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Learning Technology Grant Program Overview: Dryden Central Schools Consortium

Award Years: 2021-2024

Building Digital Literacy for Student Empowerment

Dryden Central Schools and Groton Central Schools compose two neighboring districts in rural northeastern Tompkins County, bordering the western side of Cortland County. Dryden CSD services 1291 students and Groton CSD services 802 students. Also included in this consortium is the sole non-public school within our boundaries, Covenant Love Community School. This school serves 77 students. The consortium consists of the two districts and Covenant Love Community School.

The need for this project was illustrated by our high poverty rates (Dryden 53%, Groton 45%, Covenant Love 24%), as well as the gap in achievement between students who are economically disadvantaged and those who are not. Dryden also has a large percentage of students with disabilities, as 19% of students were classified in 2019-20. These students show a gap in achievement compared to non-classified students. Both districts are designated Target Districts and Groton Jr./Sr. High School is a Comprehensive Support and Improvement school. Due to the relatively small size of our districts, we are limited in the variety of High School courses we can offer. Currently Groton High School offers one Computer Science Course, and Dryden and Covenant Love offer none.

This Learning Technology Grant project will target all 2170 students and 320 teachers and administrators within these schools.

The goal of the Learning Technology Grant project is: (a) to increase our capacity to offer Computer Science courses for Middle School and High School students; (b) to develop partnerships with local businesses in order to provide real-world experiences for our students; and (c) to help all teachers integrate the NYS Computer Science and Digital Fluency Learning Standards. As a result of our program, students will have the opportunity to develop real world skills in Computer Science that prepare them for employment and advanced study in Computer Science and related fields.

Over the course of three years, this Learning Technology Grant program will empower our schools to build the needed capacity to address our students’ access to technology education now and into the future. This will be done through the following objectives:

  1. Creating a regional network with dedicated leadership, focused on addressing issues of equity through increased opportunities for personalized learning and postgraduate employment.
  2. Developing district capacity to offer Middle and High School courses aligned to the NYS Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards.
  3. Preparing students for employment in our community.
  4. Integrating the NYS Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards throughout the curriculum for all students.
  5. Increasing teacher ability to utilize digital tools and implement standards through personalized coaching, facilitated work sessions, and “just in time” technical support.

This Learning Technology Grant program will allow us to support our current teachers in their participation in the Hunter College Computer Science Education program, which leads to an additional certification in K-12 Computer Science Education. This investment will sustain Computer Science offerings at our High Schools as these teachers will instruct credit-bearing Computer Science courses for many years after the grant period ends. These courses will be aligned to the CollegeNow program at Tompkins-Cortland Community College, allowing our students to earn concurrent college and high school credit.

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