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October 15, 2014
By Perry R. Banse, Assistant Superintendent, Middle/High School Principal

Many of you know my wife, Cindi, works for ACSI as a Math and Science Support Specialist. She trains teachers how to use the Purposeful Design math and science textbooks more efficiently and effectively. To do these trainings, she has to travel from time to time. For the past three years it has been enough travel for her to qualify as a Silver Elite flyer on Delta Airlines. Now that is just the lowest level possible but it still carries some benefits with it. One of the perks with achieving this status is she can be upgraded to First Class if there is availability. It doesn’t happen often but when the upgrade happens, it’s nice – especially if I am flying with her because it works for a guest as well. Upgrades are great! They take you from something that you are used to and give you something way better. I am a big fan of the upgrade.

I was just upstairs in the computer lab – it is going through a substantial upgrade. One of the major points of focus in our fundraising efforts has been to upgrade our technology. As I am sure you have experienced at home, technology changes rapidly. It is hard to stay up to date and give the students the best opportunities possible in this area. Last year we were able to replace many of the teacher computers in both elementary and secondary. Over the summer, the elementary computer lab was completely replaced with new machines. In the spring, all of the computers in the MS/HS lab were replaced with brand new ones. We recently ordered new tables and they were put in over the weekend in a different room set-up. Today our crack IT team – Robert, Mike, and Michael – are upstairs furiously pulling new wires to get our new set-up on-line for classes tomorrow. Also recently installed was an interactive white board at the front of the room. This will allow our teacher, Duane Bunch – IRCS “Class of 98”, to show students visually what steps to take from his computer screen while he is instructing them orally. When students can be instructed both visually and audibly, it greatly enhances their retention of the subject matter. The new room set-up will also drastically improve the focus of the students to what is being taught. This is an awesome upgrade.

Next week is our annual fall fundraiser - “What We Believe”. It is a student performance coupled with auction items – both silent and live. There also will be a number of raffle items. Many fundraisers just ask for money. This one gives you the opportunity to bring home some incredible items and help the school at the same time. The proceeds will be used to continue to upgrade and purchase new technology. We would love to see our students have more mobile lab opportunities available to them at both the elementary and secondary levels. We also need new computers in our Digital Arts Suite and our Yearbook room. Everyone sees the product that these two rooms put out. Please come help us upgrade our students to first class. If you were to come to the program and bid on and buy one of the class baskets, you would also be buying a computer for our school. Two purchases with the same money. Everybody wins!

Please join us next Thursday, October 23 for this very important event. The doors open at 5:30 so you can view all of the items that will be available. The performance starts at 6:30. We hope to have everything wrapped up around 8:00-ish so it won’t even be too late of an evening. Both the performance and bid numbers are free. There will even be free food (starting to sound like First Class isn’t it?) It doesn’t cost you anything to come out and look. At the time I am writing this (Monday) we already have received over $27,000 worth of merchandise with more on the way.

We also believe you will be truly blessed by the show that our students will put on for you. And who knows, if you arrive early enough, you may be able to upgrade to one of the front seats.