Marana Schools ENGAGE! kids with new furniture, Chromebooks

Published: Aug. 10, 2017 at 12:27 PM MST|Updated: Aug. 10, 2017 at 4:29 PM MST
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MARANA, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Marana School District is going high tech adding Chromebooks to all of its classrooms this year.

This is part of ENGAGE!, which is a project that incorporates mobile devices and new furniture.

At first it sounds like working on a Chromebook might be isolating but school administrators and students say it's a group activity and also convenient.

"You saw students were collaborating and so one child would have a task that they both needed to do, and have their Chromebooks open and be using it to complete and so they had to depend on one another," said Principal Andrea Divijak, Quail Run Elementary.

"It's helped a lot because I have a lot more resources and chances to look at things.  I don't have to walk all the way to the library and try to find something.  I can just look it up on my Chromebook and it's that simple," said Karina Santiago, a 6th grader at Quail Run Elementary.

As for the new furniture, it's designed for kids to move.  They can wobble in their seats, sit backwards, or not sit at all because they have standing tables. All of the tables even fit together like puzzle pieces.

The new furniture is also supposed to help kids focus in the classroom.

"The furniture really has helped create flexible groupings.  Students can move and sit in different locations depending on what their task is and they have so many choices of how to sit," said Principal Divijak.

"Everybody has to choose something different. Whatever they want basically," said Carley Davys, a 3rd grader at Quail Run Elementary.

Some schools started to get the new furniture last year, others are getting it this year, and the last round comes in next year.

The new furniture and the Chromebooks are made possible because of voters.  In 2014, the people of Marana said yes to Prop 417, the issuance and sale of $125 million in school improvement bonds.

To learn more about the ENGAGE! program click here: 

To learn more about the Capital Improvement Bond click here: 

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