Rowan schools ranked sixth in nationwide digital education survey

  • Posted: Friday, April 26, 2013 4:40 p.m.

SALISBURY — For the second year in a row, the Rowan-Salisbury School System has been ranked in the top 10 nationally in the Digital School Districts Survey.

This year, the district rose in ranking from ninth to sixth place in the “Large-Sized Student Population District Category.” This recognition program is sponsored by the Center for Digital Education and the National School Boards Association.


The award was presented during the National School Boards Association’s Annual Conference held in San Diego, Calif., in April. Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education members Kay Wright Norman and L. A. Overcash, along with Rowan-Salisbury School’s Executive Director of Technology Phil Hardin, accepted the award on behalf of the school district.

“What makes this award so amazing is that the Rowan-Salisbury Schools was categorized with large school districts across the nation,” Norman said in a school system press release. “It was such an honor — an exciting honor — to stand on stage representing our district in receiving this award. I am very proud of our schools, students, teachers, staff, parents and our supporters that believe in us to be the best!”

The Digital School Districts Survey showcases how school boards and districts exemplify the use of technology to govern the district, to communicate with students, parents and the community and to improve district operations.

Top 10 rankings are awarded to school boards and/or districts that most fully implement technology benchmarks in the evolution of digital education, as represented in the survey questions.

“We never stop moving, changing and growing with our technology efforts,” said Superintendent Dr. Judy Grissom in the press release. “I look at putting up-to-date technology into the hands of our teachers and students as a necessity and not as an option. Digital teaching and learning is the way of the 21st century.

“We have been fortunate through supporting partnerships such as the Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation to fund our schools with the needed technology tools that keep our students engaged in learning. I am very proud of our creative and innovative approach that has placed us as leaders across the nation.”

The Rowan-Salisbury School System is the only district in North Carolina listed as a top-ranked school district.

“It is through the concentrated efforts of our teachers to implement a variety of 21st century tools to improve teaching and learning that has placed us as a national leader in the effective use of technology,” Hardin said in the press release. “We are continually training staff to keep them current with technology that is so very commonplace with our students. We work hard, we meet challenges and we are successful - we are 6th in the nation!”

Other districts in the nation receiving the top 10 ranking that are listed in the “Large-sized Student Population District Category” (12,000 students or more) include:

• 1 - Roanoke County Public Schools, Virginia

• 2 - Forsyth County Schools, Georgia

• 3 - Fayette County Schools, Georgia

• 4 - Township High School District 214, Illinois

• 5 - Northwest Independent School District, Texas

• 5 - Prince William County Public Schools, Virginia

• 6 - Rowan-Salisbury School System, North Carolina

• 7 - Clark County School District, Nevada

• 7 - Colorado Springs School District 11, Colorado

• 7 - Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, Georgia

• 8 - Cherokee County School District, Georgia

• 9 - Richmond County School System, Georgia

• 9 - Frederick County Public Schools, Maryland

• 10 - Littleton Public Schools, Colorado

• 10 - Klein Independent School District, Texas

As released through the Center for Digital Education, the survey examined and scored areas of digital and emerging technologies such as:

• use of mobile devices and technology integration into curriculum

• leadership and transparency measures including board policies and meetings

• strategic planning, data management and safety

• delivery models and professional development, including availability of technology tools and training for teachers and students

• digital content and curriculum strategy

• challenges in implementing online assessments aligned with the Common Core State Standards

• technology priorities, shared services and cloud computing

• infrastructure and networks

• status of bring your own device (BYOD) implementations.

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