Shoreline School District borders Seattle's Lake Washington near technology giants Microsoft Corp. and Boeing Corp., so it's no wonder that the district's sixteen schools benefit from extensive community support for technology in the classroom. Bond measures provide $3 million per year in funding for computers and telecommunications technologies that are used throughout the curriculum.
"These students are doing things that business people think are only happening at the college level," says Al Morasch, team director. Tenth-grade students at Shorecrest High School (see the Edutopia article, "Connecting School to Work: Preparing Early for a Career") for example, used their skills in 3-D computer-aided design to create plans for interactive information kiosks at Seattle's Space Needle.
The Space Needle Corporation decided to use the students' work in remodeling the tourist attraction's interior and rewarded Shorecrest with matching funds toward the purchase of advanced graphics-rendering hardware and software. "One of the executives on the project told me that the business community needs to recognize the level of accomplishment in K-12 students," Morasch says.
Each teacher in Shoreline has a computer issued by the district and can dial up from home to retrieve e-mail and get announcements on community bulletin boards. Even though Shoreline would be considered state-of-the-art by other districts, "our efforts are ongoing. We'll never be 'done,'" says Superintendent Mary Ann Kendall-Mitchell.