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A Newsletter for the Tangipahoa Parish School System

?September 1998

??Second Edition...


The 1998-99 grant application for the Classroom Based Technology Fund was submitted to the Louisiana Center for Educational Technology on September 1. Notification of acceptance should be received by October 1. The grant is written to upgrade Jostens A+dvantage Systems labs in all grades 1-8 schools to 30 stations, provide computer teaching stations in 25 classrooms on a competitive basis, and continue the installation of the Wide Area Network.

Tangipahoa Parish School System was recently awarded a Louisiana LEARN for the 21st Century grant for $158,852. This is a continuation of an effort last year to put technology research centers in all of the junior high and high school libraries in our parish. With this grant each library will have a technology research center consisting of at least 6 multimedia computers and a printer that will be connected to the Internet. Librarians and teachers will also use this center for staff development training during the school day. Specific needs will be addressed by Vicki Blackwell, the Technology Resource Teacher working with this grant.

This year in conjunction with Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators (LACUE), and International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE), the Tel-Ed 98 Conference will be held in New Orleans. This is ISTEs seventh international conference on telecommunications and multimedia in education. It will take place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center from October 29 - 31, 1998. A copy of the advanced program with registration form is in the TPSS Newsletter. This is an excellent opportunity for staff development and all educators are encouraged to attend.
A limited number of registrations will be paid through Technology Literacy Challenge Grant funds. Application details will be faxed to principals within the next week.



Thirty nine brave Tangipahoa Parish School System teachers submitted individual Teacher LEARN grants for $1,000 each in May of 1998. Notification from the State Department of Education was received September 1, that 14 teachers were awarded their grant. Congratulations go out to Ann Dwelle - Hammond Eastside Upper, Georgia Barras - Hammond Junior High, Mary McMahan - Independence Middle School, Glenda Jones and Gloria Vinyard - Loranger High School, Ganelle Rivers and Deidra Faunce - Loranger Middle School, Nancy Bass, Melissa Hebert, Cheri Jeanfreau, Kathy Prine, and Lisa Strahan - D.C. Reeves Elementary, Amber Gardner and Mae Stilley - Tucker Elementary. In October, a second round of funding becomes available and our parish will receive at least 14 more grants at that time. We commend all these teachers on their initiative to improve teaching and learning in Tangipahoa Parish.


The former Tangipahoa Parish School System Technology Committee was revamped at the request of the Louisiana Center for Educational Technology. The committee is now called the Teaching and Learning Technology Council with members as follows:Vicki Allen - MIS Dept, Andy Anderson - Title I Parental Involvement Coordinator, Bruce Bankston - Principal of Independence Middle School,Vicki Blackwell - Technology Resource Teacher, Jo Fairburn - Principal of West Side Middle School, Donna Griggs - parent representative, Fred Guillot - Director of Computing Services at SLU, Brian Harper - owner of Tangipahoa Internet Services, Melissa Keenum - student at Independence High School,, Mary McMahan - teacher at Independence Middle, Marj Morgan - Title I Director, Robert Morgan - MIS Department, Beth Moulds, Administrator-at-Large, Sister Philip Neri - Principal of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Raymond Pierce - SLU professor, Jake Ragusa, Instructional Technology Coordinator, Jody Wade - teacher at Independence Middle School, Linda Whitworth - Technology Resource Teacher, Danny Williams - teacher at Ponchatoula High School, and Pat Williams - Principal of D.C. Reeves Elementary School. If you have any questions or concerns with technology of any kind in Tangipahoa Parish any or all of these people are there to help you.


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UNISYS has signed a contract with the Tangipahoa Parish School System to begin installation of the Wide Area Network (WAN). Hopefully, by the end of October 20 schools will have Internet access to their libraries, computer lab, and teachers lounge at least. Some schools that have established model technology classrooms will have those classrooms connected as well. The three training sites for our parish have been established at West Side Middle School in Amite, Independence Middle School, and D. C. Reeves Elementary School in Ponchatoula


Blue WebN

Blue WebN is a huge index of educational sites for teachers. Links take you to activities, projects, unit and lesson plans, reference tools galore, and web-based tutorials. Each site is ranked by quality and cross-indexed by grade level and subject - from art to zoology.


The acceptance of new technology is historically a two generation process. One generation invents the technology but always considers it new because it can remember how things were. The next generation embraces the technology because it takes the technology for granted.

Virgil Allen,
Superintendent of Schools

I am very excited about the contribution that technology is making to the academic lives of our students. Never before have students and teachers in Tangipahoa Parish had as many opportunities to increase student achievement as they do now. With the installation of Jostens A+dvantage software in computer labs in all of our Grade 1-8 schools, students have the tools to help them achieve a higher level of academic excellence. I feel given these extra tools for teaching and learning, student test scores will definitely improve in 1998-99.


Tangipahoa Parish School System would like to welcome our first Instructional Technology Coordinator, Mr. Jake Ragusa. Mr. Ragusa was hired on Tuesday, September 2, 1998 and will begin his duties by the middle of September. Jake has a Masters Degree in Math and Technology Education from L.S.U. He is the proud father of two and comes to our parish from Iberville Parish, where he was the Classroom Technology Facilitator for the school system. I believe that teachers are the soul of education and second only in importance to our students who are at the heart of education. Technology is an appropriate component of the curriculum but it is only as effective as the teachers implementing it. I am looking forward to working with the teachers and students of Tangipahoa Parish.


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For maximum efficiency with your PC, you should run Scan Disk and Defragmenter at least once a week. Turn off your screensaver, go to Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, then Scan Disk. You should then choose, C: drive, Thorough, and Automatically Fix Errors. When finished do the same with Defrag.


If you have any suggestions for the next "Bits and Bytes" newsletter, please send them to Vicki Blackwell at 386-5203, or email me at I would love to know what is happening at individual schools, so we can spread the good news.


A team of educators from Ponchatoula High School was chosen to attend the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Leadership institute at the LCET in Baton Rouge this summer. Danny Williams, Rita Neal, Gwen Lee, and June Freeman participated in the week long workshop in which they received intensive training in how to integrate technology into the curriculum. The newly adopted Georgia Model for Staff development was used and you can view some of the projects, pictures and ideas generated, by visiting the web site at : www.doe.state.la.us/