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District Profile

Years ago, we wanted to be able to broadcast to our parents through our own [TV] channel," explains Charlie Garten, discussing the initial interest of his district in video-production technology. "But once we saw Web streaming we decided not to worry about a channel. And now it's gone way beyond that--to become a real teaching and learning tool. It's quite a phenomenon."

Student teams pull together to investigate a community health enigma--and make curricular connections in the process

When Irene Runnels landed a school Suburban in the mud on the banks of the Red River, her boss responded with a grin and shrug of his shoulders.

Located smack-dab between Dallas and Fort Worth, Irving Independent School District has experienced technology acceleration at its finest. Its ambitious technology upgrade plan has put Dell laptops into the hands of every student and sparked renewed interest in learning.

"I see teachers teaching kids, kids teaching other kids, and kids teaching their parents," says Jennifer Anderson, Irving's executive director of technology. "And now I see other school districts coming to Irving to find out how we're doing it."

In Southern California's Lake Elsinore area, the area's namesake also happens to be the community's biggest headache. The town is divided by--you guessed it--a big lake. For those on the wrong side, often without transportation, access to county services used to seem impossible.

Do the Right Thing, a Miami Police Department-sponsored organization that rewards students for positive behavior, had done its own thing but was in search of more.

Forget Hillary Clinton's village. It takes an entire district and its surrounding community to raise a child of model character. That much can be said for Lawrence Township, whose LifeSkills for Building Character initiative has everyone from parents to the police department reinforcing 10 character qualities established by the district as an integral part of the K-12 curriculum.

Veteran teachers are as technology-wise in this district as new teachers, and even students. An ongoing staff development program is why

Each week, Boston Public Schools' truancy officer John Fencer scouts out students playing hooky. Until recently, Fencer's companion on these missions was a five-pound, five-inch thick book filled with more than 60,000 names and addresses of children in the district.