CHIPLEY — Vernon Middle School students are learning keyboarding and computer skills, thanks to seventh and eighth grade introduction to computer classes — classes the school didn’t even have a few years ago.


CHIPLEY — Vernon Middle School students are learning keyboarding and computer skills, thanks to seventh and eighth grade introduction to computer classes — classes the school didn’t even have a few years ago.



Washington County School Board members heard about the successful computer classes Monday night at their regular monthly board meeting in Chipley.



“We are teaching our students not only typing skills, but research skills,” said eight-grade teacher Brennis Colletti. “We want them to learn skills that they can use in all their classes.”



Seventh-grade teacher Tammie Hall said when students create projects such as Powerpoint presentations, they use reading, history, science and other subjects and skills from their education. “This isn’t just about computers and typing, it embodies their whole educational experience.”



Colletti said that the majority of the middle school students neither have access to computers at home, nor do they have access to high speed internet. “We have a bit of a skill disconnect between those students who do have access at home, but most of our students don’t have that access.”



The computer lab was recently renovated, thanks to teachers and students at Washington-Holmes Technical Center, and the two teachers have had to create their own curriculum for the computer classes.



“These teachers went out on their own and studied the standards, then created a curriculum to teach these skills to our kids,” said Principal Kim Register. “Not only did we not have this class, we didn’t even have a textbook when we began this program.”



“Our goal is to meet our students’ needs, and keep developing our curriculum,” Colletti said.



Vernon Middle School Junior Beta Club members were also recognized for their performance at the recent state convention in Orlando.



The board also chose member Wayne Saunders to serve as the Legislative Liaison alternate. “You’re it,” Ellis joked with Saunders after the unanimous vote. The board members also voted to pursue reinstatement of the Master Board Program distinction next year.