Shelby County Schools is once again being recognized by Project Tomorrow® for its high level of participation in the nationwide Speak Up survey. These annual surveys ask students, teachers, and parents what they see and want in terms of school technology use. Shelby County Schools ranked second in total participation and first in parent participation.
“It’s hard for busy parents to find the time for just one more thing. So we are excited and appreciative that so many of our parents took the time to complete the survey,” said Susan Poling, district technology coordinator. “To be ranked top in the nation in this category is fantastic especially when you consider that many of the other top ranked districts are much larger than we are. Klein Independent School District in Texas, which ranked first in overall participation, has over 48,000 students. It’s an intriguing survey and we really do review and use the results as we plan for the future.”
The Speak Up results are made available on both a school and district level. In addition, they include how parents across the state and nation answered the same question. A sample of questions and results show how this information can be useful to the district in planning:
- The effective implementation of technology within instruction to their children’s success is extremely important – Shelby 66%, State 63%, Nation 56%
- Technology use is very teacher dependent with a lot of variance between classes on usage – Shelby 31%, State 27%, Nation 33%.
- Increased student engagement in school and learning is a primary benefit of using mobile devices in the classroom – Shelby 66%, 63%, Nation 57%
Julie Evans, CEO of the non-profit group Project Tomorrow®, commended the 200 districts with the highest numbers of participants for demonstrating their commitment to listening to their stakeholders’ views on education and digital learning.
The ‘Speak Up 200’ schools were selected for this national distinction from the 30,000 schools nationwide that have participated in the annual Speak Up surveys since 2003. Based upon total participation and demonstrated commitment to engaging their stakeholders in local decisions on education issues, five school districts were recognized for special distinctions:
• Klein Independent School District (Texas)
• Shelby County School District (Alabama)
• Weslaco Independent School District (Texas)
• McAllen Independent School District (Texas)
• Richardson Independent School District (Texas)
Shelby County was recognized as the top school district for parent participation, while Klein ISD was recognized for administrator and teacher participation.
Project Tomorrow will promote the schools’ distinction to the Congressional representative and state Governor of each Speak Up 200 school to demonstrate the power of educational innovation at the local level. The schools will also receive a unique Speak Up 200 logo to include on their school and district websites.
“We are very pleased to be ranked second overall and first in parent participation,” said Lauren Woolley, Shelby County School’s program specialist for instructional technology. “We hope to get an even greater number of participants when send out the link to the 2013 survey later this fall.”