W.E.B. DuBois Academy opened its doors last fall as an all-boys middle school with an Afrocentric curriculum, the first of its kind in Louisville, Kentucky. Moreover, the new school also joined the fifth cohort of the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools initiative.
The school, whose student body was 86 percent black, had the highest percentage of growth for African-American male students in Jefferson County Public Schools and was among the most improved middle schools overall in the district based on Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test scores over the course of the three testing windows.
Teachers at DuBois acknowledge that the iPads provided to them by the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools initiative is among the key reasons for the school’s immediate success.
“Teachers can give [students] things to do that’s at their own reading levels, so they don’t feel they’re unsuccessful,” said Denette Brown, the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools coach at DuBois. “They start where they need to be and then they can grow from there.”
Since 2014, the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools initiative—which expands to 152 schools this year—has equipped every student and teacher in select middle schools across the country with a device and up to a four-year data plan, as well as extensive professional development and support towards powerful teaching and learning that leverages technology in and out of the classroom.
“The iPads, the technology, [students] having that right there—I can mention something and in five seconds they’re going to have a page up with information about that topic, and they’re going to learn about it,” said Matthew Howell, a DuBois science teacher. “It’s just so powerful and impactful, and it’s not something that I was able to do before I had that kind of technology in the classroom.”
Watch the video below to see how the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools initiative is making success real at DuBois Academy, then learn more about Verizon Innovative Learning Schools.