After some of the members of the Surry County Schools Board of Education visited a technology conference, they brought back an idea the school system will begin implementing in the fall.
Middle school students in the system will begin the GenYES program developed by Dr. Dennis Harper. The program has been in existence since the late ’90s and has spread across the country and even to four other countries, but Surry County is the first in North Carolina to implement it.
“This caught our eye because it was a student-led type of initiative. It’s something they could take hold of and do on their own,” said Earlie Coe, board chairman. “They had some great success with it.”
The school system believes that this will coincide with the 1:1 laptop initiative that will expand from seventh and eighth grade to the high schools next year. Empowering students to be leaders and valued partners in the school laptop implementation can lead to increased classroom technology integration, greater support for classroom teachers using new technologies and greater understanding and support for program goals, the school officials believe.
“It’s about student engagement and student empowerment. They will become part of the planning, execution and implementation part of our 1:1 initiative. They will learn how to use the software, how to best utilize the laptops in the classroom and help on troubleshooting and minor repairs,” said Jill Reinhardt, director of technology and career and technical education for the school system.