digital district award for 2018

Rock Hill Schools continues to invest in tools and professional development to better prepare its nearly 18,000 students for future generations and has earned a second consecutive top 10 national ranking in the annual Digital School Districts Survey presented by the Center for Digital Education.

The transformation to digital learning through the use of personal computers and iPads for students and digital textbooks combined with engagement with internal and external audiences have been key components to propel Rock Hill Schools to a top 10 national ranking on the survey. Last year, Rock Hill Schools earned a number 6 national ranking. While leveraging available technologies to enhance the classroom experience and communication with stakeholders, Rock Hill Schools continues to improve the quality of education made available to its students.

The top 10 ranking on the Digital School Districts Survey reflects the ongoing effort of students, teachers, and administration in Rock Hill. The Digital School Districts Survey awards the school boards/districts that most fully implement technology benchmarks in the evolution of digital education, as represented in the survey questions. All U.S. public school districts are eligible to participate.

Now in its 14th year, the Digital School Districts Survey Awards recognize exemplary use of technology by school boards and districts. Awards are presented to schools in three categories – 3,000 or less students, 3,000 – 12,000 students, and 12,000 or more students – and Rock Hill Schools is the only district in South Carolina to earn the recognition at any level.

“This survey data has proven to be beneficial in districts throughout  the country” said Dr. Kecia Ray, executive director for the Center for Digital Education. “We look forward to sharing our results in the Digital School Districts report and having this survey become the benchmark for which districts measure their digital transformation.”

“School boards are embracing technology initiatives that help them govern more effectively and empower their districts to operate more efficiently,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, executive director and chief executive officer for the National School Boards Association. “The variety of districts recognized by this survey in both size and urbanicity serve as examples for others who want to introduce innovative approaches within their communities.”

Board of Trustees members Windy Cole and Terri Hutchinson and assistant superintendent Dr. Harriet Jaworowski along with superintendent Dr. Kelly Pew accepted the award in San Antonio, Texas at the National School Boards Association annual conference.

Without the support of locally elected school board members, the work reflected in the survey is not possible. In an effort model a digital transformation and increase transparency, the school board leads the pack in video streaming meetings and providing on-demand access to archive meetings on the district website.

Large Student Population District Category (12,000 students or more – in alphabetical order):
Bibb County School District, GA
Broward County Public Schools, FL
Colorado Springs School District 11, CO
DeKalb County School District, GA
Flagler County Public Schools, FL
Forsyth County Schools, GA
Fullerton School District, CA
Hampton City Schools, VA
Northwest Independent School District, TX
The School District of Osceola County, FL
Richmond County Schools, GA
Roanoke County Public Schools, VA
Rock Hill Schools, SC
Rowan-Salisbury Schools, NC
Township High School District 214, IL
Wilson County School District, TN

Mid-sized Student Population Districts Category (3,000 – 12,000 students – in alphabetical order):
Austin Public Schools #492, MN
Bergenfield Public School District, NJ
Center Grove Community School Corporation, IN
Charlottesville City Schools, VA
City Schools of Decatur, GA
Encinitas Union School District, CA
Henry County Public Schools, VA
Jefferson City Schools, GA
Monroe County Schools, GA
Oconee County Schools, GA
Pickerington Local School District, OH
Rome City Schools, GA
St. Charles Parish Public Schools, LA
Tift County Schools, GA
Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools, VA

Small Student Population Districts Category (3,000 students or less – in alphabetical order):
Cedar Bluffs Public School, NE
Chickamauga City School District, GA
Coxsackie-Athens Central School District, NY
Goochland County Public Schools, VA
Greeneville City Schools, TN
Juab School District, Utah
Laguna Beach Unified School District, CA
Lenoir City Schools, TN
Lindop School District 92, IL
Mannheim School District 83, IL
Mineola Union Free School District, NY
Pewaukee School District, WI
Staunton City Schools, VA
West Platte School District, MO

IT Priorities for the Coming Year:
1. Personalized Learning
2. Digital Content and Curriculum
3. Professional Development / Skills Training for Integrating Technology in the Classroom
4. Mobility (one-to-one and/or BYOD)
5. Upgrade Classroom Technologies
6. Student Data Privacy, including Policies
7. Networking Infrastructure Upgrades
8. Common Core/State Standards
9. Online Testing
10. Cybersecurity Policy

School Board meeting input:
•  100% provide meeting agendas online
•  97% provide minutes online
•  93% of districts provide Board meeting supporting documents online
•  73% post progress on Board goals online – updated annually as a minimum
•  91% of school board members can be contacted directly (without going through staff); 52% regularly update their social media presence and are responsive to public comments
•  88% reply to phone calls or emails within 48 hours

Governance: The district’s governance plan for student data includes the following:
•    98% of districts surveyed provide secure online access to attendance records and grades for students and parents.   
•    90% of districts track student data longitudinally.   
•    81% of districts have a data governance policy that ensures security and privacy of data.
•    73% of districts integrate data from multiple sources to create teacher/ management dashboards.
Distance/ Personalized Learning:
• 96% of districts provide software or digital curriculum to classrooms to encourage personalized learning practices.
• 77% of districts allow students to take fully online classes for core online credit.
• 76% of districts offer blended classes to meet core content.
• 65% of districts assess teachers on their implementation of personalized learning practices.

• 89% of districts use mobile devices for assessments
• 88% of districts have a mobile device policy in place.
• 80% of districts train teachers or have policies regarding how to protect student privacy when using mobile apps

Digital Content and Curriculum:
• 98% of districts use video and quiz tools; 93% use YouTube; 92% use interactive digital learning objects; 82% use digital textbooks; 68% use robotics; and 63% use digital gaming and music.
• 69% (up 10% over last year) of the districts have a digital content and curriculum strategy
• 76% of districts have a formal vetting process including administrators and educators.
• 75% of districts use OER as part of their digital content.