Learning Technology Grant Program Overview: Rochester City School District
Award Years: 2018-2021
Ready, Set, Go! Using Technology to Transform Teaching and Learning
The Rochester City School District (RCSD) is undertaking a major digital transformation effort to improve educational opportunities for Rochester students. Through the professional learning opportunities offered in this Learning Technology Grant project, teachers and administrators will learn how to bring about a digital shift in their schools. Teachers will integrate technology into daily instruction and create personalized learning environments that capture student interest and transform learning.
RCSD is a large, urban school district that serves 26,687 students in grades K-12. It is the third largest school district in New York State. Nine out of every 10 RCSD students are students of color, and 82% of students are eligible for free or reduced price lunch. Nineteen percent (19%) of RCSD students are students with disabilities, and 14% are English Language Learners. The District serves more than 2,000 homeless students each year, and in 2017-2018, more than 600 students who were displaced by recent hurricanes enrolled in RCSD schools.
The three goals of Rochester’s project are to:
- Deliver high quality professional learning opportunities that will prepare educators for the instructional shifts needed to achieve digital transformation,
- Utilize innovative teaching and learning technologies to transform instruction and engage students in more personalized learning, and
- Increase student engagement and improve student learning outcomes through greater personalized learning and instruction.
The District's project includes three key strategies that will encourage the digital transformation of education in Rochester schools. These strategies are:
- Teachers will participate in leveled professional learning opportunities entitled Ready, Set, Go! The series will demonstrate WHY it is essential that teachers integrate technology into their instructional practice (Ready), WHAT they should do differently (Set), and HOW they can achieve a transformation of their instructional practice (Go!).
- Instructional Technology Lead Teachers will provide school-based support for teachers as they integrate technology and shift instructional practice.
- Administrators will learn to lead educational technology initiatives and inspire teachers.
Professional learning will include online courses and collegial learning circles to show educators how to integrate educational technology and create instructional environments that are committed to practices that help all students use their own culture to build knowledge and skills. Participation in the Ready, Set, Go! professional learning series will be open to all RCSD teachers (n=3,300) and administrators (n=134). Teachers from six non-public schools in Rochester will also participate. IT Lead Teachers in 10 RCSD schools and the Virtual Academy of Rochester will provide school-based group and individual support to teachers. Administrators will also have opportunities for targeted professional learning, including a technology summit with personalized, follow-up activities through collegial learning.