Apple Distinguished Program Logo

Apple Distinguished Programs are K-20 academic implementations within one school, 
across a district, or in a higher-education academic program that provides one-to-one access to
Apple notebook computers and/or mobile devices to all students, faculty, and administrators.
They demonstrate an innovative and compelling learning environment 
that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishment.



On November 7, 2013, Gurnee School District 56 was notified that its 1:1 iPad initiative was selected to receive the Apple Distinguished Program Recognition.  The Gurnee School District 56’s learning environment was recognized as exemplary due to its focus on innovation, leadership, and educational excellence that supports learning in the district schools. 

The Apple Distinguished Program designation is reserved for programs that demonstrate visionary leadership, innovative learning and teaching, ongoing professional learning, compelling evidence of success, and a flexible learning environment.

The genesis of the iPad initiative was the Board of Education’s vision for the District.  In that vision, the Board emphasized student centered learning, consistent on-going feedback, state of the art professional development, and one year of student growth for each year of school experience.  The iPad initiative met all of those criteria.  Board President, Dr. James Blockinger, stated, “The Board is very enthusiastic about the initiative because it aligns very well to the vision this Board has for learning in this District.  We are very proud of our staff for accepting a change of this magnitude and using the iPad to teach students the way they want to learn.”

Dr. Richard Voltz, Associate Director of the Illinois Association of School Administrators, recently visited Gurnee District 56 schools and observed the District’s iPad initiative.  He said after his visit, “This District has established an engaged learning environment in every classroom with its iPad initiative that is unmatched by any school in Illinois and perhaps in the nation.”

Gurnee School District 56 Superintendent, Dr. John Hutton, stated that the award is great validation for the herculean effort of the staff in implementing the initiative.  He also thanked students and their parents for the tremendous support the District has and continues to receive from them and said this initiative would not have been possible without it.

For more information about the award, including pictures, iBook, and video of the 1:1 iPad initiative, please contact Dr. John Hutton at 847-336-0800.

John Hutton, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools


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