Oak Ridge Schools formally introduced its digital 1:1 initiative, called Access Oak Ridge, at its Board of Education meeting Monday evening. The Access Oak Ridge initiative will put a digital device in the hands of every ORS middle school student prior to the end of the 2015-2016 school year.
The digital 1:1 rollout will start with a proof of concept phase beginning this October, which will include the 6th grade at Jefferson Middle School and the 7th grade at Robertsville Middle School. This phase will be followed by a full, middle school rollout to include all middle school grades 5-8.
Bruce Borchers, Oak Ridge Schools superintendent, offered crucial context and explained the importance behind the Access Oak Ridge initiative, a press release said.
“We recognize that digital literacy has become essential to prepare students for college and career readiness in today’s world,” Borchers said. “Numerous studies have shown that digital 1:1 initiatives raise student achievement and engagement. As part of our continued commitment to our students and the community, we’ve taken steps to ensure that every student receives a high-quality, 21st century education.”
Access Oak Ridge will enable greater differentiated learning for ORS students, expand the classroom beyond the school walls, and help close the digital divide in a school district with an increasingly economically disadvantaged student population. Access Oak Ridge will also play a critical role in helping ORS retain and attract top educators, as well as area businesses and families choosing schools for their children, the press release said.
Also, the release said, Access Oak Ridge will help middle school students prepare for the online state assessments beginning in the spring of 2016.
ORS has partnered with industry leaders in technology and education in the Southeast to ensure the success of Access Oak Ridge and has researched best practices from other successful digital 1:1 initiatives such as the nationally recognized implementation at the Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina.
The Board of Education also took a moment to acknowledge Gus Baber, a 6th grader at Robertsville Middle School, during Monday’s meeting. Gus suggested Access Oak Ridge as the name for the digital 1:1 initiative and was formally recognized for his contribution and active participation.
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