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Shawnee Cohn, Discovery Education
240-393-5849, shawnee_cohn@discovery.com

Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
240-463-2894, Stephen_Wakefield@discovery.com


ARKANSAS’ ROGERS PUBLIC SCHOOLS EXPANDS PARTNERSHIP WITH DISCOVERY EDUCATION COMBINING DIGITAL RESOURCES AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TO IMPROVE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

– Access to Award-Winning Science Digital Textbook and New Professional Learning Program Helps Educators Prepare all Students for College and Careers –

Silver Spring, MD (May 25, 2016) – Arkansas’ Rogers Public Schools (RPS) today announced an expansion of its partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. In the latest phase of this collaboration, RPS is empowering educators at all of the district’s 15 elementary schools to create authentic digital learning environments with Discovery Education’s Science Techbook. To further accelerate the district’s efforts to prepare all students for success beyond graduation, RPS elementary educators will develop the district’s culture of STEM education by participating in Discovery Education’s STEM Leader Corps. A four-year professional learning program, the STEM Leader Corps develops and nurtures teachers and administrators as they build a culture of STEM teaching and learning in their school system. 

This expanded partnership supports elements of RPS’ Strategic Plan, which guides the school systems’ efforts to increase student achievement, close achievement gaps, and prepare all students for college and/or successful careers. First developed in 2005, the plan’s specific objectives for 2015-2016 include increasing the use of effective instructional practices; exploring and developing district-wide STEM initiatives; continuing to develop leadership capacity in the district; and becoming a premier school district in the use of technology to support student learning.  To support this plan, RPS began integrating Discovery Education’s digital Social Studies Techbook into middle school classroom instruction at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year.  

“Discovery Education’s combination of dynamic digital textbooks and professional development is helping our teachers deliver the best possible instruction and challenging our students to realize their fullest potential in this ever-changing world,” said Dr. Virginia Abernathy, Assistant Superintendent at Rogers Public Schools. “Rogers Public Schools is pleased to expand our successful collaboration with Discovery Education, as they are a valuable partner supporting our efforts to provide an environment of educational excellence where all belong, all learn and all succeed.”

A complete digital solution built from the ground-up, Discovery Education’s Science Techbook series helps educators transform science instruction. Utilizing an inquiry-based format built on the Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate (5E) model, each Science Techbook includes rich, standards-aligned content such as video, audio, text, and interactives with hands-on activities, as well as virtual labs that help educators differentiate instruction and provide a rich, engaging learning experiences for all students. Additional student features include bilingual text-to-speech and leveled reading tools, and note-taking, and highlighting capabilities. Embedded formative assessment opportunities help educators monitor student progress, and like all Discovery Education digital textbooks, the Science Techbook works on any device and can be implemented in a variety of instructional settings.

Discovery Education’s STEM Leader Corps offers participating educators robust professional development opportunities, job-embedded instructional coaching, and administrative leadership support. Through their engagement in the program, educators will learn how to develop high-quality STEM lessons, transdisciplinary units, and the leadership skills to grow a culture of STEM teaching and learning in their school system. More than 60 educators from each of the district’s 15 elementary schools will serve as teacher-leaders and will progress through the STEM Leader Corps over a period of four years. Discovery Education experts will work closely with these teacher-leaders to establish ‘learning lab’ classrooms in their school. These classrooms will provide opportunities for colleagues to observe and collaborate on the instructional strategies demonstrated and modeled in the “learning lab”, so they can apply similar teaching strategies in their own classrooms and share with their peers district-wide.

Discovery Education is also supporting the RPS team as they engage members of their community in efforts to enhance STEM instruction.  Through a series of community-focused STEM events, local stakeholders will explore STEM education through hands-on activities, connect with local experts, and build a shared vision for STEM teaching and learning in their schools. These activities help community members understand how this four-year partnership transforms teaching and learning, and how STEM education prepares students for success beyond graduation.

As part of this expansion, the Discovery Education Community will continue supporting RPS educators’ efforts to transform students’ learning experiences. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing and inspiration.

“Discovery Education is proud to be a part of Rogers Public Schools’ efforts to prepare all students for future success,” said Amy Knower, director of partnerships at Discovery Education. “By combining sustained professional development with dynamic digital content, the RPS team is creating authentic digital learning spaces that will engage today’s learners and propel student achievement.”

For more information about Discovery Education’s Techbook series, STEM Leader Corps or other services and resources from Discovery Education, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.