The School Connectivity Initiative was the culmination of several years of vision surrounding the 21st century classroom and developing a North Carolina workforce poised to meet the challenge of a global economy. In 2006, the e-NC Authority presented their “Developing Regional Networks” report to the General Assembly recommending the expansion of the North Carolina Research Education Network (NCREN) to the K-12 community. As a result of the 2006 session, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1741 allocating $6M non-recurring to expand the number of schools with broadband, selectively build out networks to rural and under-performing schools, and develop a scalable model for statewide implementation. Since the funding is non-recurring, projects were selected that have the greatest impact on student achievement and highlight practices that will serve as the model for a sustained and funded program.
The program centered around four essential elements: 1) 21st century curriculum, instruction, assessments, and accountability; 2) Technology tools in the classroom; 3) Personnel and professional development; and 4) Connectivity, networks and accountability.