NCDPI Announces Inaugural Cohort of Rethink Education Facilitators for Blended Learning.

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For immediate release

Sep. 22, 2021


NCDPI Announces Inaugural Cohort of Educators Who Will Lead NC into the Future as Rethink Education Facilitators for Blended Learning  



Today, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) announced an initial cohort of educators who will help lead the development of effective instructional approaches and content that teachers can use when schools must close for unforeseen disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Under a $17.6 million grant from the U.S Department of Education, the Department of Public Instruction’s Rethink Education initiative is helping districts across the state prepare for any short- or long-term learning disruptions by developing plans tailored to the specific needs of their school communities. These partnerships are focused on improving blended learning, which combines face-to-face and online instruction, access and content for students in grades K-8. Working across the state, Rethink Education is creating resources for rural and under-resourced communities as well as tools for families to support their children’s learning. 


The first cohort of educators participating in the Rethink Education initiative will serve as facilitators who help prepare teachers across the state to deliver high-quality instruction in a variety of settings and situations. Starting this month, these educators will train to become experts in how to use new statewide blended learning models that add online learning to existing classroom teaching—and become trainers and leaders in their community. This cohort includes teachers, administrators, curriculum coaches, media specialists, district leaders, and other certified staff. 


“North Carolina must build the capacity and provide resources to meet the needs of our students using blended learning,” says Catherine Truitt, North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction. “This dedicated group of educators will lead the way to ensure that no matter where learning takes place, our students are fully prepared for a globally-competitive job market.” 


Rethink Education partners with North Carolina school communities to make sure they have the resources they need to adapt and focus on supporting the safety and success of North Carolina students in all learning environments. 


“The Rethink Education Program is here to help districts think about what building capacity for blended instruction looks like in their community,” says Melissa Davis, NCDPI’s director of Rethink Education. “Educators who are trained in the statewide blended learning model will be equipped and ready to effectively use blended learning in many different situations—even during disruptive learning events like the COVID-19 pandemic.” 


See the list of 51 school districts, 28 charter schools, and 1 lab school that are represented in the first Rethink Education facilitators cohort. They will work together to improve student academic achievement, strengthen remote and in-person instruction, and reinvent school and community preparedness for new models of blended learning for grades K-8.