Wednesday, May 3, 2017

National tech survey honors three Illinois districts

Lindop SD 92 leaders accepted
the second-place national award.
Three Illinois school districts were among the 50 winners of a national award that recognizes school boards and districts for use of technology in helping to expand student and parent engagement, application of data analytics, and more.

The top Illinois winner in the Center for Digital Education’s and National School Boards Association’s annual Digital School Districts Survey was Lindop School District 92. The district earned second place nationally among small student population districts (3,000 students or fewer).

“The school boards in these districts are recognized for utilizing technology solutions to make their work as a board more transparent and their district operations more efficient,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “Their accomplishments demonstrate that innovative approaches can be embraced by any district, regardless of its size or location.”

The Lindop SD 92 Board of Education won praise for its commitment to 1:1 technology in grades 3-8. Also noted was the board’s commitment to providing every teacher with a laptop computer, and to obtaining teacher feedback on what kinds of tech-related professional development staff members want. The Lindop board was also praised for establishing committees where board members, administrators, teachers, parents, and students make key technology decisions to benefit students.

Lindop is a P-8 district with 418 students located in the west Chicago suburb of Broadview. It has a 99 percent minority population with 51 percent coming from low income households.

“We were able to achieve so much only because of the Lindop Board of Education’s commitment to using 1:1 technology, to providing every teacher with a laptop, and to furnishing classrooms with other necessary innovations,” said Superintendent Janiece Jackson. “We pursued these innovations to make Lindop District 92 one of the leaders in preparing students for the future,” Jackson added.

Among large population districts (12,000 students or more) a 7th place award went to THSD 214 (Arlington Heights); and among small districts, an 8th place award went to Blue Ridge School District 18 (Farmer City).

Board members at THSD 214 won praise for demonstrating their continuing commitment to promulgate the best use of technology in the district, with approaches that have won the awards in this national survey for eight consecutive years.

Blue Ridge School District 18 was recognized for authorizing the initiation of a successful three-year plan to implement 1:1 technology for all students in grades 4-12, with full implementation in August 2016.

Top-ten rankings are awarded each year to school boards and 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, and hundreds of districts took part.

School districts earned top rankings for investing in tools for next-generation digital learners, launching STEM academies, and encouraging the innovative use of solar panels, and robotics clubs and camps.

View the full list of school districts honored here.