South Ripley, Batesville Schools Win Digital Learning Grants

Posted On March 03, 2014

By Mike Perleberg

class-laptop-chromebook(Versailles, Ind.) – Two area school districts are ecstatic over being selected for grants to expand digital learning for students.

On Friday, the Indiana Department of Education’s Office of eLearning announced grants of up to $100,000 each for 20 school districts, including South Ripley Community Schools and Batesville Community Schools.

The schools demonstrated a sustainable, well-developed 1:1 implementation plan, according to the office. According to the One-to-One Institute, 1:1 learning provides every student and teacher access to his or her own personal portable technology in a wireless environment allowing students to learn at their own pace and ability levels.

The grant-receiving school corporations earned the grants after going through two levels of application. The first level submitting an online application saw 132 districts participate. From those, 33 districts were selected to deliver a 10 minute pitch and respond to 10 minutes of questions from the Office of eLearning’s scoring panel.

South Ripley’s pitch team included South Ripley Junior High Principal Rod Hite, South Ripley Elementary Assistant Principal Amy Linkel, 5th grade teacher Ryan Lauber, and Superintendent Rob Moorhead.

“Although the presentation team was limited to only four participants, it was a true team effort of many teachers and staff that helped to create and perfect the presentation,” Moorhead said in a news release.

South Ripley schools are carrying out a 1:1 pilot program this school year. The $100,000 in grant money will be used to provide high quality training for the teaching staff to help them continue to develop digital teaching skills and to assist with the creation of digital curriculum.

“Additionally, South Ripley plans to provide an eLearning Coach to work side by side with teachers as they implement these new digital teaching techniques,” said Moorhead.

Next school year, South Ripley Community Schools plans to provide a Chromebook to each student in grade 5-8. The pilot program will be expanded to include the 3rd, 4th, 9th, and 10th grades.