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Rowan-Salisbury School System earns accolades

The Rowan-Salisbury School System has earned renewed status as an Apple Distinguished Program for the 2012-2013 school year.
The designation is reserved for programs “that demonstrate a consistent vision for enhancing and extending teaching and learning through thoughtful and innovative implementations of technology,” a school system news release said.
In 2009, North Rowan High School received its initial recognition from Apple followed by three years of school system programs being identified by the company for exemplary learning environments and centers of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence.
“Our school district works diligently on a day-to-day basis to put the best and most advanced technology into the hands of our teachers and students. I am very proud that we are one of a select few programs to receive this recognition,” Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education Chairman Dr. Richard Miller said in the news release.
School system leadership has brought the district into 21st century learning by pioneering and implementing the following technology projects: the 21st Century Model Classrooms; 1:1 iOS schools; interactive white boards; and online video conferencing.
The 21st Century Model Classroom project is unique to the Rowan Salisbury School System, according to the news release.
“The 21st century model classrooms began as an innovative idea in 2006 to encourage teachers to infuse technology into the curriculum. Beginning with six teachers the first year, the project has grown to having at least one 21st model classroom in all of our schools. Teachers learn to develop their curriculum with the use of a variety of technology tools,” Superintendent Dr. Judy Grissom said. “Engaging students in learning through technology is more than just providing a technology device – it is a requirement to properly prepare our students to be successful in a global society.”
The district has sponsored several technology tour events, inviting local and state officials, business leaders, and various surrounding school district administrators to visit local classrooms, the news release said.
In addition, the district has showcased technology being used in classrooms across the district with events such as ‘Technology Matters ­What’s Right with Public Education’ in 2011 and ‘STEM Matters: What’s Right with Public Education,’ in September of 2012. Staff and students from all 35 schools in the district demonstrated their innovative use of technology to visitors at these events.
“This award exemplifies the diligent work our teachers have done in using technology to meet the diverse learning needs of our students,” said Phil Hardin, executive director of technology for Rowan-Salisbury Schools.”The effective use of technology in the classroom engages students and creates an exciting and innovative learning environment which contributes to a decrease in student discipline and an increase in student achievement. The innovative use of technology has totally transformed teaching and learning in our district.”
In addition to the Apple Distinguished Program renewal for 2012-2013, the news release highlighted other technology recognitions for the Rowan-Salisbury School System:

g The ‘Grand Prize Award for Excellence in Educational Programs’ from the NC School Boards Association in 2012
g North Rowan High School was named ‘One of the Top Ten’ and received the 2012 NC Innovator in Digital Learning award from the NC Governor and the NC State Board of Education.
g Hardin was named as one of the 2012 Top 50 Innovators in Education
g Ranked among the Top Ten in the United States for Digital School Districts
g Unveiled the STEM Mobile Exploration Lab
g Superintendent Dr. Judy Grissom received the 2012 Making IT (Instructional Technology) Happen Award through NCTIES
g Hardin was presented the 2012 Outstanding Leader Award through NCTIES
g Overton Elementary School Technology Facilitator Anthony Johnson received the Apple Distinguished Educator recognition
g Featured in two national magazines for the district’s innovation and advancements in student learning through technology

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