Weslaco School District earns distinction

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POSTED: Monday, August 12, 2013 - 5:23pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 8:22am

Technology is driving success at the Weslaco School District.  

Every one of the schools in the Weslaco ISD have met state requirements, according to the accountability ratings released by the state.  Weslaco is one of just a few school districts to have every campus up to par.  

"There was a lot of uncertainty," said Superintendent Ruben Alejandro. "There was a lot of concern because nobody knew what this accountability system was going to look like.  So we were kind of working in the dark." 

Leading the way is technology.  Every student is allowed to use their cell phone as part of the classroom experience.  If students don't have a smartphone, they can borrow a tablet or laptop.  It's all part of a program to make learning more efficient.  

"It's really about the instruction in the classroom," Alejandro said. "And we want to change that so we can maximize the learning taking place... This is where the technology comes in, because it helps facilitate all that learning." 

The natural concern with having kids use their own phone during class is how are you going to keep them off Facebook and texting during class.  School District officials think they've figured it out.  It's really very simple. Take the phone, put it at the top of the desk at the beginning of class.

"A quick scan of the room shows whether it's there or not, number one," Alejandro said. "Number two, it shows if it's lit up, something's coming in."  

New Wildcats English teacher Jackie Reyna came over from the Monte Alto School District, which also had all its schols meet state standards.  

She's working on setting up the tech in her classroom with classes beginning just two weeks from Monday.  

"It benefits then in a way that, it's not pencil and paper anymore," Reyna said. "When you do electronics, they're always going to grab your attention with that." 

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