Systemwide instructional digital conversion gets new name
TOWSON, MD. – With flourish and fanfare, and after much deliberation by a student panel, Baltimore County Public Schools students on Friday unveiled their new name for the school system’s instructional digital conversion initiative — Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow, or S.T.A.T.
In a video news conference at the Towson studios of BCPS-TV, members of the eight-student selection committee formally announced the new moniker and its accompanying logo.
Announced by Superintendent Dallas Dance during last year’s “State of the Schools” address, S.T.A.T. is the multi-year transformation of BCPS into a complete 21st century technology learning environment. The conversion means that every BCPS student will have a personal digital learning device and that instructional standards, including curriculum development, technology upgrades, and professional development, will support the system’s 1:1 digital platform.
“S.T.A.T. is a wonderful way to describe our move to 21st century digital learning,” said Superintendent Dance. “I’m grateful to these students for the time and work they put into coming up with a title that captures both the urgency and the importance of the work we are undertaking.”
In November, a committee of students met to begin brainstorming a name and look for the new initiative. Committee members said they like the connotation of “Stat” as it is used in medical professions, meaning immediate and quick.
“I want people to be excited about it when they hear it,” said Langley Randall of Towson High School. “I think students will like the fact that it’s going to be easier than it is now to get information.”
Said Carrington Akosa of Western School of Technology in Catonsville, “When you think of S.T.A.T., you think of ‘quick.’ That’s what we wanted to convey.”
Added Sheila Pujara of Eastern Technical High School in Essex, “I was impressed that the administration is asking the kids to help come up with the name.”
Keith Wise of Eastern Technical High said his experiences in the school’s Allied Health Program helped to prompt the name. “It’s futuristic,” he said, “and it seemed to work.”
Other members of the student committee were Jessica Strassman and Daniel Oyfusi, both students at Towson High, and Celeste O’Keefe and Daniel Flinchbaugh, both of George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology.
Ten elementary “Lighthouse” schools selected earlier this month will be the first in the school system to receive individual digital learning devices for students; implement one-to-one personalized and blended learning; and create an innovative, comprehensive digital learning culture. A celebration to recognize the Lighthouse Schools and kick off the program will be held at noon on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, at George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology.