District leaders at Rowan-Salisbury School System in North Carolina recently celebrated some dramatic gains in student achievement after a digital transformation set them on course for renewed academic performance.
Two years after embarking on a strategic plan incorporating Discovery Education Techbook, test scores soared and student achievement was raised by 20 percent, the district reported in a news release. These fantastic results led to the state removing Rowan-Salisbury Public Schools from its list of low-performing districts, to the fanfare of teachers across Salisbury.
“Although this was a great deal to digest for teachers, they embraced the change and believed that we were headed in the right direction in providing extraordinary learning environment opportunities for our students,” said district Superintendent Lynn Moody. “Although we are not where we want to be, the results of this second year of implementation is what we are celebrating – change is happening!”
In 2014, Rowan-Salisbury was considered a low-performing district by the North Carolina State Board of Education. With ailing literacy rates and lower grades and graduation rates than nearby schools, district leaders knew they needed to make a drastic change. They launched a plan, targeting literacy, engaging work and instruction.
Changing course involved an influx of new devices — one per student — along with new collaborative learning spaces. Schools were also assigned literacy coaches and technology facilitators to support the new blended learning instruction happening in classrooms across the district.
During this transformative time, the district selected Discovery Education Math Techbook to complement its existing digital textbook lineup, including Science Techbook and Social Studies Techbook. Discovery Education was named one of four partners that were key to the recent success in Rowan-Salisbury’s schools.
The new direction took some adjustment for veteran teachers, but after just two years since launching their strategic plan, leaders were ecstatic with the results their students had achieved. After the 2015-2016 school year came to a close, the school system was pleased to share the following district-wide improvements:
- 96 percent of K-8 students met or exceeded growth in reading, with grades 3-8 showing increases in reading, math and science
- 71 percent of students raised their science scores
- 91 percent of schools increased their performance composites
- 88 percent of schools increased their overall school performance grades
Rowan-Salisbury is the most recent district to attribute increased student success to Discovery Education Techbook. Earlier this year, Rock Hill Schools in South Carolina showed promising results after student test scores indicated that in 2015, students taught with Techbook outperformed their peers.