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Fox Creek High School’s Silver Fox Academy is a special program for gifted and talented students that allows them the option of taking multiple college courses on Fox Creek’s campus free of charge during their Junior and Senior years of high school. The program is in its second year and has grown by leaps and bounds. Incoming Freshmen of the Silver Fox Academy in August 2013 will have even more of an opportunity for academic success. Starting next year, all Silver Fox Freshmen will receive a Google Chromebook laptop free of charge. Each student will be required to take Google Apps implemented in the Fall of 2012, where students learn how to use these Google Chromebooks. Students will learn to use these new Chromebooks in their first semester of high school and have them to use over the next four years. Successful graduates of the Silver Fox Academy will then be given their Chromebooks to use in their post-secondary education opportunities.
Freshmen students Chandler Dunn, Constance Mays, Olivia Floyd, and Victoria Mock were recently part of a focus group created by Fox Creek Principal, Dr. Timothy Murph, to survey student receptiveness to this new program. Murph explained, “The students were ecstatic. Most of them were already very familiar with Chromebooks. I was most impressed by the logistical questions and academic inquiries that the students brought to me.” Chandler Dunn stated, “I’m excited about the option of Freshmen participants not having to carry textbooks next year as all of their textbooks will be on the Chromebook.” Classmate Constance Mays agreed stating, “I’m interested in the collaborative projects that we will be able to work on together in groups in real time. This will help us become much more efficient when trying to meet deadlines.”
The program has been on the mind of Fox Creek’s principal for several years. “This is something that we’ve discussed for some time. Our team of Mr. Bramhall, Mr. Trahan, Mr. Gibson and I have worked diligently this year to turn this dream for our students into a reality.” Fox Creek’s Director of Information Technology, Travis Gibson, believes, “Google Apps is the wave of the future for collaborative student learning. I am proud to work in an educational environment with an administration that supports and promotes technology in the classroom to the unsurpassed extent that Fox Creek does.”
Students are excited about this new technology as well. Freshman Olivia Floyd mentioned the usability of the Chromebook. “I think the size and weight of these Chromebooks is ideal for student use. They are easy to carry in our book bags and are lightweight. I think that the ability to work on projects across the curriculum will benefit both teachers and students.” Classmate Victoria Mock thinks that the Chromebook will be the next step for improving academic achievement at Fox Creek. “Though most of us have Wi-Fi at home, I think that its great that these Chromebooks sync automatically once we return to school, even if we don’t have Wi-Fi at home.”
Chromebooks will be issued to all Silver Fox Academy enrollees on July 31st between 8:00am and 7:00pm at Fox Creek’s freshmen registration. Though Chromebooks will only be issued to incoming Freshmen, Dr. Murph hopes that within three years all Silver Fox students will have access to this important educational tool.