JCPS rolls out digital Teacher Backpacks

The digital backpacks are designed to provide foundational resources for teachers at each grade level 

By Toni Konz Tatman | JCPS Communications

screen shot of teacher backpack website with link to teacher backpack dashboard
One year after unveiling the Backpack of Success Skills for students, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) has rolled out new digital Teacher Backpacks for its educators.

The backpacks -- which feature grade and content specific resources -- are available through the Google Suite.

"Our goal was to try to provide a one-stop shopping place where teachers could find the most essential resources they need in one place," said Carmen Coleman, the district's chief academic officer. "It is not intended to be everything that a teacher might use, more so the very basics." 

With the click of a button, educators can select the grade level and content area they teach and be instantly connected to instructional and curriculum framework, as well as resources related to project-based learning and Professional Learning Communities.

They can also view the district's racial equity plan and ideas on how to help their students build their digital backpacks. 

"We know that all of our students need to be exposed to grade-level content," Coleman said. "We also know that very often, resources that have been vetted and are recommended are not easy for our teachers to find."

Coleman said when those resources are not easy to find, teachers might turn to Pinterest or other strategies that may not be directly tied to what they are expected to teach. 

The Teacher Backpacks were designed in part by Susan Price, the district's director of curriculum design and learning innovation for JCPS, and Kathleen Receveur, a JCPS digital innovation leader.

"This is a place where teachers should be visiting often, especially in regards to standards implementation," said Superintendent Marty Pollio. "Our teachers need to be accessing curriculum documents on a regular basis and one of the best resources I have seen in quite some time (in this area) is the teacher backpack."

Coleman said the district is in the process of creating Backpacks for Early Childhood Teachers and Exceptional Childhood Education teachers and hopes to have those added by mid-September.

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