Carroll County School board members Thursday learned of several national and state recognitions the school district earned for technology achievements.

Carroll County Schools Superintendent Lisa James announced the district earned a Platinum award at the Student Technology Leadership Program State Championship held in Lexington, Ky. Several Carroll County students participated in the state event with 5,000 other students from across Kentucky.

The district also earned second place in the 2012 Digital School Districts Survey in the Small Student Population Category with fewer than 3,000 students. The school improved from the fifth place ranking in 2011.

The award shows how well school boards use technology to communicate with students, parents and the community, as well as using technology to improve district operations.

Carroll County Technology Director Cindy Johann told school board members that criteria also included the school district's technology budget and the number of computers available to students.

"It was a very big honor," Johann said.

The district's high school has also been recognized by the Washington Post as one of the Most Challenging High Schools for having a high ratio of AP tests taken per number of graduates in 2012. Every school with a ratio of more than one AP test per graduate earns recognition on the national list.

Carroll County High School earned recognition with 1.3 tests administered per each student. The list recognizes schools that are encouraging average students to take on a more challenging and rigorous course load, a release said. According to the Washington Post website, no magnet or charter high schools earn recognition in the rankings and schools must have an ACT score below 29.3 to be considered for the list.

"We're going to keep moving forward," James said.

Also during the meeting, school board members saw some of the district's newest technology. The district's network systems administrator Zach Dean showed how the schools can video conference to other schools or different learning facilities without leaving the Carrollton classroom.

"We saw a need to expand our classrooms," Johann said, and a grant allowed the district to purchase nine voice over Internet Protocol technology systems to help prepare students for real-world experiences.

Johann said the systems allow students to see different professions, video conference with other groups around the world and collaborate with other groups in other schools on projects. So far, students have worked with NASA simulations, supplemented normal classroom instruction and watched a knee surgery where students could interact with the medical professionals.

"We are also using the technology to meet the individual needs of students," Johann said.

School board members were able to interact with another technology professional at the Owensboro Independent School system during the meeting to see a sample of how the VOIP technology might work for students throughout the school day.

In other business:

• Board members approved the floor plan for a modular unit near the high school. The 30-foot by 70-foot building, which will be located between Cartmell Elementary School and the high school, will include an early head start center and a conference center. The building will be paid for through early childhood learning funds.

• Board members approved a resolution to increase the drop out age to age 18. The measure passed into law during Kentucky's legislative session earlier this year, but the legislation will not take effect until the 2015-2016 school year.

• School board members also learned about the technology being used at Cartmell Elementary School during a showcase presentation. School officials showed board members how an iPad app allows teachers to test and teach with the iPads, as well as control what students see on the tablet screens.