The Coachella Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) is currently hosting a pilot program, which integrates technology into the classroom via iPads. I am always excited to see schools and districts advancing the classroom through the use of technology. The new generation of students is so ingrained with technology that many need it to stay interested, that is why I do my best to use online videos, practice problems, and my school’s computer lab in my math lessons.

According to CVUSD’s website, “Coachella Valley Unified School District principals, over 100 iPad pilot teachers, and 30 plus administrators have some new instructional and administrative tools to take back to their sites after attending professional development training from Apple.” Some of the training they received incorporates the Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition Model (SAMR). The SAMR model guides the teachers from substituting mini lessons to a more involved lesson using technology. Teachers also received additional training in educational application, such as Keynote, Pages, Numbers and iMovie. The advances that CVUSD is making in their educational practice are beneficial to both the instructors and the students. Great job CVUSD!
On the other side of the valley, Cathedral City will be hosting its 4th Annual Student Photography Contest May 16, at the Cathedral City’s City Hall. According to the Palm Springs Unified School District (PSUSD), “Cathedral City’s student photography competition spotlights some 50 elementary, middle, and high school students’ imagery. This year’s competition introduces a new component. Students will write a paragraph that tells the viewer, ‘Why this image is important.’” Also in attendance will be Michael Childers, a well known and highly regarded celebrity photographer. Childers will have an exhibit of his work displayed in conjunction with the students’ photography. Art conjoined with education is a necessity in education. I am happy to see that art is still alive and well in our valley’s education.
Also in the PSUSD, Palm Springs High School (PSHS) will be combining their “Spring Fling” event with a “Community Thank You Concert.” PSUSD’s website states, “The purpose of this concert is to thank the communities of the Coachella Valley for their overwhelming support of the band as they performed at the 57th Inaugural Parade in Washington DC last month.” This concert is a very classy display of appreciation on the part of PSHS. Here is a little more about the group’s accomplishments according to PSUSD: “The award-winning band has traveled around the world as America’s Youth Ambassadors of Music. In April of 2012, the band performed in Wales and Scotland as part of the Edinburgh Spring Festival. In June of 2009, the group completed a “trail blazing” performance tour to South Africa performing at the Capetown City Hall (home of the Capetown Symphony), Affies Theater in addition to the Guglethu and Soweto Townships. In 2007 they were televised to more than one billion people while performing on the Great Wall in China.” I will do my best to attend this event to further give my support to this hard working and accomplished music program that through all its recent success has been under the direction of Brian Ingelson, the PSHS Orchestra is under the direction of Jason Powell, and the Visual Corps is under the direction of Beverley Ingelson. Admission to the concert is free, although donations are always appreciated.