On July 2, 2014, the Alaska Department of Education and Early Childhood announced that the Copper River School District is one of four districts awarded funds for Governor Parnell’s Digital Teaching Initiative.
The press release noted that:
“The Copper River School District will receive a $652,053 grant and will focus its partnering on small, remote districts. The grant is intended to expand access to high-quality, APS-eligible courses, including dual-credit high school/university coursework and innovative college- and career-focused elective courses through True North Academy Online, an online high school that dovetails with a planned variable-length residential educational program.”
Along with the other three districts, the CRSD will focus on expanding educational opportunities for our current and future students. There will be a clear emphasis on quality and accessibility. The CRSD is the smallest district among the four awarded the grant and will work to expand educational opportunities for small rural districts across the state.
The press release also states that, “The Digital Teaching Initiative is designed to deliver high-quality interactive distance courses to middle and high school students; increase student access to a diverse array of courses; empower teachers to reach beyond their own classrooms; train teachers; and expand school districts’ infrastructure, technology, and staffing. The initiative promotes students’ preparation for career training, college, and the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS).”
In his State of the State Address on January 22, 2014, Governor Parnell charted a course for Alaska’s students. He said, “First, we must recognize our students need 21st century classrooms to compete in a 21st century economy. Our Alaska Digital Teaching Initiative will give our young people access to high-quality teachers and instruction.”
The CRSD is honored to have been selected to participate in the Digital Teaching Initiative. We look forward to working with our community, parents, students, teachers and staff to implement the grant in a cooperative manner that benefits all of our students.
Our vision for this grant and the potential residential academy includes partnerships with other local entities in order to stimulate the local economy and support other projects. Utilizing our facilities, skilled citizens, and local resources, the Copper River Valley can become a statewide resource for families and communities.
In the coming weeks, we will create a webpage dedicated to providing information regarding the grant as well as a link for you to send us your feedback and input. We will also be hosting meetings at each school site to present grant information and answer questions. If you haven’t already, please visit www.crsd.us to sign up for our mailing list, blogs and Facebook page to stay informed of public meetings and other information.