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Curriculum Leads Digital Transformation

North Hills School District

North Hills School District Case Study


In the North Hills School District (NHSD), where 96% of students go on to attend college, the challenge is to steadily advance student achievement with district-built “bookless” digital curricula, while keeping a future eye toward a full 1-to-1 personalized learning environment implementation.


The district had previously launched a successful online academy, and in the years since had steadily added to a core online and blended digital curricula. To advance its “bookless” vision going forward, NHSD needed to move simultaneously on multiple fronts. Integral to it all, NHSD’s curriculum team prioritized and continued building new digital curricula. At the same time senior administration formalized a digital professional development program for district educators. And, a newly outsourced IT team built the procedures, staff, infrastructure and focus on customer service to enable the ever-progressing technology transformation.


NHSD’s online academy now has its own successful enrollment, and has “flat-lined” exits from the district by students opting for area cyber schools. Students can receive a NHSD diploma from the online academy. “Bookless” digital curricula are now blended across the online academy and the district’s brick and mortar buildings. Educators, fueled by regular professional development, continue to find new ways to enhance student engagement with digital learning. Even with all of the changes, the IT infrastructure has been reliable, enabling educators to concentrate on educating without little worry about technology performance. And, the entire team is now focusing on its next set of transformational priorities including full district-wide 1-to-1 personalized learning.

The Rest of the Story

Over the years, North Hills successfully developed culture where digital curriculum led the district’s digital transformation—something difficult for many districts to achieve.

But, behind-the-scenes of this successful case study there is a story of the district leadership’s successful pilot of digital curricula in its online school. There is also the role that dedicated district educators played in digital curriculum development. Just as important is the role that the district leadership played in establishing real professional development. Also critical to success, is the story of IT outsourcing bringing process definition, IT staff realignment, and customer service prioritization.

About North Hills School District

Current Enrollment: 4,240 students, 24% on reduced or free lunch
District Size: AAAA*

* “AAAA” is the state of PA’s largest school rating. In the case of football, AAAA or “Quad A” stands for school districts with total male population, grades 9, 10 and 11 of 506 or higher.

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