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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


LOUISIANA’S CADDO PARISH PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND DISCOVERY EDUCATION PARTNER TO REINVENT LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS AND TRANSFORM INSTRUCTION THROUGH NEW “iLEARN” INITIATIVE 

-Combination of Dynamic Digital Textbooks and Professional Learning Program Will Support District Educators As They Build Innovative STEM Learning Environments-

Silver Spring, Md. (June 14, 2016)Louisiana’s Caddo Parish Public Schools today announced an expansion of its eight-year partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. In the latest phase of this relationship, Caddo Parish schools and Discovery Education are launching the iLearn initiative, which will build a strong culture of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) districtwide.

To support this new initiative, Caddo Parish educators will, beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, integrate Discovery Education’s Science Techbook (Grades K-12), Social Studies Techbook (Grades 6-8) and Math Techbook (Grades 6-12) into classroom instruction. In addition, 44 Caddo educators will help develop the district’s culture of STEM education by participating in Discovery Education’s STEM Leader Corps, a six-year professional learning program that develops and nurtures teachers and administrators as they build a culture of STEM teaching and learning in their school system. 

This expanded partnership directly supports Caddo Parish’s five-year strategic plan. Entitled Re-Imagine Caddo: The Plan for Excellence, this document sets the direction for the district’s efforts to better meet the needs of individual students and improve the school system as a whole. Developed with extensive input from community members, parents, students, educators, and staff, this multifaceted plan will shape future rigorous instructional programs that accelerate academic opportunities and help reinvent learning environments that prepare all learners with the skills and capacities for life beyond the classroom.

“We are pleased to continue our important strategic partnership with Discovery Education,” said Caddo Parish Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Lamar Goree. “Their dynamic digital resources and comprehensive professional development help our educators equip all students with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes they need to succeed as productive and responsible citizens in a local, national, and global society.”

Discovery Education’s Techbooks are breakthrough digital textbooks that are aligned to rigorous standards, support a comprehensive curriculum, and are updated regularly at no cost.  The series encourages all learners through interactive features that change the reading level of text and enable text to be read aloud. The Techbook series saves teachers’ time with a comprehensive design that places model lessons, student activities and assessments at their fingertips. Techbooks are platform neutral and can be used in 1:1 or 1-to-many configurations and in any instructional environment.

The Social Studies Techbook series uses an inquiry-based instructional approach that emphasizes informational text literacy, analytical writing and problem solving skills that students will apply in the classroom and beyond. Each subject area includes primary source documents and activities, digital investigations, a multimedia reference library, interactive maps and informational texts.  Utilizing an inquiry-based format built on the 5E model, the Science Techbook, through hands-on labs, digital explorations, an interactive glossary, and data analysis activities, helps teach students to read, write, and think like scientists. Math Techbook, the latest addition to Discovery Education’s award-winning line of digital textbooks, transforms the way students and teachers experience math through engaging instructional strategies and real-world problems that motivate and excite students with diverse learning styles.

To support educators as they implement these new digital resources, Discovery Education’s STEM Leader Corps will offer Caddo Parish educators robust professional development opportunities, job-embedded instructional coaching, and administrative leadership support. Through their engagement in the program, educators will develop high-quality STEM lessons, transdisciplinary units, and the leadership skills to grow a culture of STEM teaching and learning in their school system. 44 educators from ten of the district’s schools will serve as teacher-leaders who will progress through the STEM Leader Corps over a period of six 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.

In addition, the Discovery Education Community will continue supporting Caddo Parish Public Schools’ educators’ efforts to transform students’ learning experiences with digital media. 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. District educators and students will also continue using Discovery Education Streaming Plus, a comprehensive digital service supplementing instruction across all K-12 curricular areas, which was first introduced into Caddo schools in 2008.

“Discovery Education shares Caddo Parish Public Schools’ vision for combining engaging digital content and robust professional development to transform teaching and learning,” said Jason Sinquefield, manager of education partnerships at Discovery Education.  “We look forward to continuing to support Dr. Goree and his talented team as they accelerate student engagement and achievement district-wide through iLearn.”

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.    

About Caddo Parish Public Schools
Caddo Parish Public Schools encompasses the flavor and diversity of the community we serve. Our district is comprised of 62 schools representing students from rural, suburban and urban areas of Caddo Parish. Caddo is home to 12 National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence earning 15 awards as designated by the U.S. Department of Education. The district also boasts several of the state’s top performing schools. Understanding the integral role education plays in the success of a community, Caddo Parish Public Schools embraces the challenge of serving as a central architect in propelling the city, parish and state in a progressive direction. It is essential that all Caddo’s schools provide each student the foundation needed to be successful and globally competitive in either college or career. We are Caddo is more than a slogan. It is a battle cry and a charge upon the school system to expect nothing less than the best.