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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


VIRGINIA BEACH CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS EMPOWERS EDUCATORS TO MAXIMIZE STUDENT ENGAGEMENT IN SCIENCE INSTRUCTION THROUGH NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH DISCOVERY EDUCATION  

-Collaboration to Bring Award-Winning Science Techbook to 31,000 Students in 55 Elementary Schools-

SILVER SPRING, Md. (September 14, 2016) Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) today announced a new, eight-year partnership with Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms.  Though this collaboration, K-5 educators will be empowered with Discovery Education’s award-winning Science Techbooks to create rich and engaging learning experiences for approximately 31,000 students at the district’s 55 elementary schools.

VBCPS’s new partnership with Discovery Education supports the district’s five-year strategic framework, Compass to 2020: Charting The Course. Guiding the evolution of teaching and learning districtwide, this framework sets the district’s vision and efforts for ensuring all students are challenged and supported to reach their full potential. Discovery Education’s Science Techbooks will support district educators as they deliver standards-aligned instruction that is differentiated to meet unique student needs, as well as help maximize student engagement and create new learning opportunities that include higher-level thinking and questioning.

“Virginia Beach City Public Schools is committed to making a difference for every student, every day,” said Dr. Lesley Hughes, Executive Director for Elementary Teaching and Learning at Virginia Beach City Public Schools. “We are excited to launch this new partnership with Discovery Education, as their unique combination of professional development and digital content will play a central role in transforming the way teachers and students experience science instruction in our school district.”

Discovery Education’s Science Techbook series empowers educators to 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, interactives with hands-on activities, and virtual labs that help educators differentiate instruction and provide a rich and engaging learning experience for 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.  To ensure each VBCPS teacher is fully supported in their transition to the Science Techbook, Discovery Education experts will provide Science faculty high-quality professional development supporting the integration of the digital textbook into classroom practice.

A study conducted by independent research firm Merola Research, LLC found that usage of Science Techbook is associated with higher science achievement scores in elementary school students. After one year of implementation in South Carolina’s Rock Hill Schools, fourth grade students whose teachers used Discovery Education Science Techbook scored higher on average on the 2013 Science Palmetto Assessment of State Standards (PASS) than students whose teachers did not use Science Techbook. Techbooks are also a substantially less expensive option per student at nearly half the cost of a traditional textbook, with additional savings derived from a lack of textbook replacement or inventory costs.

The Discovery Education Community will also support Virginia Beach educators in their efforts to transform students’ learning experience 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. 

“We’re inspired by Virginia Beach City Public Schools’ efforts to create modern digital learning environments that maximize student engagement in science instruction,” said Kelly Burleson, Manager of Education Partnerships at Discovery Education.  “The team at Discovery Education is proud to support their efforts to create classroom experiences that prepare students for success in the classroom and beyond.”

For more information about the Discovery Education Science Techbook series 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.