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Rural Kentucky District Empowers Teachers and Students to Be Active Learners

Shifting to active student use can also mean ensuring active teacher learning. Logan County Schools, a rural, high-poverty school system in Russellville, KY, launched a digital transformation initiative in response to industry and community leaders who indicated that the local workforce needed graduates who were better innovators, communicators, and problem-solvers. The school system, a Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools member, wanted to ensure that teachers, principals, and administrators understood authentic student engagement and the importance of student choice and voice. The district hired digital learning coaches to make sure teachers, principals, and administrators received the resources and training to use technology in ways that supported these learning goals. At the same time, the teacher-leadership team (the LC Innovators) worked with the Learner-Centered Collaborative on embedding high-impact educator professional learning. 

This initial investment in educator learning has shifted student experiences and expectations. Today, students in grades 5, 8, and 12 give a Defense of Learning Presentation at the end of the school year to reflect on their learning, share evidence and artifacts, and set new goals. Artifacts don’t have to be from the classroom; they can be photos of a student leading an after-school club, captaining a sports team, or using math on the farm. The district also started an accountability system, sharing student growth, readiness, well-being, and performance data with the community every quarter.