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Schools: East Mooresville Intermediate School, Mooresville Intermediate School, Mooresville Middle School, Mooresville High School
Address: 233 Kistler Farm Rd., Mooresville, North Carolina 28115
District: Mooresville Graded School District
Grades: District-wide 4-12
Type of 1:1 Implementation: Laptop Program
The Mooresville Graded School District (MGSD) is located in Mooresville, NC, approximately 30 minutes north of Charlotte. In 2007, the MGSD School Board adopted a six year strategic plan which set clear goals around utilizing 21stCentury resources in all classrooms with a focus on academic achievement, engagement, opportunity and equity. This new strategic plan’s defining mission and vision embodied the philosophy that was to become the district’s motto: every child, every day. That same year, in keeping with its vision, MGSD initiated a “Digital Conversion” that has been the foundation of a transformative and exciting change for the entire school community.
The initial phase of the Digital Conversion was introduced in 2007 when all district teachers were issued laptops and all Mooresville High School (MHS) English classes were provided laptop carts. That summer the district implemented an institute providing differentiated training for all instructional staff; furthermore, early release days were incorporated in the school year calendar for integrated teacher training including data analysis, software use, methodology, and team training and planning. In addition, all administrative staff was involved in leadership training and weekly “implementation training meetings.” A robust wireless network was installed in all schools and the technology staff was involved in broad based training and development. Also, a technology symposium was conducted for parents and the community with the attendance exceeding 800.
In the fall of 2008, all students at MHS and Mooresville Intermediate School (grades 4 – 6) received laptops for their use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. During the spring semester, laptops on carts were deployed at Mooresville Middle School (MMS) and East Mooresville Intermediate School (EMIS); furthermore, all K-3 classrooms were outfitted with interactive white boards. The MGSD School Board added six early release days for professional development and training to the school calendar and an on-going teacher training program was implemented. That following summer, all MGSD teachers participated in the second summer institute for development.
By the beginning of the 2009 school year, all MGSD students in grades 4 through 12 received laptops for their use 24 / 7. While it may have been the final phase of all students receiving laptops, it was just the beginning of a comprehensive program that is already producing positive results for MGSD and other districts as well. The summer of 2010 MGSD not only held its own summer institute for its faculty, but it also hosted a summer institute that realized a participation of 250 staff members from 12 states and 36 school districts.
The success of the MGSD Digital Conversion can be attributed to the support from all involved: administrators, teachers, parents and students. It is a team effort. A Teacher Leader Program has been initiated with a focus on distributive leadership models (Lambert and Fullan). As part of the deployment process all parents and students are required to participate in a training and orientation for appropriate use and care of the laptops. They must also attend update sessions each August. All students are also required to sign a use policy each year that provides explicit direction on appropriate use. Student homework, grades, assignments and calendars are done online. Furthermore, there is a parent portal for keeping track of their child’s assignments and performance, as well as a means of communicating with the teacher. The schools hold Parent Technology Nights throughout the year to assist parents in learning how to use those programs instrumental in their child’s education. The district also utilizes Parent and Teacher Advisory committees. These committees meet quarterly throughout the school year and provide recommendations and feedback regarding the district and its programs including the Digital Conversion.
In the fall of 2010, laptop carts were deployed at the third grade level and the Teacher Leader Training program has began its second year. School improvement plans and individual growth plans are interwoven with the district goals of student achievement and the Digital Conversion. Online formative assessments, expanded teacher and student collaboration, and engaged active learning and instruction are the expected norm and are ubiquitous in all MGSD schools. Evidence of a growing synergy is abundant and in many forms.
Mooresville GSD was featured in the New York Times; click here to read more.
To see the Mooresville Tech Revolution video click here.