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Guilford County Schools, NC Wins $30 Million Race To The Top District Grant

GREENSBORO, N.C., Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- North Carolina's Guilford County Schools (GCS) is one of just 16 winners of the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top District competition, announced today. The $30 million grant is the largest in GCS history.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121211/CL28149-a) (Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121211/CL28149-b)

The grant will purchase tablet technology for every student; offer training and support to students, families, teachers and principals; and, add coordinators at the middle schools to lead this foundational change in teaching and learning.

GCS' project will create and stimulate student-led learning in the district's 24 middle schools and reach nearly 17,000 students and 1,400 faculty members. GCS views grades six through eight as a critical time to challenge and support students.

As part of the grant, students will work daily on tablets equipped with personalized "learning maps." Students who need more time to master concepts can take it without pressure to rush, and those ready to dive deeper into topics can choose from enrichment and accelerated-learning activities that interest them. 

"This technology, which will combine textbook information and Internet resources in one place, will literally put the world at our students' fingertips," said Superintendent Maurice O. Green.

District data indicate that the rate of academic growth slows in middle school. The Race to the Top-District grant will allow GCS to focus a comprehensive strategy in grades six through eight, while building on reforms already put in place at the elementary and high school levels.

The third-largest school district in North Carolina, GCS comes to the Race to the Top District competition with a strong record of results. GCS has the highest graduation rate among N.C.'s largest five districts at 84.5 percent in 2012. The GCS Class of 2012 earned a record-breaking $139 million in college scholarships. More than one-third of GCS schools have earned N.C.'s top designations, based on student performance and other measures.

The U.S. Department of Education announced the winners today. GCS' proposal ranked fourth of all the applications, and received the second-highest financial award. Two districts received $40 million and one other district received $30 million. The Department of Education received 372 applications, involving 1,193 districts.

About Guilford County Schools Guilford County Schools, the third largest school district in North Carolina, serves more than 72,000 students at 124 schools. With approximately 10,000 employees, the district's mission is to graduate responsible citizens who are prepared to succeed in higher education or the career of their choice. Guilford County Schools is a national leader in providing specialized schools and instructional programs designed to meet the educational needs of a culturally diverse citizenship. For more information, visit the district's website at www.gcsnc.com .

Contact: Cynthia Shah-Khan Media Desk (336) 574-5730

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