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21st Century learning. College and career ready. Digital classrooms. Clichés, right? Well-worn phrases. The latest labels for vague aspirations.
Not so with Lenoir County Public Schools.
An unparalleled combination of classroom technology and teacher support has moved LCPS into a realm of 1:1 learning exceeded by few school districts anywhere – iPads for all K-12 students, iPads and MacBooks for all teachers, a network of school-based Digital Learning Specialists to help teachers master the technology and develop lessons that will engage digital natives, and professional development straight from the experts at Apple. That’s how we match teaching to the way today’s students learn. From JumpStart, the transitional program that helps our youngest students catch up, to our Career Pathways program, which allows high school students to get ahead with college credits, LCPS is putting the right tools in the hands of the right people to give students the real-world skills they need to succeed.
Two recent accolades say a lot about what our teachers are doing for our students and what LCPS is doing for our teachers. 1) The international accreditation agency Cognia inspected 1,200 educational units in 2021. It designated 20 of them worldwide as a System of Distinction. LCPS was one of the 20. And 2) Forbes Magazine listed 100 employers in the state as a Best Place to Work. Four of them were school districts. LCPS was one of them -- and the top rated of the four.
LCPS is creating an exciting educational environment that frames learning as a process of discovery, that asks teachers to guide that exploration, that gives students room to learn from false starts and that values understanding above knowing. Yet for a school district so forward-facing, our commitment to people is decidedly old-fashioned. A strong mentoring program and district-level assistance help beginning teachers get off to a good start. A sense of partnership makes experienced teachers feel welcome in their new home.
Ours is not a large school system – about 8,500 students in 17 schools. Ours is not a rich system; in fact, like most places in eastern North Carolina, poverty can present a challenge to educators here. But size, geography and economic status can be rendered irrelevant by optimism, teamwork and a solid plan for learning.
LCPS has a plan and is putting it into practice. We’re looking for teachers who not only want to come along on this adventure, but who want to help lead it.