Global Academy in Columbia Heights provides iPads for each student

Global Academy, a free, chartered public elementary and middle school in Columbia Heights, announced it has implemented a one-to-one iPad program and is the first charter school in the state to have an iPad for each of its 425 students and 50 faculty.

Global Academy has operated at maximum enrollment since it opened in 2008; 90 percent of Global’s students qualify for free reduced lunch, with a population of 69 percent students of color, and 53 percent are identified as English as a Second Language (ESL).

Global Academy was fully authorized as an IBO school in September 2011, and the curriculum relies on research-based academic programs with proven track records to complement International Baccalaureate instruction.

“Students in the 21st century need to be competent and fluent users of technology. Incorporating iPads into the everyday academic lives of our students enables them to gain the technological skills to have the world at their hands,” Helen Fisk, director of the school said in a written statement.

The iPad program is possible through a three-year leasing arrangement with Apple that allows Global Academy to spread the cost over several years, making this project affordable. Once the lease is up in 2015, Global Academy has the option to renegotiate the lease for upgraded iPads.

In addition to the iPad program, Global Academy has eight laptop computer carts with 25 computers each for student use. The school has a wireless network, and each of the 19 classrooms are outfitted with Active Board Technology and surround-sound systems.