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School utilizing iPads notices uptick in student progress

PHOENIX -- One year after an ambitious elementary school principal decided to transform a struggling school, she reported Thursday great strides had been made.

Tracy Yslas of the Eisenhower Center for Innovation in Mesa said a big part of the change has to do with the implementation of technology.

"It is having an impact," she said. "As teachers continue to grow and kids become more creative in how they use them in their learning, we'll definitely see more of an impact."

At the end of the 2012-2013 school year, the elementary school was failing. In fact, Eisenhower had some of the lowest AIMS scores in the state.

The school needed change as many of the children, who are mostly from impoverished households, struggled with reading and math. The district allocated over $500,000 from the innovation programs budget to the school.

The funds were invested in new technology, including a pilot program which gives every child the opportunity to use an iPad during the school day. In addition, Yslas hired new teachers pump new life into the school.

The plan seems to be working. The children appear to be eager, motivated to learn and they're happier.

"It's hard to measure the progress at this time, but we are making progress," said Yslas.

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About the Author


Sandra moved from the small border city of Yuma, Arizona to study Broadcast Journalism at Arizona State University in the late 90s. Since graduating, she's worked at several local TV stations including Univision, Fox 10 and 3TV.

Working at KTAR, has allowed her the opportunity to cover major national news events, including Presidential visits, the Tucson Tragedy and the Wallow fire.

When Sandra isn't covering breaking news or behind a microphone in the studio, she's probably at home with her best friend Mark and her two dogs, Lily and Lola.

Sandra enjoys cooking and admits to enjoying "really bad" reality T.V. She also enjoys spending quiet time at home with people she loves, playing a little poker and traveling.

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