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School board wins grand prize for digital transformation

By Rebecca Rider
rebecca.rider@salisburypost.com

GREENSBORO — Rowan-Salisbury Schools has again received recognition for its digital curriculum — or rather, the local Board of Education has.

The board was honored Thursday during the NC School Boards Association conference held in Greensboro. Board members Susan Cox, Jean Kennedy and Dr. Richard Miller were present to receive the association’s Excellence in Educational Programs award for digital and instructional transformation. The board was the state’s grand prize winner.

“I’m very pleased,” Miller said. “I think it shows that at least we’re beginning to make progress.”

Miller and Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody said that the award was for the school system’s contentious implementation of its one-to-one initiative, as well as its use of digital programs to promote learning and teacher application.

“It’s not just about a piece of hardware but it’s about the application of that,” Moody said.

Moody applauded teachers and support staff for their daily work with technology, as well as the collaboration between the board and the Rowan County Board of Commissioners, who gave one-to-one the green light in 2014.

According to Miller, Moody initially said the program would take approximately three years to show returns. Miller said he thinks one-to-one will need to reach three to five years before the district sees the results it hopes for.

The program received much criticism in September 2015 after school system grades plummeted in what Moody called an “implementation dip.” When this year’s scores came in, much improved, Moody and board members said they felt the district was back on track to improvement.

Board Chair Josh Wagner was not present for the award, but said he “shared in the excitement” it brought. Often, he said, the board and the school system get a lot of criticism, but he said awards like this reflect positively on the school system. Wagner also credited teachers and staff for the win.

Often, Miller said, those in education are accused of “going from one fad to the other,” but the recognition the board received Thursday showed the importance of “staying the course” and giving an initiative a reasonable amount of time to pay its dividends.

“I think it affirms that we’re going the right direction,” he said of the recognition.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264. 

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