Bayou Academy highlights tech advancements
by Courtney Warren
Apr 23, 2014 | 2203 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bayou Academy has been purchasing new technology for the students and within the next year will go one-to-one.
Bayou Academy has been purchasing new technology for the students and within the next year will go one-to-one.
slideshow
Bayou Academy is making major additions in technology and security.

Recently, the administration had Maglocks installed on both of the main entrances.

Headmaster David Granville explained these locks now keep the students safer because people entering and leaving the building are monitored.

"The doors lock at 8 a.m. and stay locked until 3:45 p.m. It's an auto lock and someone coming in has to push a button and stand in front of the camera to be admitted. If you don’t stand in front of the camera you don't get admitted. So far everyone has been compliant. The board made these decisions because we want to provide the best safety and security for our students that we can," he said.

Granville said the doors were paid for through a campaign called "Focus on Facilities."

This campaign raised money for projects for the school including lights for the baseball field and the new security system.

"We spent $40,000 on security and these were much needed gifts," he said.

Along with the Maglocks, all other doors in the building stay locked including the classroom doors.

Students are monitored and are no longer allowed to leave the building without permission and can't roam the halls.

In addition to the new security doors, Granville said next year there would be a new fingerprint system in the cafeteria to help record what students buy for lunch and how they paid for it.

"Every student will come through the line and record their fingerprint. The screen will automatically say what they ordered and how they paid for it. It's another way for us to make sure our kids are getting what they ordered and so Mom and Dad can pull up the screen and track what Johnny or Mary ate that day or during the past week. It will help them understand what their child is eating and it will also help us with the inventory and making sure we're purchasing the correct amount of food needed for our students each day," Granville explained.

Granville said this would ensure the cafeteria is running effectively.

He also said another addition to security is to have three administrators on duty during the lunch period.

"Students are allowed to go out through those entrances and we have three administrators on duty. Coach Hicks, the elementary principal, and myself are on duty during lunchtime. Coach Hicks monitors that hallway and the doorway. We went over a bunch of new rules and criteria. No one leaves the school anymore without thoroughly being checked out. The safety of our students is always priority number one," he said.

Granville said he believes these security measures are important because "if something were to happen we would be remiss if we weren't the best prepared that we could be."

He added, "The more prepared you are and the better the plan, you're able to react better and be more effective in the security and safety of our students."

With the new additions in security technology, technology for academics has not been fogotten.

Granville said next year each classroom will have a smart board and each student will have some sort of tablet.

"We're going to be one-to-one next year so we're way ahead on the grid. We have put over $125,000 into technology this year and we'll do another $90,000 this summer. Every classroom will have a smart board and every teacher will have their own laptop. In 2015-2016 we'll start doing one-to-one where kids will have their own device and we can have the upmost technology for each class," said Granville.

He explained that each student will purchase their own device and many students already have one, however, if a student forgets their device or has problems, there is a mobile technology cart and students can check out a device and return it when finished.

Granville said they would focus on PC rather than Apple products because the school is working closely with the Delta State IT department, a department that focuses on PCs.

Granville added the elementary students are now learning to use Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in the fifth and sixth grades to prepare them to write papers in high school.

"We just got 25 new computers on the elementary side," he added.

He also said teachers are going through training to understand the technology and be able to use the devices to their fullest potential.