Tenn. district, Discovery promote college readiness

March 15th, 2016

college readiness

Partnership will highlight approaches contributing to college and career readiness

Tennessee’s Maury County Public Schools announced a new partnership with Discovery Education focused on building challenging, problem-based learning (PBL) environments districtwide that help support students’ college and career readiness.

To aid this effort, the district is providing educators across the school system access to dynamic digital content from Discovery Education Streaming Plus, a comprehensive digital service supplementing instruction across all K-12 curricular areas.

In addition, to develop Maury County Public Schools’ culture of problem-based learning, more than 100 teachers and administrators from across the district will participate in the PBL Champion Leader Corps, an initiative powered by Discovery Education’s Professional Development Services. PBL Champion Leader Corps will officially launch on April 7 with a special community event.

This new partnership empowers educators to build problem-based learning environments aligned to Maury County Public Schools’ Keys to College and Career Readiness. Created with input from stakeholders across Maury County, the Keys to College and Career Readiness outline specific learning targets for students at various grade levels, and are used to guide the school system in aligning district resources to community needs and expectations.

Access to Discovery Education Streaming Plus will help heighten student engagement in instruction across the school system. Streaming Plus’ digital resources are aligned to state standards and are searchable, and include videos, images, primary source documents, podcasts, oral interviews, audio books, articles and more. Teacher resources include lesson plans, instructional strategies and content collections organized around themes, as well as instructional videos, skill builders, writing prompts, multimedia activities and articles. Through its popular Board Builder feature, students can create virtual project boards using multimedia and text to synthesize their thinking and provide evidence of their understanding of a concept or problem.

Additionally, Discovery Education’s Professional Development Services will serve as the foundation of the Maury County Public Schools’ PBL Champion Leader Corps, providing educators robust job-embedded instructional coaching, and administrative leadership support. Participating educators will learn how to develop high-quality lessons, transdisciplinary units, and the leadership skills to grow a culture of problem-based learning in their school system. Every school has selected four educators to serve as teacher-leaders who will progress through the program over four years. Discovery Education experts will work closely with these teacher leaders to establish ‘learning lab’ classrooms in their school. These classrooms will provide opportunities for colleagues to observe and collaborate on the instructional strategies demonstrated and modeled in the ‘learning lab,’ so they can apply similar teaching strategies in their own classrooms and share with their peers district-wide.

“The Maury County Public Schools are excited to launch this new partnership,” said Dr. Chris Marczak, Director of Schools, Maury County Public Schools. “The combination of dynamic digital content and professional development provided by Discovery Education bolsters our efforts to provide all students the instruction, tools, and problem-based learning environment they need for success beyond the classroom.”

The Discovery Educator Network (DEN) will also support Maury County Public Schools’ educators in their efforts to transform students’ learning experiences with digital media. A global community of education professionals, the DEN connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing and inspiration.

“Discovery Education is proud to partner with the Maury County Public Schools in our joint mission to unlock every learner’s full potential,” said Rob Warren, Director of Educational Partnerships at Discovery Education. “The dedicated work of Dr. Marczak and his team illustrate the district’s deep commitment to transforming teaching and learning in a way that will prepare every student in the community for college, careers, and citizenship.”

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Material from a press release was used in this report.