New Tech Network and Three South Carolina School Districts Announce Partnership to Expand College and Career Readiness

ECMC Foundation awards $2.5M grant to expand New Tech school model practices

New Tech Network (NTN) announced the creation of the South Carolina Learning Network (SCLN), a joint effort with Colleton, Charleston, and Florence, three county school districts. This new collaboration will result in the redesign of elementary, middle and high schools over the next three years with the goal to better prepare students for college and career. To support the new initiative, ECMC Foundation has awarded $2.5M to support the design, training, coaching and professional development for teachers, principals and district staff.

This effort will feature a significant amount of cross-district learning and collaboration, a key strategic factor in supporting each district to sustain the innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Each district faces a common dilemma: How do we better prepare students with both the academic competencies and the skills essential for success after high school? To meet this challenge, NTN and the SCLN will co-design district support plans that address the unique college and career-ready challenges found in the individual communities.  

"This initiative will enable schools to provide powerful learning opportunities that will prepare all students for work or college paths."

Lydia Dobyns, President and CEO, New Tech Network

“We are pleased to be working closely with superintendents Dr. Franklin Foster, Dr. Gerrita Postlewait, and Dr. Laura Hickson. The work in each district will be customized, and we look forward to engaging with teachers, principals, and community members. This new effort expands on the successful partnerships established in the last five years in South Carolina,” said Lydia Dobyns, president and CEO of New Tech Network. “This initiative will enable schools to provide powerful learning opportunities that will prepare all students for work or college paths.”

New Tech Network is a leading design partner for comprehensive school change and has a proven track record supporting school transformation that leads to strong student outcomes. South Carolina New Tech Network district partners have reported improved student performance in high school English and math, particularly among their most vulnerable students, and the SCLN will enable expanding practices to more students across their districts. Nationally, New Tech schools deliver improved higher order thinking, graduation rates, college enrollment rates, and college persistence rates.

Dr. Franklin Foster, superintendent of Colleton County School District in Walterboro, South Carolina, partnered with NTN to open Cougar New Tech in 2013 as part of a US Department of Education Investing in Innovation (i3) grant. The grant focused on ensuring that all students graduated better equipped to take advantage of the college and STEM-rich career opportunities available across South Carolina.  

“After five years, there is clear evidence that the approach works. I am excited to tap into the power of being part of this network,” stated Superintendent Foster. “Our goal is to create a South Carolina graduate with world-class knowledge and world-class skills.”

Advancing evidence-based education innovation is central to ECMC Foundation’s mission to inspire and to facilitate improvements that affect student outcomes — especially among under-served populations. “This is an opportunity to have a lasting impact on over 8,000 students in South Carolina. The New Tech school model enables students to develop deeper learning competencies, which will prepare them to be successful in any future path they choose,” said Kyle Miller, ECMC Foundation senior program director of teacher and leader development.

Who We Are:

New Tech Network, a national non-profit organization, is a leading design partner for comprehensive school change. We work closely with districts and schools to create innovative learning environments. Through a proven school model, a project-based learning platform, and powerful professional development, we coach schools toward lasting change and ongoing improvement.

There are nearly 200 schools in 28 states and Australia in the New Tech Network. Visit a school today!

Source: New Tech Network