Madison Elementary School opened its doors to 60 students in September, 1952, with four classrooms, three primary teachers and a teaching Principal. In September, 1953, three more classrooms were added and Madison School included double sessions to accommodate Riverside’s rapidly increasing population. By 1956, six more classrooms were added and the enrollment soared to 580 students. Today, enrollment numbers have grown to 860. Madison currently has a full-time principal and Teacher on Special Assignment working closely with the parents, staff and students to maintain a safe, learning-centered environment.
For first through sixth grade Academic English Learners at Madison Elementary, the grant funded “Listos” program, which is intended to help students get “ready” for school made it possible for Madison students to commence their school year in the first week of August – long before their peers will be coming back to school.
The students received a visit on Monday July 30, 2012 from Riverside City Councilman Rusty Bailey and Chief Information Officer and Executive Director of SmartRiverside Steve Reneker, who helped to hand out iPod Touch devices to students. Bailey and Reneker told youngsters about Riverside’s recent World Intelligent Community of the Year award and how Riverside schools played a big part in helping the city to gain that honor. Riverside’s Digital Revolution – which includes the all-digital high school and digital dashboard at Ramona – was named the World’s Coolest App.
Reneker said students were lucky to be part of the cutting edge of learning technology, adding that when he was a student at Ramona High School, “we didn’t even have computers. We had typewriters and white-out. You probably don’t even know what that is.”
Puzzled looks gave way to happy grins as students started lining up to receive their iPods. The iPods will be learning tools that will help students throughout the year – both when they are at school and at home. Other Madison students also will receive the devices in the fall as part of a one-to-one deployment of instructional technology on the campus made possible through a grant and Title 1 funds.
“I think it’s an opportunity to extend their learning by having them practice in different ways,” Assistant Superintendent Judi Paredes said after handing out iPod touches to a group of youngsters. “Most importantly, it gives them the opportunity to do that at any time, at any place.”
Madison Principal John McCombs said that many students at his school don’t have their own high-tech devices at home, because their families cannot afford to buy them. “This is a way we can help to level the playing field a little bit,” he said.
Bailey added that helping students to keep current with technology and learning are “very important for the future of the community and the city.”
The Digital Revolution in Riverside encourages intelligent growth in our community through a wide array of accomplishments and opportunities for lifelong learning. Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) has shown a major commitment to Riverside’s Digital Revolution. The iPod Touch devices distributed to the grateful Madison Elementary students allows them to access the high-tech learning tools from both school and home, meaning learning can occur 24 hours a day instead of only while school is in session. RUSD’s Digital Textbook program also helps promote this culture of learning through access to 21st century technology.