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How One School Closed the Digital Divide and Brought Broadband to Town: Piedmont High School

Piedmont City School District

Piedmont, Alabama

Students from tiny Piedmont, Alabama (population 5,210) and the surrounding area attend Piedmont High School, a comprehensive high school that offers a full range of AP, Honors, career and college preparatory, and vocational and technical education courses. With the decline of local industries, the Piedmont School District is a focus of community pride and effort, and Piedmont High School is an engine of rejuvenation. The school has spearheaded a computer and broadband access initiative that provides every student in fourth grade and above with a laptop all day every day.

A wealth of online learning opportunities is now available to all students in grades 4 through 12—and their families. Ultimately, the community took the next leap and made Internet access available throughout the city of Piedmont with support from local businesses, the school board, mayor, and district leadership. This video profile, created by the students and a faculty member, tells the story of how Piedmont High School “went digital” and brought the Internet to town. (Since this video was made, the district has continued to make great digital strides. Read an EdWeek profile of now-superintendent Matt Akin.)

Download Piedmont’s 2012 application.

Read transcript of How One School Closed the Digital Divide and Brought Broadband to Town.

Contact Information

Principal: Mr. Jerry Snow

Piedmont High School

750 Alabama Highway 200

Telephone: 256.447.2829

Website: http://phs.piedmont.k12.al.us

Email: jsnow@piedmonth.k12.al.us

Student Demographics 2012

Number of Students 9 – 12 335
Students eligible for subsidized meals 59%
Limited English proficient students1 1%
Students receiving special education services 9%
Student mobility rate 8%
Hispanic or Latino students 1%
African American students 16%
White students 83%
Average daily student attendance 95%
Graduation rate 95%