WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools system is putting about $25 million to work to better prepare their students for when they hit the workforce.
As part of the 2016 bond referendum, Forsyth County residents approved the funds which go largely to updating technology in classrooms and media centers.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s very exciting for what we’re able to do on a large scale,” said Kevin Sherrill, chief technology officer for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.
New technology will be put into 3,700 classrooms, Sherrill said, across all 81 of the schools in the system. Some of the technology includes sound enhancements, collaboration tables and interactive panels.
“More of an interactive feel, instead of just a standard front of the classroom instruction delivery,” Sherrill said.
The panels, which look like 70-inch televisions, are more like enlarged tablets, which many students have grown up with.
“Kids can share their work through mirroring their devices to the panel,” Sherrill added.
Work in the media centers also includes new technology, but also new furniture to keep children engaged.
“We focused on schools that weren’t part of the bond referendum back in 2006,” Sherrill said.
The improvements are across all grade levels, with the first phase beginning this summer in roughly 1,200 classrooms.
“What we put in today may not be the same package that we may put in in phase three of the project,” Sherrill added.
The technology will be phased into the schools in three installments, each of about $8.5 million. The school system will then reevaluate every two years, looking at the effectiveness of the improvements, as well as what the market is doing.