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DeCourcy secures more funding for digital teaching and learning

PITTSBORO — Digital teaching and learning in Chatham County Schools (CCS) has been strengthened even further with a $150,000 grant from the North Carolina State Board of Education. The money comes from a second round of grant funding under the state’s Digital Learning Initiative. During the 2018-19 school year, nearly three dozen school districts and charter schools across North Carolina will share $2.18 million in grants aimed at advancing digital teaching and learning through locally developed initiatives.Digital learning at Chatham Center for Innovation.

“The heart of the Digital Learning Initiative Implementation Grant for Chatham County Schools is about professional development for our district’s leaders and teachers,” said Delia DeCourcy, the district’s executive director for digital teaching and learning. “The funds will go toward supporting the design and implementation of blended, personalized learning for students. This approach to teaching and learning ultimately better meets the needs of all learners. So we have a variety of workshops, job-embedded opportunities, book studies and special events to provide teachers and district leaders with ongoing professional development that shifts instructional practices.”

CCS will receive its grant over two years at $75,000 per year. DeCourcy not only facilitated that grant but also secured a $50,000 grant from the state during its first round of funding last fall.

In the fall, school districts across the state submitted a combined 61 applications for grant funding. There were 90 applications for the latest round of grants. That means educators are embracing digital teaching and learning, said Mark Johnson, the superintendent of North Carolina’s public schools.

“These promising initiatives will help North Carolina continue to innovate in the classroom and advance on its goal of providing all students with personalized, digital-age learning,” Johnson said. “Once these efforts show success for students, they can be scaled and replicated elsewhere in the state.”

The grant initiative was authorized in 2016 by the General Assembly as part of a collaboration between the State Board of Education and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at N.C. State University to advance the state’s Digital Learning Plan. The goal of that plan is to develop a long-term strategy that sets directions and priorities, supports innovation and provides resources to enable educators and students to benefit fully from digital-age teaching and learning.

Published Oct. 9, 2018