After receiving a low grade from the New Mexico A-F Grading Accountability System last school year, Pate Elementary School Principal Therese Rodriguez is determined not to let it happen again. She applied for an Innovative Solutions for Struggling Schools Grant and received $7,200 from the New Mexico Department of Education in January. After the Carlsbad Municipal Schools Board of Education approved the grant on Tuesday, Rodriguez is excited to put the funds to good use.
Rodriguez said she will be using the Struggling Schools Grant intervention money towards a bundle purchase of additional NEO 2s - mobile lab devices - for her classrooms. The total price of the new NEOs will exceed the grant, but Rodriguez is glad to have at least most of the cost covered.
Since Pate's D grade, Rodriguez said she has seen academic improvement already through the use of the NEOs already in place in the second through fifth grade classrooms. Rodriguez implemented the new technology when she began her role as the principal of Pate in the fall of 2012.
Betty McDaniel, a fifth grade teacher and an expert in all things NEO, said the technology of having the personal keyboards for each student allows each student work at his own pace, on his own level.