Last night the Penns Manor School Board heard a presentation on how the iPad can help special education students. Speech Clinician Julie Thomas presented several iPad apps that help young students express themselves, especially students who are unable to speak. In the presentation she showed off several different devices that are programmed for different students. The device has many functions, but one of them utilized the iPad to speak for them. She demonstrated basic phrases such as “I need help” or “what should I do next.” She said students are very responsive to the device.
Director of Student Services Bonnie Davis reinforced those points and said the school district can use the iPad to give students better interaction skills, while saving money from using devices that cost tens of thousands of dollars. The district currently has 32 iPads in use and they cost about $550 per device when bought in bulk.
The board will have its yearly reorganization meeting on December 6, where they elect new officers, go over depositories and establish meeting dates for next year.
Superintendent T.J. Kakabar commented on the district’s closure during Hurricane Sandy. He said that just because the county declared a state of emergency, that does not force schools to close. He said the decision was made because the district did not want to risk students waiting for the bus in possible high winds and heavy rains.