HCPS chosen for statewide pilot project

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 28, 2008

MURFREESBORO – Learning is changing for 44 students in Hertford County.

Thanks to a grant from the AT&T-NC Foundation, students representing the Ninth Grade Success Academy will be part of an e-book pilot project to deliver instruction to students. It is a pilot program which will could extended statewide if it is successful.

Students and teachers from Hertford County High School will use the e-books in a minimum of three core academic courses from now until May of this year.

The school district is leased with the possibilities the program offers.

“I think the Epic Learning computer or e-book is an outstanding piece of equipment,” HCPS Superintendent Dr. Michael G. Basham said. “It has all core subjects stored in its memories and will provide students with lectures, information to read and a variety of ways to learn.

“Knowing as we do that all students learn differently, I think this will be beneficial,” he added. “It is the learning of the future.”

The kickoff for the program was held Thursday night at Hertford County Middle School, the site of the Ninth Grade Success Academy. Among those in attendance were representatives from Hertford County Public Schools, the AT&T-NC Foundation and North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson.

“We know that students today are enthusiastic about using technology to network, to learn and to experience new things,” Atkinson said. “AT&T is making this possible in Hertford County, and I am excited about the opportunity to try e-books in a rural North Carolina public school.”

During Thursday night’s unveiling in Murfreesboro, EPIC Learning Systems CEO Dr. Vernon Johnson provided a demonstration of the e-books for parents, students and community leaders.

Epic Learning is a comprehensive high school transformation model that is focused on improving on time graduation and college readiness for students.

The company provided e-books for professional development with educators as well as the learning of the students.

AT&T-NC Foundation President Cynthia Marshall said the company’s commitment to communities made the $25,000 grant possible.

“AT&T has a long-standing commitment to supporting our communities and nothing is more important to a community than the education of its children,” she stressed. “We are excited to be participating in this innovative project path that will use technology to fan the flame of learning and academic achievement.”

The program will be evaluated by East Carolina University and, if the evaluations show improvement among the students, the program could be implemented statewide.

“I’m thankful we were selected as the test site,” Dr. Basham said. “I’m excited. I think we will see good results.”

More information about the pilot project is available from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Communications division at 919.807.3469.