Bitterly cold temperatures didn’t cool down the enthusiasm one bit that greeted BCPS Superintendent Dallas Dance on a recent Friday as he spent the day visiting nine of the 10 designated “Lighthouse Schools” to kick off the countywide instructional digital conversion known as S.T.A.T.
At school after school, Dance and his delegation were greeted by students and staff who are excited to begin the process of using technology to transform teaching and learning at their schools into a 21st century instructional model.
The visits from Dr. Dance and a small delegation included a presentation of a special banner for each school celebrating its status as a Lighthouse School. But at each stop, Dance marveled at the excitement S.T.A.T. already is generating.
Teachers and staff at Joppa View, Edmondson Heights, Fort Garrison, and Rodgers Forge already are wearing customized S.T.A.T. t-shirts; the Joppa View shirt bore a variation of the popular British wartime encouragement, reading “Keep Calm and Go Digital.” At other schools, displays prominently featured lighthouse motifs, and at Edmondson Heights, Principal David Proudfoot and his staff have created a lighthouse-themed oasis in the front hall.
At several stops, Dr. Dance was joined by Board of Education members or an elected leader. And at more than one school, the superintendent veered from hallways into classrooms to talk with students and teachers or watch lessons in progress.
Dr. Dance announced at last spring’s State of the Schools event that BCPS will embark on a multi-year instructional 1:1 digital conversion starting this year – a fundamental shift in teaching and learning that will include the distribution of digital learning devices to every student and standards to ensure that each classroom has a 21st century technology environment.
The Lighthouse Schools are Joppa View, Chase, Hawthorne, Lansdowne, Edmondson Heights, Church Lane, Fort Garrison, Halstead Academy, Rodgers Forge, and Mays Chapel elementary schools. Mays Chapel Elementary is under construction and will open to students in August 2014.
To see photographs from Dr. Dance’s Lighthouse Schools tour on February 28, please visit the BCPS Flickr web page at www.flickr.com/photos/bcps/.