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Why San Bernardino’s Aquinas High was named an Apple Distinguished School

By in Press Enterprise on November 7, 2017

By Brian Whitehead

San Bernardino’s Aquinas High School was one of 400 schools across 29 countries recently recognized by Apple for its growth as a technology-rich institution.

Five years ago, the private Catholic school of 470 implemented its 1:1 iPad program, transitioning away from a traditional textbook environment to one in which students use their iPad and other digital materials for a more interactive classroom experience.

Aquinas was named an Apple Distinguished School in 2015 for its efforts.

This year’s award demonstrates the growth Aquinas has made in using technology to instruct, Jonathan Keck, the school’s director of technology, said in a release.

“The recognition is more evidence that Aquinas is not only becoming one of the best schools in the Inland Empire,” he added, “but one of the best in the state of California.”

Apple noted in its announcement a survey revealing that 96 percent of Aquinas students say they’re more engaged in learning with their iPad; also, 99 percent prefer their iPad to traditional medium, the survey says.

Being honored by Apple a second time “I believe is a testament to not only our teachers, but our entire school community for embracing this approach to education,” Principal Chris Barrows said in a release. “We have seen an increased level of student engagement over the last several years and this can be directly attributed to the iPad program.”

While Aquinas was the lone Inland Empire honoree, several other schools from Southern California were recognized.

Apple called these schools “centers of leadership and educational excellence that demonstrate Apple’s vision for learning with technology.”

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