Winterboro High School in Talladega County is one of only seven schools in the U.S. highlighted in a recent report from the Alliance for Excellent Education for innovative learning practices. The report also praised Alabama Access, our state's interactive videoconferencing and online learning service.
We've excerpted the section about Winterboro below. You can read the complete text of Digital Learning and Technology here.
Winterboro High School (Alabama)
Winterboro High School historically has struggled with a high free and reduced-price lunch rate (85 percent), large dropout rates, discipline issues, poor student achievement, low teacher attendance, and weak morale. Through the use of technology and digital learning, the school has addressed all of these issues and transformed the culture, infrastructure, and teaching and learning environment. Winterboro also created a student leadership team and developed the Winterboro Trust Statement and Job Description.
Teachers dedicated themselves to intensive, project-based learning and technology-based professional development, and the school developed an infrastructure that allows collaborative teaching assignments and a one-to-one student-to-computer ratio. Mentoring programs and community partnerships provide students with assistance on projects and engage the community in the school’s transformation. The model includes blended learning environments.
After just two years, Winterboro has experienced a 64 percent decrease in dropouts, a 78 percent decrease in alternative school referrals, and a 34 percent decrease in disciplinary infractions. There has also been a 40 percent decrease in teacher absences. Simultaneously, math test scores have improved dramatically, from 79 percent to 88 percent for eleventh graders and from 69 percent to 78 percent for eighth graders. Winterboro has observed positive changes in deeper learning skills such as collaboration, communication, and higher-level thinking. The school is sharing its redesign plan and experiences, including the successful application of technology, with other districts and schools across the country.