Floyd County Schools (FCS) is honored to be in the first class of officially recognized school districts in the country as a Google for Education Reference District.
“It means the world to me. Mostly because districts have to be nominated by Google. Being named a Google Reference District proves that our district is being recognized, by a global community, for all the hard work our technology staff, teachers, and school leaders have done to improve learning in the classroom,” said Craig Ellison, FCS Executive Director of Technology and Media Services.
Google for Education Reference Districts are districts that demonstrate excellence and thought leadership through the innovative use of technology, including G Suite for Education (formerly known as Google Apps for Education) and Chromebooks, to drive impact and positive learning outcomes.
According to the Google for Education website, FCS joins a select group of 84 innovative districts and independent schools around the country that are identified by peers as a leader in educational innovation and transformation.  Benefits to being a member of this program include joining Google’s Trusted Tester program, having the district’s Story of Impact shared on the Google for Education website, and the opportunity to share their experiences, successes, and learnings with Google for Education tools within their communities as well as showcased by Google for Education nationally.
As part of the invitation-only application process to become a Reference District, FCS had to create a presentation explaining the ways they tackled the seven elements of transformation, which are defined within the Google for Education Transformation Center as:

  • Vision
  • Culture
  • Technology
  • Training / Professional Development
  • Teaching, Learning, & Assessment
  • Funding & Sustainability
  • Community Outreach

Major highlights in the Story of Impact include the impression made by the support of FCS Superintendent, Dr. John Jackson and the Floyd County Board of Education to purchase devices via Federal programs and the Striving Reader Grant. The Board’s approval of $500,000 in funds allowed 114 FCS teachers to be rewarded with sets of chromebooks due to their exemplary application and lesson plan, positively impacting almost 3,000 students in FCS.
“Our Chromebook Roll Out Grant opportunities have been some of the most exciting times I have experienced during my career.  The pure joy on our principals’ faces when the grant winners from their schools were announced!  And, the video clips I viewed of teachers being presented with classroom sets of Chromebooks by their principals are some of my happiest moments as an educator,” said Dr. John Jackson, FCS Superintendent. “This is what it’s all about; teachers desiring to improve their craft and being provided with the resources they need, and really being excited about it! This is a win for our teachers and a win for our students!“
Read Floyd County Schools’ entire Story of Impact that showcases the district’s use of Google for Education tools, and articulates measurable benefits that have resulted from the use of those tools here: https://goo.gl/Sk2L2U.
FCS received a Google for Education Reference District badge to display proudly on Floydboe.net and digital and print marketing materials. The program’s annual requirements involve sharing Google for Education experiences through a variety of channels including co-hosting an event with Google, arranging for a member of the FCS Leadership team to speak at an event, and hosting one event for external visitors.
“Having the privilege to host these Google events offers an exciting opportunity for us to bring in visitors to tour our wonderful schools and visit our thriving business community,” said Dr. April Childers, Deputy Superintendent.
Program membership is re-evaluated on an annual basis and continued participation is decided by the participant.