at school every night.

KOMO News is helping you and your children get ready for the school year. Need more tips about going back to school? Check out our back-to-school page.

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