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updated: 8/22/2014 1:54 PM

New iPads, playground greet Oak Grove students

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  • Oak Grove Elementary School third grade students Maddison Carstens, second from right, and Ava Hertsberg, right, listen during iPad instruction on first day of school Friday in Green Oaks. Students in grades kindergarten through fifth will get to use iPads in the classroom.

       Oak Grove Elementary School third grade students Maddison Carstens, second from right, and Ava Hertsberg, right, listen during iPad instruction on first day of school Friday in Green Oaks. Students in grades kindergarten through fifth will get to use iPads in the classroom.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Oak Grove Elementary School kindergarten students test out the new playground Friday during first day of school in Green Oaks.

       Oak Grove Elementary School kindergarten students test out the new playground Friday during first day of school in Green Oaks.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Oak Grove Elemenntary School second grade teacher Marie Sorensen works with students Friday on the first day of classes in Green Oaks. Sorensen is retiring at the end of this school year after 26 years of teaching at the school.

       Oak Grove Elemenntary School second grade teacher Marie Sorensen works with students Friday on the first day of classes in Green Oaks. Sorensen is retiring at the end of this school year after 26 years of teaching at the school.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Oak Grove Elementary School technology specialist Allison Honaker gives an iPad overview to students Friday in Green Oaks.

       Oak Grove Elementary School technology specialist Allison Honaker gives an iPad overview to students Friday in Green Oaks.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 

It's an exciting time to be a student at Oak Grove Elementary School.

Students saw old friends, met new classmates and even played on a new playground Friday during the first day of school.

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But for 550 kindergarten through fifth grade students, receiving an iPad was a highlight of the day.

Oak Grove Elementary District 68 purchased iPads and iPad minis and issued them to each student Friday. The students have all-day access to the devices and, at this point, will not be taking them home.

Technology specialist Allison Honaker presented the ins and outs of the iPads in the school's library. Honaker attended Apple training in California in January and is passing along her knowledge to teachers and staff.

"The iPads are another tool. It is another tool to engage our children and connect outside of the classroom with the rest of the world," Principal Julie Waehner said.

Also on Friday, students put a new playground to the test. The school board, the PTO and the Oak Grove School Education Foundation committed nearly $250,000 to install the equipment.

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