Off to Cyber Space

Dec. 9-15, 2004
Off to Cyber Space
By Kristen Fox / SUN  Staff Writer
Blessed Sacrament School Launches Technology Initiative

In September Blessed Sacrament School announced as part of their Strategic Long Range Plan, to maximize the use of technology for the benefit of student learning in all classrooms. The goals of the teachers at Blessed Sacrament School are to integrate technology into the curriculum to enable students to experience varied ways of learning and to improve student achievement.

Currently, every classroom from the pre-kindergarten through sixth grade has a high-speed connection to the Internet on one or more computers. In addition, all students utilize the computer lab to work on keyboarding, word processing and other core standards on a weekly basis. Teachers and students are also able to utilize the school’s digital cameras and smartboards to enhance instruction.

Phase One of the new initiative has been completed with the purchase of nine laptop computers and three LCD data projectors through No Child Left Behind funding. On Nov. 12th, during a teacher in-service, all of the teachers of grades three through six received a brand new laptop for their use at school and at home. The Visory Group of Syracuse provided training for teachers and technical support during the in-service. Future staff development and support will be provided throughout the school year and a curriculum specialist has also been hired to work individually with teachers to assist them in developing technology-rich lesson plans. Mrs. Elaine Ferguson, fifth grade teacher, said that she couldn’t wait to use her new laptop with her students. “It is going to make my lesson planning so much easier and instruction so very exciting and hands-on!” she said. Phase Two of the plan is to have multiple computers available for student use. A mobile lab with PC laptops will be added during the second semester of the school year. The mobile lab will have a wireless connection to the Internet and will have 25 laptops available for students. The Blessed Sacrament School Parent Teacher Association has designated funds from their 7th Annual Holiday Auction to support this goal. A silent and live auction took place on Friday, Nov. 19. Thanks to the generous support of many, previous auctions have raised over $110,000. The entire Blessed Sacrament School community is committed to embracing technology and is supportive of this new initiative. The school community has a strong desire to work together to enhance instruction at all levels.
Sister Nicolette Vennaro, not the flying nun, but the running nun

Sister Nicolette Vennaro, OSF, will be running in the 32nd Annual Honolulu Marathon on Dec. 12, 2004. The 40K race will be her 28th different marathon since she began running at age 40. Other marathons that sister has participated in are the New York City Knickerbaker 60K, Atlantic City Marathon, Mohawk-Hudson Marathon, Ottawa Marathon, Disney World Marathon and the Boston Marathon, where she completed the race in an amazing 3:21:11.

These events allow sister the opportunity to raise funds for charitable causes such as the American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association. At age 64, Sister Nicolette also coaches track and field for students in grades pre-k through sixth as well as teaching third grade at Blessed Sacrament School. Sister Nicolette feels strongly that promoting student participation in track and field helps promote good health and builds self-esteem. In addition to her full-time classroom duties, she also coordinates an afterschool drama club. Over 85 students will participate in this year’s production of the Wizard of Oz.

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