Mooresville Graded School District (MGSD)


Mooresville Graded School District (MGSD) uses a 1:1 laptop model to integrate the digital resources in the classroom and students’ homes.

What does the model look like?

  • Students bring individual laptops to each class period throughout the school day
  • Teachers incorporate online programming and content into classroom instruction and activities

How does it work?

  • Students have laptops instead of textbooks; integration of technology is enabled by creative funding models

How is it used?

  • Students in grades 3-12 are given laptops for home and school use; classroom technology tools are used in grades K-2

What is the background?

  • The North Carolina district serves approximately 5,500 students across three elementary schools, two intermediate schools, one middle school, and one high school
  • In fall 2007, MGSD created a six year strategic plan with goals around incorporating 21st Century resources in the classroom
  • MGSD has a 40% free and reduced lunch student population

Careful adjustments to schools’ budget and design allow for critical technology support and creativity within the classroom

Staffing Model

  • MGSD reallocated staff to hire 19 school-based members of their technology team

Physical Space

  • MGSD schools redesigned classrooms to incorporate more small group instruction and collaborative learning; rows of desks were replaced with tables where students gather to work. Teacher roam around the room to increase proximity and engage with small group clusters


  • MGSD reallocated resources, such as instructional materials and personnel, to make way for digital conversion; the district ranks 99th of state’s 115 districts in funding. MGSD spends $1/day per student on digital conversion and infrastructure. Parents pay $50/year to subsidize computer repairs

What's New

District wide digital conversion allows for a dynamic, student- centered classroom environment where teachers are supported and prepared to embed technology in daily instruction

Students engage in multiple learning modalities with digital integration

  • Students work in leveled small groups to collaborate on problem solving activities and projects
  • Students use laptops to take notes, complete personalized independent practice online, and research academic content in real time

Teachers engage in continual professional development around technology integration

  • 90% of teachers attend a three-day, voluntary summer institute for professional development; all teachers participate in 10 days of sustained and targeted training
  • Teachers work in small leadership teams to collaborate on curriculum and technology integration

Teachers have freedom to choose digital content provider and instructional material according to student data and needs

  • Onsite technology team assists teachers in selecting and continually adjusting resources relevant to their students
  • Formative assessment data is precisely mapped on an ongoing basis to drive teacher instruction as well as student interventions

Parents are actively involved and can access student data from home

  • All parents receive upfront and recurring training on laptop use
  • Parents can access online portal to track student assignments, performance, and communicate with teachers


What's Working

MSGD aspires to embed technology into the foundation of the school community to increase student-driven instruction, engagement and preparation for the 21st century

Students are increasingly engaged in driving their own learning

  • Graduation rate rose from 64% to 91%, which is 2nd in the state out of 115 districts; since the beginning of the digital conversion, the drop-out rate has decreased by 48 students per year
  • “With the projects we learn not only about the work, we learn a lot about ourselves. We learn that we are capable of a lot more than we thought we could. And we taught each other. We understood more learning from people around us than just listening to the teacher” – Student

Teachers have freedom and support to meaningfully integrate technology in their curriculum and instruction

  • Teachers work collaboratively in a “distributive leadership” model; teachers hold weekly meetings to discuss student data and instructional methods.
  • “I’m not limited to what’s in the library or the textbook… it has made me stretch as a teacher” – Teacher
  • “I think that having the computers and the technology in our classroom allows for more creativity as a teacher. I can use different avenues for the students to be able to look up things, and then create things and demonstrate their knowledge as opposed to the old traditional methods. I also get to see students think outside the box because the technology allows them to convey their impressions and ideas about information that we are learning and talking about in class.” -Teacher

Technology integration promotes real-world skills equitably to all students

  • “It’s giving the kids who wouldn’t necessarily have the ability to have technology at home a level playing field”- Teacher
  • “The kids are more engaged and excited about school. They’re doing things in class and saying, ‘I will do this in my future.’”- Superintendent



  • Students access interactive online content and digital resources that teachers are responsible for selecting and assigning; budget allows $40/student for Digital Resources annually


  • Selected program and assessment data is closely monitored to drive instruction and composition of small groups


  • Students take formative and summative assessments on laptops. Data is aggregated on online platform, which is accessible to students, educators, and parents


  • All students and licensed staff are assigned a MacBook laptop for the duration of the school year. Families without broadband Internet access can purchase it for $9.99/month

See It: 

21st Century Learning for Every Child, Every Day

21st Century Learning for Every Child, Every Day