Renaissance receives technology grant

Renaissance High School for Musical Theater and Technology was able to purchase 5 SMART Boards, 34 Senteos and 2 AirLiner wireless slates through a $ 50,000 technology grant secured by Councilman Jimmy Vacca. Photo by Amanda Marinaccio

Councilman Jimmy Vacca secured a grant to bring new technology into Renaissance High School for Musical Theater and Technology.

Through the $ 50,000 grant the school was able to purchase five portable SMART Boards, 34 Senteos, handheld electronic devices that enable students to answer questions and allow the teacher to monitor the results, and two AirLiner wireless slates, electronic tablets that connect to the SMART Boards.

“The new technology gives teachers more freedom to move around the classrooms. It makes learning interactive and fun, it’s completely different. It also gives the students more accountability for their efforts,” said Maria Herrera, principal of two years.

Vacca visited the school on Thursday, October 29 and attended an Advanced Placement U.S. History & Government class to observe how the technology will be used to further prepare the students and test their skills.

“I can immediately see they were strong on question 1, weak on problem 2, so-so on question 3. It shows me what we need to work on. It also shows me what percentage of students answered and what students got the question wrong,” said Joan Hill, AP U.S. History & Government teacher. “This allows me to automatically address what the misconception is. I know where to start off in the morning and what we need to work on.”

Operating out of Lehman High School Campus, Renaissance High School services 465 students and has been in operation about six years. The new technology will be rotated throughout the classrooms, giving each student access to the equipment.

“I give money to schools to make them better for you,” said Vacca to students. “This is a relatively new school and I wanted to bring in the tools to help you reach college level.”

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