LaPlace Elementary showcases technology

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 5, 2004

By SUE ELLEN ROSS – Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – Students and faculty at LaPlace Elementary School focus on technology every day – in both the main office and in the classroom.

The school recently had a unique opportunity to show others exactly what they have been up to this past school year.

Principal Courtney Millet and four instructors were invited to Baton Rouge for the 2004 Capitol Classroom Schools Technology Showcase.

The week of April 26-30 was proclaimed Educational Technology Week in Louisiana, and six schools from the state were selected to display areas of technology used in their classrooms. LaPlace Elementary was one of those schools.

The showcase focused on students and teachers utilizing technology tools to improve teaching and learning.

Teachers Lanette Perrin, Toni Ruiz, Anita Rodriguez and Laurie Francois accompanied Millet to the Capitol Rotunda in Baton Rouge on April 28.

“It was nice to be able to share (our school) with everyone there,” said Millet. “It was also a learning experience for us.”

The LaPlace Elementary representatives provided a slide show, and also an accompanying exhibit that included brochures, samples of students’ work, and teachers’ lesson plans.

After the presentation, the educators were invited to the old Governor’s Mansion for presentation of their certificates, tours of the mansion and a luncheon.

Fourth-grade teacher Laurie Francois enjoyed the trip to the state capital. “It was an awesome experience, showing everyone what we do here, especially at this level,” she said. “And it shows residents where the tax money goes.”

Eighth-grader Whitney Jackson is the daughter of Francois. Her classmates are currently using advanced techniques on the computers. “We made our own web pages and they were included in the presentation,” she said. “My mom was very excited that she was involved with this.”

Teacher Pat Catorie wasn’t able to travel with her fellow teachers to the showcase, but was excited for the school’s exposure, nonetheless. “This honor was well-earned,” she said. “The students do work very hard.”

She cited a current assignment that the students are working on.

This Financial Education Project affords students the opportunity to choose their career, and learn to manage their finances on that career’s salary. Living expenses, expected and unexpected bills are among the items they have to account for.

They are learning to use various avenues, as they research on the Internet. Students also must create a web page with this project.

Eighth-grader C. J. Delaneuville chose catering as his occupation. “I’m learning how to go to Google for help,” he said. “I was familiar with the Internet, but now I am learning a lot more with this project.”

The elementary school has three state-of-the-art technology labs. Each classroom contains five computers with Internet access.

The faculty and administration at the school have been trained in Intech I and LeadTech.

This software allows teachers to compile a large selection of technology-connected lesson plans to optimize technology in their classroom.

Many LaPlace Elementary teachers have written grants to provide additional technology and to support the curriculum.

LaPlace Elementary School is the 5th largest school in Louisiana, with a student population of 1,050. It is a Nationally Recognized Title I School and has received a label of Recognized Academic Growth.