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31May2011

Marengo (Ill.) Community High School District
Wins Education Technology Partners Award

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Marengo wins Beacon Award presented by ETP

Second from left, Randy Jennings, Education Technology Partners founder, presents Beacon School Award to, from left, Julie Amendt, MCHS director of special education; Dr. Dan Bertrand, MCHS superintendent; and Scott Shepard, MCHS principal.

Marengo Community High School District #154 in northern Illinois has been named the Beacon School Award winner for the 2010-11 school year by Education Technology Partners, a St. Louis-based provider of education technology.

MCHS was selected from nominated school districts in a 10-state territory. The award recognizes Marengo’s leadership for serving as a “beacon” in using technology to improve learning in at-risk students and enhance teacher effectiveness. In addition to an engraved plaque, MCHS received a check for $500, which it plans to use to purchase an iPad 2 for the school’s Transition Program.

“We are extremely pleased and honored to receive the Beacon School Award,” said Dr. Dan Bertrand, superintendent of Marengo Community High School District #154 in Marengo, Ill. “The faculty and staff of Marengo embrace the concept that technology is a vital element of the 21st century classroom. They see it as just another tool to be utilized in making learning exciting, effective and relevant.”

Beacon School AwardAs part of a comprehensive plan to improve student learning and test scores, the district has integrated the literacy intervention software programs Academy of READING and Academy of MATH.  Marengo uses the software to test and assess the individual reading and math skills of incoming 8th grade students, identifying any weaknesses and prescribing lessons for intervention. “We can see where they need improvement and then use the programs to help them actually achieve it,” Dr. Bertrand explained.

Students who struggle with reading or math spend several hours per week at the computer, receiving individualized instruction through the interactive programs. The software programs use a patented methodology with an adaptive intervention engine, skill mastery based on automaticity and motivational principles to build fluency in the foundation skills of reading and mathematics.

“The right technology, used in the right way, can impact students in amazing and very positive ways,” said Randy Jennings, CEO and founder of Education Technology Partners.  “The Academy of READING and Academy of MATH is that ‘right’ technology and Marengo is definitely using it the ‘right’ way.  They have graciously shared information on student gains with educators from around the state and even neighboring states.  They are a shining example of what dedicated educators can accomplish when given the right tools and the right training.”

Education Technology Partners developed the Beacon School Award to recognize demonstrative leadership, educational best practices and the exemplary use of technology to further student achievement.  The goal is to build the profile of educators, schools and school districts who have seen first-hand the extraordinary impact that the right technology solutions can have in helping at-risk students.

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