Students using computers in the classroom, a rigorous academic curriculum, and programs ranging from STEM to the arts are just some of the things that make up Logan Elementary School at 1700 Lindley Ave.
“Our goal has always been student achievement; we’re not only making sure that our students have access to quality mathematics, literacy, science, and social studies instruction, but we’re also making sure that our students have opportunities to be exposed the performing arts,” says principal Chuanika Sanders-Thomas.
“This year we’re partnering with the Kimmel Center’s Musical One program. That program is providing on-site resources in training in theater. At the end of the eight weeks, the students will perform a piece at the Kimmel Center. We also have an Artist-One fellow who is in the school everyday and she works along side my art and music teacher.
“We have orchestra and band this year,” she adds. “We have about seven students participating in the All-City choir this year. We’re trying to expose our students to every possible art form that will enhance their learning. We’ve been able to provide our students with a more well-rounded education that addresses not just the academic side, but also the arts.”
A community school since 2016, one of Logan’s goals over the last few years has been to increase the use of technology among the students.
“The program has really evolved over the years; we went from having a minimal computer lab to now having two computer labs, laptop carts, and mobile devices that are dispersed everyday,” says technology teacher lead Becky Warren.
“We have Lego robotic kits where the students build different things out of Legos and then they can code it through the computers. We have a 3-D printer. I started integrating math into the classes through coding. For the last couple years, we’ve been a part of a technology expo in Philadelphia where we’ve placed in coding,” Warren says.
“Through the years, we also won first place in digital media and art,” she adds. “This is an area that students need exposure to, especially today. All of those things are helping to prepare our students for career readiness. We’re really given students opportunities in technology and helping them see how it’s connected to math and science.”
Fifth-grader Malik Powell likes having Warren as a teacher. He says he learned a lot about coding and how to use a computer for a variety of different things since being in her class.
“Ms. Warren is a great teacher,” Powell says. “She knows so much about computers, but she also breaks things down in a way that everyone can understand. If I can’t figure something out, she shows me a different way to solve the problem that is helpful for me. She also makes learning fun.
“Under her guidance, I created a coding project to take to the computer fair,” he says. “Because we use a program called iReady, I’ve gotten better at math. I’ve been able learn a lot of different things since being in her class.”
Fifth-grader Sasha Harris is another student who enjoys her technology class.
“We us a lot of different program on the computer to help us learn,” Harris says. “iReady helps you with your math skills. Lexia is more about reading comprehension. With Cool Math, you can play different math games, but it also helps you learn. I always look forward to going to my technology class.”
Logan has partnership with the Philadelphia Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports Philadelphia public schools by installing internet-ready computers in classrooms and publicly accessible locations. The partnership has not only brought computers to Logan’s classroom, but also to the families of the school.
“We run after school programs that helps puts computers into classrooms,” says executive director of the Philadelphia Children’s Foundation Jan Deruiter. “Local companies in Philadelphia give me computers and we refurbish those computers by setting up networks, hooking up the computers, putting in a drive, to get the computers ready. Every Friday, for the last few weeks we have been giving out computers to parents from Logan who are committed to spending one hour a week with their kids on an education website.”
Deruiter says that the students have been really interested in refurbishing computers.
“Every child likes to take things apart, but the trick is get them to figure out how to put it back together,” Deruiter says. “It’s just like a puzzle, but it’s just technology related. They’re thinking and they’re using the skills they learn to put the computer back together. This experience will also help them appreciate the technology coming into the school because they’re a part of the overall process.”