The eSchool Media K-12 Hero Awards, sponsored by Trox, highlights inspiring examples of education during the COVID-19 pandemic

Data-driven decisions remained a top priority for this district despite COVID’s obstacles

The eSchool Media K-12 Hero Awards, sponsored by Trox, highlights inspiring examples of education during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and that means educators across the globe are still finding inventive and innovative ways to support and teach students in classrooms, during hybrid instruction, and in virtual settings.

The eSchool Media K-12 Hero Awards program, sponsored by Trox, recognizes the determined and dedicated efforts of educators throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Never before have educators been challenged and tested as they were, beginning in March 2020 and up until today, and never before has their resilience been more apparent. Administrators, technology leaders, classroom teachers, and educators in all roles have persevered as they taught each and every one of their students during a global pandemic.

Here, eSchool News highlights Putnam County Charter School District–one of its K-12 Hero Awards finalists. Keep reading to discover how this district keeps learning going in the middle of a global pandemic.

Nominee: Putnam County Charter School District

Nominated by: Illuminate Education

What makes this nominee a hero?

Accountability Support gurus Beth Bacon and Kathy Smith are tireless advocates for the students and staff of the Putnam County Charter School System (PCCSS) in Georgia. Both Beth and Kathy actually retired from educational leadership years ago but have returned in this capacity because of their desire to see improved results in student capabilities and intelligence. And their methods have proven effective.

PCCSS is a district of over 3,022 students, serving a student population that is 95% economically disadvantaged. The district has been invested in data-driven decisions for more than eight years. A key area of focus has been developing common assessments and instructional practices that are tightly aligned to standards mastery and data, which are used for decision-making at every level of the district.

As a result of this relentless work, students’ universal screening scores are currently trending above national average–despite the disruptions of COVID–and the district’s graduation rate has shot up from 80.55% in 2017 to 90.3% in 2020. To support these successes, the PCCSS team requires tools that bring clarity and confidence to daily decision-making and that are flexible to their unique local assessments, reporting needs, and problem-solving processes.

Beth, Kathy, and the entire PCCSS team have harnessed Illuminate solutions to help move the district forward with personalized, student-centered learning, equipping their team to drive teaching and learning decisions for standards mastery, collaborate around whole child data, effectively flag students who are at risk, track interventions, and provide timely, targeted supports for both students and staff.

Also, a fun fact about Beth and Kathy: In addition to the myriad responsibilities they undertake for PCCSS, they also organize an annual summer camp program for students. This just goes to show the level of dedication they have to educating and enriching students, academically and in a social-emotional capacity.

Laura Ascione

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