This summer, McHenry Elementary School District 15 was one of three recipients in the nation to earn the Digital Content and Curriculum Achievement Award in the medium school district size category. This award, from the Center for Digital Education, recognizes school districts that successfully use digital content and curriculum to improve instruction and student engagement. “It’s exciting to see that schools all over the country are moving from pilot projects to full-scale implementation of digital content and curriculum,” said Dr. Kecia Ray, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Education. “This year’s honorees are taking the practice of education to new heights that show great promise for other districts to follow.”
Receiving their first national award in district history, McHenry Elementary School District 15 developed a weekly on-going staff development program (Staff Development Wednesdays—SDW) utilizing technology as the driving force. “Our school district’s efficient and innovative deployment of digital curriculum has revolutionized professional development and changed the quality of teaching and learning forever in McHenry,” stated Dr. Fred Laudadio, Executive Director of Learning and Technology. In accepting the award, “District 15 is honored to be acknowledged for the innovative ways it uses technology to enhance school improvement, develop the capacity of staff, and improve learning for all of our students.”
McHenry’s staff development model does not necessitate lengthening the school day, nor does it decrease student instructional time. “Never before has our entire community of learners been able to access digital information, collaborate, develop curriculum, share instructional best practices, and grow as a true professional learning community,” shared Dr. Alan Hoffman, Superintendent.