About THE GRANT
Rowan-Salisbury Schools is excited to announce the first cohort for the Innovation Academy. Rowan-Salisbury was one of 13 districts that applied for the Innovation Academy grant through the North Carolina Digital Learning Initiative. Out of the 13 districts, Rowan-Salisbury was selected to create and implement an Innovation Academy that would develop and model effective digital learning practices that would spread across all North Carolina K-12 public schools. Teachers in Rowan-Salisbury were able to apply to participate in the Innovation Academy through an application process and 50 Rowan-Salisbury teachers were selected as well as 16 model demonstration sites. The RSS Innovation Academy of teachers is challenged to think differently about teaching and learning, as well as have a desire to grow professionally. Teachers are expected to commit for a year, participate in school visits, engage and complete the blended professional development centered around personalized learning, and complete a digital portfolio containing his/her proudest work. The Innovation Academy is an opportunity to experience best practices, network with other teachers, and enhance creativity, as well as obtain exposure to blended and personalized learning strategies from around the district and beyond.
On November 27th, the Innovation Academy kickoff was held at the Wallace Forum and teachers were able to network, become inspired from district representatives, participate in Google Cardboard, and learn the expectations for the year cohort. The networking event was exciting, informational, and full of energy.
On December 5th, 20 Innovation Academy teachers went on their “Go and See” in which they visited five schools, 13 teacher classrooms, and experienced the RSS Coding bus, Virtual Reality, and participated in a Lunch and Learn at South Rowan High School. Teachers were inspired by seeing blended learning at Knox Middle School, virtual reality at Landis elementary, and experienced culture building at China Grove Middle and Overton Elementary. Currently, the Innovation Academy is working on their online module centered around the Digital Learning Competency focus area of Digital Content and Instruction. This is an exciting year for Rowan-Salisbury Schools as the Innovation Academy spreads best practices throughout the district and beyond.
On December 17th, the Innovation Academy completed their second online module with a focus on meaningful work and personalized learning. They listened to podcasts, collaborated through discussion boards, learned innovative classroom tools, and read articles on best practices. Within the months of November and December, the Innovation Academy was also challenged weekly around different topics such as using SketchNotes in the classroom and tools for blended learning. These challenges are optional but many are collaborating to complete and inspire.
On March 1st, 25 Innovation Academy teachers went on their “Go and See” in which they visited five schools, 13 teacher classrooms, and experienced the RSS Coding bus, Virtual Reality, and participated in a Lunch and Learn at Knox Middle School. Teachers were inspired by seeing blended learning at Knox Middle School, personalized learning at Bostian Elementary, and experienced culture building at West Rowan Elementary and Mount Ulla Elementary. The Innovation Academy continued to work on their online module centered around the Digital Learning Competency focus area of Digital Content and Instruction.
On March 19th, the 16 Model Ambassadors participated in problem-based learning training and built the RSS blueprint for PBL implementation for the district.
The Innovation Academy completed 5 online modules, 2 networking meetings, 2 Go and Visits, five CHOWs, and a principal reflection opportunity.