Case Study Background
Sunflower County CSD started the 2020-21 school year without a dedicated curriculum supplement in place to support remote and asynchronous learning during the pandemic. They sought a partner who could provide the resources, content, and support needed for successful virtual learning.
Curriculum Specialist Shamethria Beaman oversees all curriculum-related issues and purchases for Sunflower County CSD, specializing in reading and social studies. She worked with Boardworks to address their need for a virtual supplement.
Sunflower County CSD is a recently created body, unifying the efforts of three local school districts in the last five years. As such, there were structural and curriculum-related issues in getting all schools and administrators on the same page with the resources needed.
“My primary goal since I started in this position has been to get all of the schools in our district unified and on the same page. There were a variety of resources in place across the three districts before consolidation, so we’ve worked hard to uniform all of the products we use and ensure everyone is on a level playing field.” “At the start of the school year, technology was a barrier in some places and we provided learning packets for students. We did eventually reach a 1:1 status for the district and have been better able to support virtual learning that started in September. But we needed a resource to support those efforts.”
“This entire process was new for everyone. For teachers, there’s nothing like being in the classroom with your students, face-to-face. Virtual teaching has been completely different and so we needed to figure out how to change the traditional classroom into a virtual one that would hold our kids’ attention. There are several programs we looked at to help with this. We onboarded a learning management system so teachers could start putting their resources online. But our focus remained on engagement. Teachers needed extra resources to help them plan to teach virtually and keep students engaged. Boardworks came along at the perfect time, because it helped fill that gap for us.”
While the district had some resources in place, and many of their textbooks had eBook components, there were barriers to creating the digital content needed to teach remotely.
“Teachers can put together a PowerPoint, but how can they actually make it
engaging and interactive for students? When Boardworks came along with so many presentations, it took a little stress off of our teachers, reducing the time needed to plan for students. It was the engagement factor that really sold me on Boardworks.”
“Without Boardworks, we would have less success with the students. If they aren’t engaged, we lose them. You only get a few minutes of direct engagement and talking with students before they start to lose attention, so I feel like students wouldn’t perform well if we didn’t keep them engaged. Finding Boardworks in those first five weeks was huge for us because it will be such an important factor in driving student engagement and success.”
“Traditionally, teachers would have created PowerPoints or other supplements to teach content in front of the classroom, but virtually you need to get feedback from students. In the classroom this is a conversation, but online, the content needs a certain level of interactivity to keep students engaged. That was another important selling point for us.
Shamethria Beaman, Curriculum Specialist
Sunflower County CSD was already well into the academic year when they purchased Boardworks. Implementation supplemented the existing efforts by teachers to engage and manage students remotely.
“We worked closely with our Boardworks representative to train teachers during asynchronous Fridays that are reserved for lesson assignments and professional development. We made sure all teachers could attend and were able to provide access to all the teachers at once as a result. Teachers subsequently were able to start using those libraries and content right away. There was almost no ramp up time to getting the tool into their hands as a result.”
“Virtual learning isn’t going anywhere. In the future, when we return to traditional classroom-based teaching, we’ll still have the digital learning piece, and teachers
will have the ability to assign lessons digitally or for homework. They can assign a Boardworks presentation that they want students to watch at home or interact
with. I see us using Boardworks for the long term as a result. When they have the presentations already prepared, they can make some minor edits and that content is ready to share with students.”
Sunflower County CSD was able to implement Boardworks early in the school year, providing a much needed curriculum supplement for virtual and asynchronous learning.
“Boardworks helps us with our planning and engagement with students. It saves time because when a teacher is looking for a PowerPoint on a particular standard, it could take an hour or two otherwise. Whereas I can go into the Boardworks library and quickly search for something. And if I need to edit it, I can do that. It’s faster, and the content quality is high.”
“We’re doing the best we can given the circumstances. We’re proud of our efforts to turn Sunflower County CSD from a failing district into a successful district, and want to continue seeing improvement in the years to come. During the virtual learning period, we want to keep improving and we see Boardworks as an important resource in supplementing those efforts.”