News Release

South Carolina’s School District of Oconee County Provides Language Learning to Younger Students
Success of 2016-17 Pilot Program Prompts Expansion to All K-6 Students

Arlington, VA, Aug. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A school district serving a rural population in South Carolina is demonstrating that education innovation is not solely limited to large, urban school districts.  Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the northwest corner of the state, the School District of Oconee County (SDOC) is bringing an interactive digital language learning program to all 5,000 K-6 students beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year.

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Through a new partnership with Rosetta Stone made possible by Title 1 funding, every student in the district’s 10 elementary schools will have access to the company’s digital learning program. This will help SDOC students develop world language reading, writing and speaking skills at an accelerated pace and much earlier in their academic journey than typical foreign language sequences.

Despite dwindling school budgets and a shortage of foreign language instructors, there has been a dramatic increase in South Carolina school districts taking proactive measures to provide early language learning programs.  This could be the result of the state’s new graduate profile and its emphasis on mastering multiple languages.  Recent research also shows that early language learning results in better pronunciation and higher levels of proficiency, as well as several other cognitive benefits that are associated with being bilingual.

“The high engagement demonstrated by the 400 students at Orchard Park Elementary during our pilot test last year surpassed initial expectations and showed the effectiveness and impact Rosetta Stone could have district wide,” said Ginger Hopkins, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction.  

“The program is particularly appealing because the technology allows students to learn on the go, whether they’re at home or in class,” she continued. “The language instruction is also self-paced allowing students to learn at their own rate.”

Rosetta Stone has 24 different languages available. Each SDOC schools selected four or five from these offerings to focus on with their students; typically Chinese, French, German, Spanish or English.  Each world language implementation will vary from school to school. Most students will have time allotted during the school day to use the Rosetta Stone program in a computer lab or classroom setting. The two schools that already have a language teacher on staff (one in Chinese, the other in Spanish) will make the digital program part of a blended learning curriculum.  SDOC teachers will also have access to the program for professional or personal development.

“We hope other rural school districts will look at the success SDOC has found with their digital language program and recognize that they, too, can give their students a head start in becoming proficient in a second language,” said Matt Hall, vice president, Enterprise & Education for Rosetta Stone. “We applaud The School District of Oconee County for being an innovative leader and recognizing how technology can positively impact learning in the classroom – even for their youngest students—and giving them a leg up.”

For more information regarding The School District of Oconee County and other school districts’ language learning implementations, please visit www.rosettastone.com/education.

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About The School District of Oconee County (SDOC)
The School District of Oconee County is located in the Upstate of South Carolina.  It serves 10,500 students with 943 certified staff in 19 schools.  The mission of SDOC is to develop productive citizens who are life-long learners by providing exemplary educational experiences for all students.  The SDOC is accredited by AdvancED.

About Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone Inc. (NYSE: RST) is dedicated to changing people’s lives through the power of language and literacy education. The company’s innovative digital solutions drive positive learning outcomes for the inspired learner at home or in schools and workplaces around the world.
Founded in 1992, Rosetta Stone’s language division uses cloud-based solutions to help all types of learners read, write, and speak more than 30 languages. Lexia Learning, Rosetta Stone's literacy education division, was founded more than 30 years ago and is a leader in the literacy education space. Today, Lexia helps students build fundamental reading skills through its rigorously researched, independently evaluated, and widely respected instruction and assessment programs.  

For more information, visit www.rosettastone.com.  “Rosetta Stone” is a registered trademark or trademark of Rosetta Stone Ltd. in the United States and other countries.


Media Contacts
Michelle Alvarez | Head of Global Communications, Rosetta Stone
202.390.0032 | malvarez@rosettastone.com

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