Tupelo officials will get ideas from North Carolina schools

Daily Journal education reporter Chris Kieffer will also be traveling to North Carolina this week to learn more about classrooms of tomorrow and one-to-one computer programs. You can read updates on his new blog, Education Matters, at www.nems360.com. He’ll also be filing updates in the Daily Journal later this week.

TUPELO – As the Tupelo Public School District prepares for a day when its sixth- to 12th grade students have laptops, district officials will travel this week to study a similar initiative in North Carolina.
Six district employees leave today to visit with staff from the Mooresville, N.C., Graded School District, where all fourth- to 12th grade students have been issued MacBook laptops .
Mooresville Superintendent Mark Edwards was also the superintendent in Henrico County, Va., when it became one of the first districts in the nation to implement a one-to-one computer program.
“If it has been done once and it has been done successfully, we want to take every opportunity we have to replicate success,” said Tupelo Superintendent Randy Shaver, whose district will get laptops from Apple for its teachers and students by the start of the next school year.
“It has been successful in Mooresville, and the superintendent there has done it very well in two school systems. If we want to be the best, we want to replicate the best.”
Shaver will not be making the trip. The district’s travelers will be assistant superintendents Fred Hill and George Noflin, facilities director Julie Hinds, technology director Brenda Meriweather and Tupelo High School staff members Randi Peel and Tyrone Catledge.
“The computers are the most attractive part of the reform initiative we’re working on, but it also includes staff development for our teachers and beefed-up curriculum,” Shaver said. “They have all those things going on in Mooresville, and they are things we want to do here.”
While in North Carolina, the school officials will also visit the Center for Instructional Technology at Duke University, where they will view example modern classrooms that allow for for greater student collaboration.
They’ll also travel to Charlotte to visit a school with International Baccalaureate programs, an intensive curriculum program.

Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or at chris.kieffer@djournal.com.

Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal