South Fayette Township School District State: Pennsylvania Grade Level: K-12 School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: 13.0% Grade Level: K-12 English Language Learners: 0.6% School Context
Academic, Artistic, and Athletic Excellence: Based on three years of state standardized test scores, South Fayette is thetop-ranked district in western Pennsylvania and aims to stay that way.
Computational Thinking: The district has developed a vertically aligned computation literacy curriculum.
Huddle, Pass, Receive: The district is committed to data-driven instruction and has coined their approach, “Huddle, Pass,Receive.” Each grade level has the opportunity to “huddle” to discuss the performance of their students from the previousyear. Teams then meet with the teachers who will be receiving their students to “pass” the data and review specific studentconcerns. Each team also has the opportunity to “receive” the same information for their incoming students from theprevious year’s teachers.
Community Partnerships: In addition to sharing data internally, the district aims to partner with members of the regionalcommunity, including foundations, businesses, and school districts.
State of Technology
Something for Everybody: In early elementary school, South Fayettestudents start with block-based coding, using Scratch. In middle school,students transition to text-based code, using MIT’s App Inventor, wherethey can start to develop their own apps. By high school, studentsuse these skills in courses including entrepreneurship and AdvancedPlacement computer science.
National Recognition: The U.S. Department of Educational Technologyrecognized South Fayette for transforming a traditional education systemby embedding computational thinking into the existing K-12 curriculum.
Sharing Ideas: In 2015, the Grable Foundation, a local nonprofitsupporting youth development, recognized the accomplishments ofSouth Fayette and offered a $70K grant for the district to offer a summerprofessional development course in educational innovation to 300educators from neighboring districts. PD happens in an embeddedmanner, all on the same campus. They conducted a summer institute thepast two years and helped throughout the year as well for continuity.
Student Leaders: The district aims to cultivate student innovationand leadership in computer science and engineering, by encouragingstudent-led initiatives. For instance, several high school students createdan application with computer-based flashcards designed to be used ontablets that is currently in beta-testing with K-2 students. Additionally,two seniors developed a six-week afterschool program to teach python tostudents across multiple neighboring districts; another student is creatingeducational apps and beta-testing them with K-2 students.
Student Leaders: The district aims for every student and teacher in thedistrict to be using a tablet or laptop daily by the 2018-19 school year.The plan kicked off in January 2015 as the district purchased 525 iPadAir tablets to pilot with first and second graders on a class-to-class basis.Currently, the district has a 1:1 student to device ratio using laptopsin grades 3-8. The high school has a BYOD policy as it moves towardsbecoming 1:1.
*Content From 2015