The McMichael Family Foundation has made a $200,000 gift to Salem Academy for technological infrastructure. Funds will be used to support technological infrastructure upgrades, faculty development, hybrid education content, and online advanced placement (AP) courses.
“The 21st century classroom is rapidly evolving, and information is no longer limited by four walls or the knowledge of a teacher,” says Head of School Karl Sjolund. “As we prepare young women for college and for careers in this changing environment, technological literacy could mean the difference between success and failure.”
The McMichael gift will help Salem Academy to purchase iPads for classroom learning, which is already an integral part of Salem’s mathematics curriculum. Since the 2012-13 academic year, the mathematics department has employed a ‘flipped classroom’ approach to learning. Students watch a lecture or explanatory video for homework and then solve traditional homework problems in the classroom, working at their own pace and with direct access to the instructor. Students use iPads in class instead of having to bring their own technological devices. This method has been successful, and the McMichael Family Foundation grant will allow it to be implemented in other areas of academic study.
Upgrades will also be made to the school’s WiFi network in order to provide additional bandwidth and faster speeds for multiple students using iPads in the classroom building at the same time. Classrooms will be retrofitted to accommodate expanded technology; a full-time technology staff position will be added; and new online AP course opportunities will be added.
The McMichael Family Foundation in Madison, NC, was established in 1992. The foundation gives primarily to education, health, human services, and Protestant churches in North Carolina. During Salem's last campaign, the McMichael Family Foundation supported the renovation of two Academy residence halls into suite-style rooms. Alumnae Gail McMichael Lane, class of 1961, and Flavel McMichael Godfrey, class of 1964, are members of the foundation's board.
Salem’s $60 million comprehensive campaign formally launched at a gala event on March 16, 2015. Other campaign initiatives include scholarships for highly qualified students, support for faculty and for academic programs, annual financial growth, and capital projects.