North Carolina’s McDowell County Schools Prepares for “Plan B” Reopening by Providing Educators with Specialized Training to Improve Blended Learning Instruction

MARION, N.C., Aug. 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, McDowell County Schools announced it is launching a micro-endorsement program across its 14 schools to help more than 400 teachers gain the credentials and best practices they need to better communicate with, teach, and support K-12 students in a blended learning environment.

In response to the novel Coronavirus pandemic, schools nationwide are adjusting education norms to facilitate the best and safest learning environment for individual students. In North Carolina, any student can choose to participate 100% virtually. McDowell County School District is also offering a hybrid or blended learning model that offers students  face-to-face classroom instruction every other week while wearing masks and social distancing. BloomBoard was chosen to help prepare teachers in this regard, providing them with the tools and know-how to plan and manage a combination of virtual and in-classroom instruction for their students.

“Not only did BloomBoard’s content provide the blended learning expertise and practice our faculty and staff needed to prepare for the upcoming year, but the methodology and approach was a perfect fit for our needs as well,” said Laura Davis, Chief Academic Officer of McDowell County Schools. “We are already seeing results. The small group of teachers that began this work over the summer report higher efficacy and deeper knowledge of the best pedagogy in a blended environment; they don’t view this as just ‘one more thing.’  Additionally, we feel confident that our teachers will be supported this fall as we organize and execute upon this new endeavor in a way that more effectively meets the needs of each and every student.”

The Fall Readiness micro-endorsement training program available to McDowell County Schools was created by a partnership between BloomBoard, the leading micro-credential provider, and best-selling author, blended learning expert and Founder and President of Ready to Blend, Heather Staker. The Fall Readiness micro-endorsement program is an online, competency-based curriculum that provides a unique opportunity for teachers to learn, practice and demonstrate their competence in assessing individual student needs, engaging parents to support blended learning, designing weekly blended learning “arcs,” and more. A Blended Learning Coach is also provided as part of the program to assist teachers as they progress toward blended learning competency.

The McDowell County Schools have been working with BloomBoard to establish a micro-endorsement program that advances teacher salaries. Teachers enroll and participate in specific micro-endorsements, demonstrate their learnings and advance to earn credit that can lead to salary advancement.

“We are delighted to be able to support McDowell’s educators by providing a program that enables them to build the critical ‘survival skills’ they need for this school year,” said Sanford Kenyon, CEO of BloomBoard. “We are excited that the district’s leadership has approved the BloomBoard Blended Ambassador program for salary advancement purposes, joining many of our district partners across the country. The aims of education are best achieved when we give educators the option to earn salary advancement credit for proving competency in the skills so desperately needed to support their students for back to school, and it’s our honor to partner with McDowell to serve their teachers and students.”

About McDowell County Schools

The mission of McDowell County Schools is to deliver excellence in education where students are engaged in collaboration, communication, and innovation so that they graduate ready to achieve success and positively shape the future. For more information, visit

About BloomBoard

Founded in 2010, BloomBoard is leading the shift from professional development to educator advancement via micro-certification. The company partners with states and districts to enable a unique online learning experience where educators improve their instructional practice and advance in their careers by earning micro-credentials. BloomBoard aims to help all organizations transition to meaningful, purpose-driven educator development and advancement based on measurable certification. For more information, visit

Press contact
Michael Rutkowski

SOURCE BloomBoard

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