Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD) in Johnson County, Kansas has initiated a new partnership with Discovery Education supporting science education. Through this collaboration, educators in all 34 SMSD elementary schools have now joined their peers nationwide in integrating Discovery Education’s award-winning suite of flexible digital resources into science instruction. Discovery Education’s digital resources connect students to their inner curiosity in new ways, and provide educators innovative opportunities to design and deliver engaging learning experiences every day. Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place.
SMSD is the third largest school district in Kansas with more than 27,000 students and 3,400 employees. The district has been consistently ranked among the finest school districts nationwide for its high student performance, and serves a diverse student population from 14 cities within northeast Johnson County, Kansas, which is 10 miles from downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
SMSD seeks to ensure all students construct their own foundation for success in life’s endeavors through relevant, personalized learning experiences orchestrated by talented, compassionate educators. To help students build a strong foundation of knowledge in the sciences, the school system sought a suite of digital resources they could easily integrate into instruction in either the classroom or the remote environment. Those resources are:
The Discovery Education platform.
Connecting educators to a vast collection of high-quality, standards-aligned content, ready-to-use digital lessons, intuitive quiz and activity creation tools, and professional learning resources, Discovery Education provides educators an enhanced and flexible learning platform which facilitates engaging, daily instruction in any learning environment.
Discovery Education’s team continues adding, contextualizing, and organizing exciting new content and timely and relevant resources to the platform each month in response to current events and the ever-evolving needs of educators. These resources, sourced from trusted partners, are aligned to state and national standards, and help educators bring the outside world into teaching and learning every day.
The K-12 learning platform is designed to work within the school systems’ existing infrastructure and workflows and provides safe, secure, simple access methods for educators and students. Through expanded, lasting partnerships with Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, Schoology, Canvas, Brightspace, and Clever, integrating Discovery Education’s K-12 learning platform into existing IT architecture is easier than ever.
Discovery Education Science Techbooks.
The Discovery Education Science Techbook series is a comprehensive, research-backed science solution for grades K-12. Used in classrooms across the United States and Canada and delivered through Discovery Education’s K-12 platform, the Science Techbook drives engagement with exclusive phenomena and interactive content. Virtual and hands-on investigations, STEM activities, and a variety of instructional supports enhance the delivery of impactful, blended instruction, in person or at a distance. Digital teacher editions also provide flexible pacing options, embedded teacher notes, and Pathways for Learning to address diverse learners.
Mystery Science features ready-to-teach multimedia science and STEM lessons for K-5 students. Each lesson begins by posing a question commonly asked by young students, which is followed by a series of brief videos and prompts used to guide class discussion. Mystery Science lessons cover a wide range of questions children wonder about, including Where do rivers flow? Could a volcano pop up where you live? Why do the stars come out at night? and How far can a whisper travel? Mystery Science lessons conclude with a hands-on activity incorporating basic supplies commonly found in a classroom or at home.
“The resources available through Discovery Education support teachers in providing student-driven, inquiry-based instruction and access through differentiated and multimodal tools to support content, professional, and social-emotional learning,” said Joanna Roche, Shawnee Mission School District‘s Coordinator of Curriculum & Instruction.
Funding to support SMSD’s partnership with Discovery Education comes from the CHS Foundation. As part of the CHS Foundation’s mission to develop a new generation of agricultural leaders for lifelong success, they will provide Discovery Education’s services for 20 of SMSD’s elementary schools. CHS Foundation and Discovery Education offer communities Cooperative Minds, an educational initiative immersing high school students nationwide in the dynamic ingenuity and collaborative spirit of the cooperative business model. Empower students to sow the seeds of success with no-cost, standards-aligned resources that explore essential careers and endless possibilities in agricultural cooperatives.
“Shawnee Mission School District’s team is at the forefront of the movement in Kansas to create dynamic digital learning environments that support the success of all learners,” said Rebecca Osburn, Discovery Education’s Manager of Educational Partnerships. “The learning environments that will be created across Shawnee Mission School District will provide all students not only access to the knowledge and skills needed for success beyond graduation, but also the critical social and emotional learning supports needed to nurture the whole child. Discovery Education could not be prouder to be a part of this work.”
Discovery Education will provide SMSD educators with dedicated professional learning to help the school system recognize the full return on their edtech investment. Through these interactive professional development sessions, participants will learn best practices for integrating their new digital resources into instruction. Effective professional development will maximize the power of these resources, increase student engagement in learning, and support students’ continued academic development.
The district’s partnership with Discovery Education also provides K-6 teachers access to the Discovery Education Community. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing, and inspiration.
For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn.
The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.